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After being the most notable omission from this week’s Blue Diamond Stakes second declarations the Hawkes Racing-trained Headwater will now focus solely on a Golden Slipper 2015 campaign in the autumn.
Close to 200 two-year-olds were paid up for on Tuesday at the latest declaration stage for the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) running at Caulfield Racecourse on February 28 during the Melbourne Festival of Racing.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Exceed And Excel colt Headwater, a three-quarter brother to $ million unraced colt Emaratee, however was not among the 199 juveniles still heading towards the classic.
A $500,000 yearling, he was sure to be one of the best-backed youngsters in the pre-field markets following a blistering three length win on debut at Moonee Valley on December 27.
Ridden by James Winks in the $80,000 Cactus Imaging 2YO Open Plate (1000m), Headwater sat one off the fence in the lead before ambling up around the bend and then hitting the pace button at the 200m to win drawing away for an easy win over Stoker.
Instead the focus is now on the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), the world’s richest race for juveniles to run at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“There’s 400 reasons, we just decided to go to Sydney,” co-trainer Wayne Haweks told TVN on Thursday speaking of the decision to bypass the Blue Diamond with Headwater.
The youngster is set to spend two weeks in the paddock before a similar sting on the water walker ahead of his return to Rosehill before a definite path into the Golden Slipper is mapped out.
2015 Blue Diamond Stakes second declarations meanwhile still feature 10 for Team Hawkes including Surf Seeker who is a $12 shot at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast this weekend.
Blue Diamond entries are now headed by early favourite Fontiton.
A brilliant winner on debut at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day, the Robert Smerdon-trained Turffontein filly beat home Hot Snippety in the $250,000 Inglis 2YO Banner (1000m) by a big six lengths in her sole start to date.
Other notable two-year-olds still in the mix include the Mick Price-trained Secret Agenda who won at Moonee Valley on December 12 and Golden Slipper top fancy Ottoman for Godolphin.
Powerhouse racing operation Godolphin has a total of 14 Blue Diamond Stakes hopes at this stage while Price has a total of 16 still nominated.
The best represented stable numbers wise however is the training partnership of David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, Hayes’s nephew, with 18 entries.
Hayes holds the Blue Diamond Stakes training record with five previous winners.
On January 26 over the Australia Day long weekend Sandown will host the two $120,000 Listed divisions of the Blue Diamond Preview, one for fillies and one for the colts and geldings, before the Blue Diamond Stakes 2015 third declarations close the following day.
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