Nominations for the Blue Diamond Stakes 2015 next Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival were taken by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) on Tuesday with 1205 yearlings nominated for the two-year-olds’ classic.
With nominations up 17 from last season, next year’s $1 million Group 1 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) marks the 45th edition of the race and will run at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday February 28, 2015.
Of the youngsters in the mix at this early stage Victorian-bred yearlings dominate with 570 entries.
The next best represented states in the Blue Diamond nominations outside of Victoria were then New South Wales (500), Queensland (66), South Australia (60) and Western Australia (6).
Adding another level of intrigue to the race are then the three internationally bred runners.
There’s already plenty of pedigree and class to the line-up too with siblings of some genuine turf stars including a half-brother to this year’s Golden Slipper winning filly Mossfun.
They are trained by Team Hawkes, who also prepare Mossfun.
The Magic Albert colt was purchased for $750,000 at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and plenty of hype will surround their debut.
Also in the mix are a full brother to last year’s Golden Slipper champion Overreach, and a half-brother to 2011 Blue Diamond – Golden Slipper double winner Sepoy also prepared by this year’s Golden Slipper winning trainers.
The best represented sire meanwhile is Fastnet Rock with 61 followed by Exceed And Excel (50) who sired this year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner Earthquake, and More Than Ready and Snitzel with 47 each.
Darley Australia are the reigning Blue Diamond winning connections after the effort of Earthquake this February gone, the filly going on to also run second in the Golden Slipper.
They have 77 yearlings entered for the next edition with the team now prepared by new private trainer John O’Shea who took over for Peter Snowden after the latter stepped down to go out on his own.
Included in Darley’s contingent are relations to many of their former star performers including Helmet, Epaulette, Guelph and a half-brother to Gai Waterhouse’s 2012 Golden Slipper winner Pierro.
Now training in partnership with his son Paul, Peter Snowden meanwhile will shoot for back-to-back Blue Diamond trophies next February having nominated for 51 youngsters.
Others well represented in the nominations include Sydney’s top trainer Gai Waterhouse (74), David Hayes (66) and Mick Price (58) who won with Samaready in 2012.
Horses nominated for this season’s Blue Diamond Stakes are also automatically entered for the $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire (1200m).
Caulfield’s three-year-olds’ feature runs on the Wednesday between the Caulfield Guineas and the Caulfield Cup during the spring.
Late Blue Diamond nominations remain open until February 24 next year followed by the final acceptances on the 25th.
Futures Blue Diamond Stakes betting will open before that however at our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au who are currently rewarding first time depositors with a $250 bonus sign-up bet!