It is shaping up as a big Australia Day on Monday for Cranbourne-based trainer Robbie Laing who saddles-up six Blue Diamond-bound juveniles including a trio in the Blue Diamond Preview 2015 for colts and geldings.
Running as Sandown Race 3 at the end of the long weekend, there are a dozen two-year-old males running in this year’s $120,000 Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings (1000m).
Three are prepared by Laing who will saddle-up Trench Fighter (barrier eight), Eagles Dare (barrier six) and Kentucky Flyer (barrier nine).
Of the three just one has had a start and is fancied by the bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au with Craig Williams’ mount Trench Fighter a $13 chance in markets led by Mesa ($4).
While Laing described all of this BD C&G Preview runners as promising types, Denman colt Trench Fighter is the obvious pick having debuted at Caulfield in October last year.
“All are promising colts,” he told RSN’s Racing & Sport program on Friday morning.
“Trench Fighter, we’ve seen him though.”
He ran sixth in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) behind Of The Brave beaten just over four lengths in a run Laing knows he has made improvement since.
“He put in a blinding run in the Debutant after he missed the kick by six but was beaten four or five lengths,” Laing said.
“I think his last 600 (metres) was equivalent to Rubick on the same day.”
The youngster trialled ahead of his second career run over 800m at the Sandown track on January 13 and finished third to fellow Preview runner and race favourite Mesa from the Godolphin stables.
“He pulled up a bit shinny (after his debut),” Laing said.
“But he come back and won at the gates in his two trials.
“We’ve given him pretty easy trials.
“If he begins well on Monday he can be within four or five lengths of them cornering he’ll take some holding out he’s a pretty good horse.”
Kentucky Flyer is the next best fancied in the odds paying $34 with Ben Melham booked to ride the Street Sense colt.
He too trialled on January 13 in the same 800m hit-out as his stablemate and actually beat home Trench Fighter to the line when three lengths off Mesa for second, nice form Laing hopes he can bring to race day.
“Kentucky Flyer trialled sensational at Sandown the other day,” Laing said.
“He only had one jump-out leading into it where he jumped out and dropped his head and bucked and pig-rooted and got beaten one and a half furlongs.
“Then two weeks later went to Sandown and ran the fastest time of the day so his improvement was astonishing really.
“He’s going to Sydney for the Inglis Classic later.”
Another son of Denham, Eagles Dare is then the $51 roughie of the race following an unimpressive trial.
Over the 800m at Sandown on the same day Laing trialled his other juveniles, Eagles Dare failed to make an impression finishing dead last behind Him Name Jim.
“He’s got a big future but probably 1400 (metres) to a mile,” Laing said.
“He’s a big heavy colt and will probably take a run or two to be at his top.”
All three are also nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on January 28 during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Markets for the classic are led by classy filly Fontiton ($4.80) who runs in the BD Fillies Preview on Monday.
Laing’s boys are then much further down the all-in Blue Diamond Stakes odds with Trench Fighter ($67) the only one of note in the markets.
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