An eye-catching trial from the John O’Shea-trained Mesa on Tuesday morning has the Godolphin stable confident of the colt’s competitiveness in the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne this autumn.
The premier race for two-year-olds during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) runs at Caulfield Racecourse on February 28.
Futures Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets on the classic at Ladbrokes.com.au have Robert Smerdon’s six length Inglis Banner winner on debut Fontiton as the $4.80 favourite.
She was given a soft but still impressive jumpout at Sandown on Tuesday and will resume in either the $120,000 Listed Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) back at the track on January 26 or be saved for the $150,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on CF Orr Stakes Day on February 14.
The Flemington-based O’Shea meanwhile has confirmed the Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview on Australia Day as the first-up target for his Lonhro colt Mesa.
The up-and-comer debuted at Sandown-Hillside on November 15 to run a close third to Thurlow in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) on Zipping Classic Day.
That followed a close second in an 803m Warwick Farm trial from October 27 and was a blanket finish with Mesa, ridden by James McDonald, beaten only a neck when missing out on first or second by the bob of the head.
His Sandown trial on Tuesday morning saw Jamie Mott jump aboard and the horse draw clear to win by a big three lengths.
“He won well and wasn’t pushed out. He is one of the top five we have in the stable and he will run in the Prelude on Australia Day,” O’Shea told the Herald Sun.
Also on the Blue Diamond Stakes path for O’Shea and Godolphin are unraced Lonhro fillies Pursuits and Promenades, both also running in the first official lead-ups at the end of the month but in the fillies’ edition.
“We also will run Pursuits and we’ll bring down the unraced Promenades from Sydney to run in the fillies division,” he confirmed.
Pursuits trailled for the stable yesterday with Dwayne Dunn riding her in the third heat of the morning to finish half a length away second behind the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Reemah who was eighth behind Of The Brave in the Listed Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on debut last October.
Promendades meanwhile has had two trials to date when second over 840m at Kensington on September 22 last year and then winning her Rosehill hit-out over 900m to defeat another unraced O’Shea-trained filly Horizontal by one and a half lengths on January 6.
Promendades is the better fancied of the two in the early Blue Diamond markets paying $26 while Pursuits sits at $51.
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