14 two-year-old fillies will run in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday in their preparation for the main event on February 28.
In particular it will be a contest between Fontiton ($4.40) and Secret Agenda ($4.80), who have sat on the top two lines of Blue Diamond betting since the markets opened.
The Robert Smerdon-trained Fontiton has already made a great impression in her shortly-raced career, winning the Inglis Banner (1000m) on debut back in October by an incredible six lengths. The filly drove along the inside to lead with ease, held it together at the turn before exploding away for her win.
She then proved she wasn’t a one-hit wonder three months laster in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) at Sandown on January 26. The filly copped a check soon after the start before easing out to three wide when straightening. It took her the entire length of the straight to run Haybah down but she got there in the end, winning by a quarter of a length.
Fontiton will increase her trip slightly on Saturday but will be stuck in sticky barrier nine with Mark Zahra. Smerdon has been teaching the filly to take a sit but admits she will probably press forward from this gate.
“The barrier is a little bit sticky,” Smerdon told Sky Racing.
“She’s a filly that doesn’t have to lead, but will probably press forward anyway.”
Mick Price’s Secret Agenda will get a much better start in barrier four with Damien Oliver on her second career start.
The filly won her debut back in December at Moonee Valley, dashing clear near the home turn and scoring an effortless three and a half length victory.
Heatherly ($9) and Flamboyant Lass ($11) are on the third and fourth lines of betting for the 2015 Blue Diamond and will both be looking to continue on their recent wins.
Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra’s Heatherly won the Fujitsu Plate (1000m) on debut last Friday and will enjoy a jump from barrier six with Damian Lane in the Blue Diamond Prelude while Gai Waterhouse’s Flamboyant Lass won the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1000m) at Randwick last month by three and a half lengths on the back of a minor placing in her debut back in October. The filly will jump one gate out from Fontiton with Glen Boss.
Betting markets for the 2015 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude are set to open at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly. Open your online betting account now to receive a $250 bonus match on your first bet. All you have to do is quote code: BETBONUS.