16 colts and geldings plus one emergency accepted for the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m), running at Caulfield this Saturday, as they prepare for the main event in two weeks’ time.
Despite the maximum capacity field, just three of the juveniles are offering single figure odds in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Mark Riley’s Of The Brave is the $3.80 firm favourite despite having to overcome an awkward jump from barrier 10 (into nine if first emergency Black Vanquish is scratched). The two-year-old colt is the highest rated boy in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) futures betting as well, following his maiden win at Caulfield last year.
Of The Brave debuted in the Listed Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m), which he won one and a half length clear of Miss Idyllic. He then had his first official trial of the year at Cranbourne on January 29, in which he lengthened a touch in the final 100 metres before exploding away to win.
The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Pride Of Dubai is not featured in the third acceptances for the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes so will need to deliver an impressive run on Saturday for owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum to pay the late entry free.
Pride Of Dubai was third in his debut back in December but his form has held up considering he was beaten by Ottoman and Miss Idyllic, the former of which is considered one of the best juveniles this season and is early favourite to win the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on March 21.
The colt will jump from barrier seven (into six) with Damian Browne and displayed a nice turn of foot in a barrier trial last Monday.
Sampeah is one of three horses saddled by John O’Shea in the 2015 Blue Diamond Prelude and is the market mover of the betting after easing in from $7.
The colt won his debut over the distance of the Prelude back in November at Rosehill after hitting the line well and drawing away to win by one length. He will enjoy an ideal start from barrier four (into three) with Chad Schofield to ride.
Bantam is the second of O’Shea’s three runners in the race. The colt finished fifth on debut in the Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on November 8 but won the Adapt Australia Handicap (1000m) three weeks later. He will need to overcome a wide start from gate 15 (into 14) with Craig Williams in the saddle.
Rounding out O’Shea’s trio is Demonstrate. The colt finished just outside the placings in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) on January 26, in which he found the line nicely, and will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one on Saturday.
Check out the live odds available for the 2015 Blue Diamond Prelude below. Back your chosen winner at Ladbrokes.com.au to receive a $250 bonus match on your first bet!