In a sad turn of events that will impact the Blue Diamond Stakes 2015 betting markets, highly-touted two-year-old Burnstone suddenly died on Wednesday morning following some light track work.
The Robbie Griffiths-trained, Cranbourne-based Redoute’s Choice two-year-old looked to his trainer like the horse that could win him a maiden Group 1 as he headed towards the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 28.
However the promising juvenile suddenly died at his home track this morning suffering a suspected heart attack, dropping dead and almost crushing his rider Ivan Culliver in an event Griffiths described as “gut-wrenching”.
“He will have a full autopsy but that (a heart attack) is what I suspect,” Griffiths said according to the Herald Sun.
“Lucky Ivan is all right, the horse fell right on top of him.”
Burnstone was a $40,000 bargain buy from the Inglis premier Yearling Sale last year and caught the eye on debut on Australia Day when winning the Listed Blue Diamond (Colts & Geldings) Preview (1000m) by three and a half lengths in a roaring effort.
He quickly burned up the all-in Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au following the third acceptances last week and was sitting near the top of the markets that are led by smart fillies Secret Agenda ($4.80) and Fontiton ($5).
The Blue Diamond dream for an obviously upset Griffiths however has died along with the young horse who was set to race again in the $120,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 14.
“Why a fit, young colt who was trotting and cantering and had come through his run (Blue Diamond Preview) incredibly well would have a heart attack, I don’t know,” Griffiths told TVN.
“It doesn’t make sense, but these things never do. He was jumping out of his skin, he was just trotting and cantering then fell over and died.
“I’d never been so confident heading into a Diamond. He just came through his run so well.
“It’s an amazing emotional roller-coaster this business. You think what a fairy tale story, we’d found a horse with a stallion’s pedigree for $40,000.
“He’d won his first start so well, we’re looking like we’re a big chance in the Diamond and the ride lasted just a second. We don’t even get the chance to have little Burnstones.
“To just take it off you like that, it doesn’t seem fair. It seems very cruel.”
Also saddened by the loss was jockey Damian Lane who rode him to victory in the Blue Diamond Preview and had him tipped as a genuine Group 1 hope this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
“It’s a real shame, he had so much more to offer,” he said.
With Burnstone out Griffiths still officially has five two-year-olds in the Blue Diamond mix.
The next best fancied of his contingent is Deja Blue paying $21 in the current Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets.
The Denman filly is yet to race but won her only trial on January 29 by an impressive two lengths.
Her maiden run is scheduled for this weekend at Sandown-Hillside in the $250,000 2YO Inglis Premier (1000m), the sales-restricted race chosen by Griffiths for her over the $150,000 Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at the same meeting for which she was also nominated.
To get behind Griffiths’ remaining Blue Diamond Stakes hopes and check out the updated markets after the sad news this morning of Burnstone’s passing, visit our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au.