The action of the Melbourne Festival of Racing is nearing kick-off and the carnival’s premier race for two-year-olds is the Blue Diamond Stakes 2015, betting for which is currently led by Fontiton.
Running at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday February 28, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) is set to attract the season’s best youngsters as always with a Robert Smerdon-trained filly staking early claims.
A striking black-coated daughter of Turffontein, Fontiton debuted at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day in late October and caught the eye right from the get-go with a blistering six length win in the Inglis 2YO Banner (1000m).
She showed this week she was on track for her next assignment with a solid jumpout at Sandown with her Inglis Banner winning hoop Mark Zahra in the saddle, Smerdon looking at the $120,000 Listed Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) back at Sandown on Australia Day as her opening autumn assignment.
Fontiton currently sits top of the all-in Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.80 for the classic, just ahead of two other single figure hopes.
Occupying the second and third lines of Blue Diamond Stakes betting are Secret Agenda ($5) and Ottoman ($7.50).
Mick Price’s Not A Single Doubt filly Secret Agenda also won on debut at Moonee Valley when on December 12 she and jockey Damien Oliver beat home Haybah as the $2.50 favourite over 1000m.
Ottoman meanwhile represents powerhouse racing operation Godolphin, the John O’Shea-trained Exceed And Excel filly continuing the dominance of the girls following her narrow victory over Miss Idyllic over 1100m at Rosehill on December 20.
Under $20 in betting are then just three other runners.
Flamboyant Lass is a well-fancied $11 chance after Gai Waterhouse’s Stratum filly broke her maiden status at Randwick on January 10.
Her debut was a third behind Pierrette at the same track and distance back in October but after a winning trial in late December she returned to improve with an impressive three and a quarter length win in the $85,000 Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1000m).
Then paying $17 for the Blue Diamond win are two more O’Shea-trained hopes with Lonhro filly Calaverite and the best fancied of the boys Sampeah.
Calaverite hasn’t raced since October 4 in Sydney but she was super impressive on debut when beating home stablemate Igraine by a half-length in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m).
Exceed And Excel colt Sampeah meanwhile ran at Rosehill over 1100m on November 29 and put a length on Let’s Make It Rain for a debut win to kick things off.
Other notable early Blue Diamond Stakes hopes in the futures markets include Group 3 winning Domesday filly Antelucan who caught the eye at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, fellow Flemington winner Claudia Jean who ran a luckless seventh in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast last Saturday, Listed Debutant Stakes winner at Caulfield from October Of The Brave and Ragazza Del Corso.
See below for the top 20 in the current Blue Diamond Stakes odds.
The next round of acceptances are the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes third declarations that close on Tuesday January 27 attracting a fee of $660.
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2015 Blue Diamond Stakes Odds – Futures
Caulfield Racecourse – 28/02/2015