Race favourite Fontition has come up trumps with barrier one for Saturday’s Blue Diamond Stakes 2015 ensuring the Robert Smerdon-trained filly stays at the top of the odds for the Caulfield classic.
The barrier draw for this weekend’s 44th running of the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) took place this morning and there is no dent in the top fancy’s armour with undefeated Turffontein filly Fontiton to get the inside run from gate one.
Barrier one last produced a Blue Diamond Stakes winner just two years ago with Miracles Of Life (2013) saluting from the alley.
Before her the last champion from the inside gate in the Blue Diamond was Hurricane Sky back in 1994.
- Race favourite Fontition draws barrier one
- Miracles Of Life (2013) was the last Blue Diamond winner from the inside alley
- Fillies have won the past three on the trot for a total of 18 winners
- Colts & geldings have won 26 of the 44 editions of the race
- Robert Smerdon’s other runner Thurlow drawn in barrier eight
- Last year’s winning barrier 15 is the outside alley this year and belongs to Flamboyant Lass
- Other top fancies include Of The Brave (9), Pride Of Dubai (5) and Sampeah (12) who ran the Blue Diamond C&G Prelude Trifecta
- The race’s most successful barriers 4 and 5 belong this year to Air Apparent and Pride Of Dubai
She was one of three fillies to have dominated the race in recent history with Fontition out to be the fourth straight female Blue Diamond Stakes winning joining: Samaready (2012), Miracles Of Life (2013) and Earthquake (2014) last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Smerdon is dually represented in the 15-horse Blue Diamond Stakes field this year also accepting for Sebring filly Thurlow who has the blinkers off and the visor on for Saturday’s test.
Winner of the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes and Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes over 1000m at Sandown, she’s up over 1200m for the first time and jumps from barrier eight with regular riding Craig Williams retaining the ride.
Williams is yet to ride a Blue Diamond Stakes winner, and barrier eight hasn’t produced a win since Mahaasin (1990) became the second from that gate in as many years following Courtza (1989).
Following Fontition in the Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets are then the first three over the line in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude (1100m) at the track on February 14.
Narrow runner-up and late entry Pride Of Dubai has been tracking as second pick to win the Group 1 and has drawn ideally in barrier five for Peter & Paul Snowden.
Peter Snowden has won two of the past four editions with Earthquake (2014) and Sepoy (2011) but was the head trainer for Darley, now Godolphin, for both those wins.
A $55,000 late entry was paid on Monday to get Street Cry colt Pride Of Dubai, to be ridden by Damian Browne, into the race where he’ll look to become the fifth horse since 1983 to win from barrier five.
Along with the most recent Sepoy (2011) the other Blue Diamond winners from gate five in the past 30 years are: Reward For Effort (2009), Alinghi (2004) and Bounding Away (1986).
The C&G Prelude winner Of The Brave meanwhile has barrier nine for the weekend after beating Pride Of Dubai by a nose a fortnight ago from a very similar barrier 10 of 14 draw.
Barrier nine hasn’t produced a Blue Diamond Stakes winner since Reaan (2008) and Sleek Chassis (2007) went back-to-back.
Sampeah meanwhile ran third in the Prelude for the boys and represents Godolphin who won with the then Snowden-trained Sepoy and Earthquake under the Darley banner.
A Chad Schofield mount, the Exceed And Excel colt has work to do on Saturday however out wide in barrier 12 that last produced a winner with Nadeem (2006) nearly a decade ago.
The other equal most successful Blue Diamond Stakes barrier along with five, also with four winners since 1983, is four belonging on Saturday to the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude fourth placed Snitzel filly Air Apparent.
Last year’s winner Earthquake meanwhile jumped from barrier 15, which is the outside gate this year meaning all hope is not lost for Gai Waterhouse to train her first winner with BD Prelude third placed Stratum filly Flamboyant Lass who has the wide alley this weekend.
See below for the full 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes barrier draw, updated betting markets to re-open at our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au shortly!
2015 Blue Diamond Stakes Barriers
Caulfield Race 8 (5:50pm) – 28/02/2015
|1||231||STOKER||Tony McEvoy||Damien Oliver||6||56.5kg|
|2||1×1||OF THE BRAVE||Mark Riley||Stephen Baster||9||56.5kg|
|3||112×5||PROMPT RETURN||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||7||56.5kg|
|4||162||MANHATTAN BLUES||Tony McEvoy||Nicholas Hall||14||56.5kg|
|5||1×3||SAMPEAH||John O’Shea||Chad Schofield||12||56.5kg|
|6||51×7||BANTAM||John O’Shea||Jamie Mott||3||56.5kg|
|7||32||PRIDE OF DUBAI||Peter & Paul Snowden||Damian Browne||5||56.5kg|
|8||1×11||FONTITON||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||1||54.5kg|
|9||21×1||THURLOW||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||8||54.5kg|
|10||3×13||FLAMBOYANT LASS||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||15||54.5kg|
|11||24×2||MISS GIDGET||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Ben Melham||10||54.5kg|
|12||17||CLAUDIA JEAN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||2||54.5kg|
|13||2||LAKE GENEVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||11||54.5kg|
|14||224||AIR APPARENT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||4||54.5kg|
|15||8×2||REEMAH||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Chris Symons||13||54.5kg|