Cranbourne-based Robbie Griffiths is gearing up for the much awaited debut of his 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes-bound filly Deja Blue who runs in Saturday’s Inglis Premier at Sandown Hill.
The grey daughter of Denman is one of 18 juveniles nominated for the lucrative $250,000 2YO Inglis Premier (1000m), the latest lead-up for two-year-olds eyeing a run in the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 28.
Paying $21 through Ladbrokes.com.au, Deja Blue is currently the shortest-priced of the Inglis Premier entries in the futures Blue Diamond Stakes odds this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
That is a price sure to firm if she can live up to Griffiths’ hopes for her and kick off her Blue Diamond bid with a win on debut this weekend.
The signs are promising so far according to her trainer after a successful barrier trial win at her home track last Thursday.
Ridden by Ivan Culliver, Deja Blue went out over 800m on a Good (3) Cranbourne track and blitzed the Robbie Laing-trained The Grey Flash to win by two lengths in a sharp 45.74 seconds.
Now she steps out at Sandown on Saturday looking to win again, this time under race conditions, with connections chasing the riches on offer in the restricted race over a black-type win.
Along with the Inglis Premier, Deja Blue is also nominated for the $150,000 Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at the same meeting.
The 2015 Chairman’s Stakes attracted a bumper 29 nominations including a host of top Blue Diamond chances including Danny O’Brien’s Maribyrnong Plate winner Prompt Return and the Wez Hunter-trained Beneteau filly Parcel.
Deja Blue will go into the sales-restricted race however chasing the better prize money ahead of the Blue Diamond with the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) counting the Inglis winnings towards the total prize money of Blue Diamond entries this year.
“The black type would be good for the filly factor in the Chairman’s but the money factor and the fact that not everyone can run in it, like the Godolphin home-breds, is another,” Griffiths told AAP.
“I’ve told the owners we’re going to run in the Inglis race.”
The two Blue Diamond Preludes, one for fillies and one for the boys, run at Caulfield on February 14.
They are followed on February 21 at Flemington in Melbourne by the $120,000 Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) on Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Day where another group of two-year-olds could also earn their Blue Diamond stripes.
“The whole two-year-old landscape could change in the next couple of weeks,” Griffiths added.
“Everyone’s hanging back and kicking off their two-year-olds this Saturday and in the Preludes and they don’t want to over-race them.
“They’re all trying to come in at the same time and hope they don’t go shin sore.”
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