Cranbourne’s Shea Eden may have kept just one Blue Diamond Stakes 2015 hope in contention when third declarations closed for the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival showdown this week but the colt looks a beauty with Stragun running second in the fastest trial at his home track on Thursday morning.
Stratum two-year-old Stragun, a $125,000 Magic Millions yearling, is the sole juvenile representing Eden in the 87 current acceptances for the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), the classic set to run at Caulfield Racecourse on February 28.
He trialled for the first time at Cranbourne this morning and caught the eye crossing less than half a length away second in the quickest 800m jump-out of the day after getting over quickly from the outside gate to track the leader throughout.
“He wasn’t wound up today, he’s still as green as grass, but he showed he’s got some ability,” Eden told the Racing Network.
The New Zealand Bloodstock 2YO C&G Trial was won in 44.90 seconds by the Mark Riley-trained Royalic.
A disappointing 10th of 11 runners on debut in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial (1000m) at Flemington back on October 4, after which he pulled up shin sore, Written Tycoon colt Royalic will get a chance to atone after the fast trial win.
He goes first-up into the $150,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14.
Riley will also be represented in that race by his 2015 Golden Slipper hope Of The Brave who won his 800m trial by three lengths this morning, albeit in a slightly less impressive time of 45.44 seconds.
Of The Brave is a $13 shot in Blue Diamond Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, a top three run in that race to confirm his trip to Sydney for the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in March.
A three-quarter brother to Group 2 Schillaci Stakes winner Unpretentious, Stragun meanwhile might still officially be in Blue Diamond contention but the bookies don’t rate his chances installing him as a $101 roughie in betting.
That’s a price he’ll get the chance to prove better than when he debuts Sunday week at Sale, the rest of his campaign to be decided after his performance there.
To check out all the futures markets for the upcoming two-year-old features of the autumn in both Melbourne and Sydney head over to Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $250 bonus bet offer for new customers that quote the code BETBONUS.