Trainer Mick Price will make a couple of notable gear changes on his two Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude 2015 hopefuls in a bid to see them beat home their better fancied rivals in Saturday’s clash.
One of two Prelude races held on CF Orr Stakes Day at Caulfield Racecourse, Price’s home track, the $150,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) runs as Race 4 at 3:15pm (AEDT).
It follows the fillies’ edition of the race, a Group 2 worth $200,000 in total prize money, where the first four in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to win the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 28 face off.
Price has a very strong chance in that hot race with Blue Diamond Stakes second fancy Secret Agenda taking on the top filly of the season Fontiton.
Both are out to retain undefeated statuses, but while the Robert Smerdon-trained Fontiton ran in the Blue Diamond Fillies Preview and won, Secret Agenda hasn’t raced since her impressive Moonee Valley win on debut back on December 12.
In the males’ race, Prices two hopes are then Kirabo in barrier six and Stylish Assassin in barrier nine.
Real Sago colt Kirabo debuted at Sandown on Australia Day and ran third to the ill-fated Burnstone in the Listed Blue Diamond C&G Preview (1000m) when defeated four and three-quarter lengths.
He had Damien Oliver, riding Secret Agenda on Saturday, aboard but Price puts the top hoop on his other runner in the colts and geldings’ race this weekend.
Instead Kirabo, a $34 roughie to win the Prelude through Ladbrokes.com.au, will be ridden by Daniel Moor and while Price isn’t exactly sure how he’ll stack up, the horseman is hoping the addition of blinkers can help him run in the first four at a juicy price.
“Kirabo has got to improve a lot and I’m not sure if he can, I’ve put the blinkers on him and he can probably run in the first four,” he told Racing Victoria.
The Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) betting markets are led by Of The Brave ($3.70) out wide in barrier 10, Mark Riley’s Starspangledbanner running for the first time since his successful debut back in October in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m).
The next best fancied of the boys are then the John O’Shea-trained market mover Sampeah ($6) in barrier four for Chad Schofield to ride and Peter & Paul Snowden’s Street Cry colt Pride Of Dubai ($6).
It’s a wide open affair after that with a host of chances paying between $11 and $17 including Price’s other runner Stylish Assassin ($14).
The nicely-bred Exceed And Excel colt debuted in the Debutant Stakes during the spring but was disappointing when 10th, beaten nine lengths by this Saturday’s favourite Of The Brave, in the Debutant Stakes.
The ear muffs go on Stylish Assassin and Price has his fingers crossed they help him settle.
“Stylish Assassin appears to be the better horse and he works better but his temperament on race day needs to be a lot better,” he said.
“If the ear muffs work on race day with him and he settles then he can be in the finish.”
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