Peter Snowden has won the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) twice in the past five years. If the trainer’s confidence in Pride Of Dubai is anything to go by, he could be adding a third win to his repertoire on Saturday.
Pride Of Dubai was a late entry for the Blue Diamond Stakes after his impressive runner-up finish to Of The Brave in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) two weeks ago.
The colt was ridden patiently and raced in about tenth place, wide with cover. He switched deep on the turn for home and put in a strong run from the 200m mark for an impressive late-closing second, narrowly missing out by a short half-head.
It was the second place for Pride Of Dubai, who ran third in a Tab Place Multi Plate (1100m) on debut on December. While he remains without a maiden win, Snowden is confident he can be a contender in the $1 million Blue Diamond on Saturday.
“He’s had two starts, both times he’s been worse than midfield so it’s obvious he hasn’t got good natural pace but what he’s got is a good turn of foot,” Snowden told TVN.
“Good quality horses can do special things and this horse has shown me on the track that he has got the ability to do those special things.
“I think he showed a glimpse of that at his last start.”
The trainer admits that Pride Of Dubai is different to his two previous Blue Diamond winners – Sepoy (2011) and Earthquake (2014) – but he can still produce the same winning result.
Both Sepoy and Earthquake were more “precocious” than Pride Of Dubai due to their natural speed, which helped them race near the front, but his two-year-old colt is capable of unleashing winning speed when it matters, as was seen when he just lost to Of The Brave in a photo finish.
Snowden is concerned about race favourite Fontiton however, rating the unbeaten filly as his colt’s biggest rival.
John O’Shea’s Fontiton is unbeaten from her three starts. She opened the Blue Diamond betting at Ladbrokes.com.au as the $2.45 favourite but has seen her price firm to $2.30 after drawing the inside start from barrier one.
Pride Of Dubai will jump from barrier five and is the only other single figure hopeful at $6.
“He (Pride Of Dubai) is drawn a nice gate to get a midfield run and hopefully he’s strong enough at the end to pick up the Melbourne filly (Fontiton),” Snowden said.
“She’s three from three and she’s the benchmark.”
Pride Of Dubai has improved naturally since the Blue Diamond Prelude two weeks ago and is ready to rise to 1200 metres. Back the colt to win the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au today to receive an additional 20% on top of your winnings with the Best Tote or SP +20% promotion.