Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Final acceptances for the 2014 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) have revealed this Saturday’s feature event at Caulfield will undoubtedly be the most hotly-contested edition for several years, with the highly anticipated showdown between standout filly Earthquake and leading colt Rubick confirmed.
Earthquake gained early favouritism for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes after only one professional race, having blown away the field in the Colin Pearce 100th Birthday Plate (1000m) at Randwick on November 9th.
Returning from a stint the spelling paddock in blistering form, the classy Exceed And Excel filly recorded her second three-length victory from as many starts in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude event for fillies (1000m) at Caulfield on February 8th, consolidating her favouritism for this weekend’s feature race.
Trainer Peter Snowden is understandably confident Earthquake can continue her perfect career start in the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes and has confirmed a busy autumn campaign for the exciting two-year-old.
Classy colt Rubick has also recorded a faultless start to his racing career, claiming the TAB IPhone App Plate (1000m) by three lengths from talented filly Twirl before romping home to claim the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude event for colts and geldings (1000m) on February 8th.
Adding to the incredible hype surrounding this maiden match-up between arguably the country’s two greatest young sprinters, Earthquake and Rubick managed the exact same time over their respective Blue Diamond Prelude events, and are seemingly heading into this weekend completely on par.
While widely expected to be the ‘Earthquake and Rubick show’, the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes final field also features highly rated runners Jabali, Chivalry and Nostradamus.
Opening his racing career with a strong sprint up the famous Flemington straight and finishing a close second behind Risen From Doubt in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) in October, Jabali returned to the track in scintillating form in the Blue Diamond Prelude C&G, producing another memorable finish to push Rubick to the limit.
Trainer Mick Price has outlined appearances in both the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and Group 1 ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) as on the cards for the Exceed And Excel colt this season.
After an impressive debut when second to I Am The General in the Leadwest Plate (1000m) on December 14th, Chivalry continued to stamp his name is a legitimate contender for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes when scoring a two length victory over classy colt Bugatty in the Quest Moonee Valley Plate (1000m) before a strong third behind Rubick and Jabali in the Blue Diamond Prelude C&G.
Trained by Mark Kavanagh at Flemington, the Street Cry colt is almost a certainty to line up in the 2014 Golden Slipper before returning to the spelling paddock ahead of a busy spring campaign.
Nostradamus strolled home to claim the Nursery Plate (1100m) on debut on January 18th and continued to impress when overcoming a wide draw to place fourth in the Blue Diamond Prelude C&G two weeks ago.
Having proven a keen ability to turn well and sustain a strong sprint over the final straight, the exciting Medaglia D’Oro colt is a particularly exciting prospect for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes with regular, in form jockey Glen Boss on board.
A total of 16 horses have been confirmed to starts the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes on Saturday, with Jerome Hunter-trained Statue of Warriors currently featuring as the only reserve.
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2014 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes Final Field
|2||11||RUBICK||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||0||56.5kg|
|3||2×10||MOHAVE||Peter Snowden||Chris Symons||0||56.5kg|
|4||213||CHIVALRY||Mark Kavanagh||Stephen Baster||0||56.5kg|
|5||14||NOSTRADAMUS||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Glen Boss||0||56.5kg|
|6||2×2||JABALI||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||0||56.5kg|
|7||3×25||CORNROW||Mick Price||Luke Nolen||0||56.5kg|
|9||36||FRANCESCO||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||0||56.5kg|
|10||19||MALAGUERRA||Wez Hunter||Brad Rawiller||0||56.5kg|
|11||67||STRATUM STAR||Rick Hore-Lacy||Craig Newitt||0||56.5kg|
|12||1×1||EARTHQUAKE||Peter Snowden||Damian Browne||0||54.5kg|
|13||11||NAYELI||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||0||54.5kg|
|15||2×8||TOP DOLLY||Tom Hughes||Craig Williams||0||54.5kg|
|16||3×25||PIACENZA||Tony McEvoy||Michael Rodd||0||54.5kg|
|17e||08||STATUE OF WARRIORS||Jerome Hunter||–||0||56.5kg|
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