A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
It will be at least three months before promising filly Secret Agenda returns to racings, a 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes bid off for the Mick Price-trained youngster who was injured during Saturday’s Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude.
A rowdy rendition of the $200,000 Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) (1100m) at Caulfield over the weekend was won by the Robert Smerdon-trained Fontiton but left Price’s filly Secret Agenda with a nasty leg laceration and broken bone.
Second favourite for both the Prelude and the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) back at the track on February 28, Secret Agenda settled well back and never looked a winning chance.
She eventually crossed a disappointing 11th, beaten over seven lengths, before returning to the stalls where it became evident she had been injured.
A bleeding wound from being galloped on during the Prelude was the first thing Price noticed, subsequent scans revealing a fracture to her near-side lateral split bone that will require surgery.
“Unfortunately, she’s going to be out for three months,” Pride told TVN on Sunday.
Secret Agenda was an impressive 1000m winner on debut at Moonee Valley back in December when ridden by Damien Oliver who stayed on for her first-up run on Saturday.
He reported after the Prelude that she got in trouble between the 900m and the home turn, which was when the injury occurred.
Before her withdrawal, Secret Agenda sat as a $4.60 chance in the futures Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Fontiton is now clear $2.60 favourite after the undefeated daughter of Turffontein won her third race from as many starts on the weekend.
She’s followed in the markets by the currently not-nominated Pride Of Dubai at $5.50.
Peter & Paul Snowden confirmed however that owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum would pay the $55,000 late entry, due by next Monday, to get Pride Of Dubai into the Blue Diamond after his close second to Of The Brave in the colts and geldings’ Prelude on the weekend.
The Mark Riley-trained Prelude winner Of The Brave, who only had a nose to spare on the line, is then the $7 third pick for the Group 1 just ahead of Prelude third placegetter Sampeah ($8).
The John O’Shea-trained Sampeah came from last in the race to be beaten only two and three-quarter lengths and will have blinkers on for the Group 1, which will be only his second look at Caulfield.
Out of the Blue Diamond for O’Shea, whose Prelude (C&G) seventh placegetter Bantam will also have blinkers added to his gear, was 14th placed Fillies Prelude bad luck story Antelucan.
She returns to Sydney to recover from the roughhouse race that also took its toll on her Diamond bid.
Oliver meanwhile might not be without a Blue Diamond mount, the hoop a good chance to jump aboard the Tony McEvoy-trained Inglis Premier winner Stoker who is currently without a confirmed jockey for the classic.
Stoker could also be joined in the field by stablemate Manhattan Blues who ran second in the Inglis Premier and who could be another late entry on February 23.
To check out the full Blue Diamond Stakes markets and back your early picks before markets firm over the next two weeks, visit Ladbrokes.com.au and enjoy a bonus $250 bet on the house when you first deposit and quote the code BETBONUS!
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