Sydney’s Hall of Fame trainer and five-time Golden Slipper winner Gai Waterhouse is hoping her smart filly Flamboyant Lass has what it takes to win her a maiden Blue Diamond Stakes trophy in 2015.
Waterhouse has an outstanding record with two-year-old including winning the world’s richest race for juveniles, the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), an incredible five times.
The $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), running at Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday, however remains the only two-year-old’s feature Waterhouse is without a win in.
“This great race for two-year-olds run at Caulfield every year is the only Group 1 for the babies that I have not won since taking the helm at Tulloch Lodge,” 126-time Group 1 winning trainer Waterhouse said in her column for Racing.com.
That is something she hopes to change on the weekend when she saddles up Stratum filly Flamboyant Lass in the 15-horse Blue Diamond Stakes field set to face off in Caulfield Race 8 at 5:50pm (AEDT), Waterhouse after her 19th Group 1 race in a two-year-olds’ race.
“We must do something about that! And I think I just may be able to do just that this year with the talented filly Flamboyant Lass,” she wrote.
Her late, great father TJ Smith won the race in 1986 with Bounding Away, and Waterhouse will have a special piece of family and racing memorabilia with her on Saturday from that win.
“On Saturday I will be wearing the Blue Diamond ring that TJ won with Bounding Away in 1986,” she said.
“It is a grand piece of jewellery and a worthy reward for such a brilliant filly as Bounding Away was.”
There are eight fillies in the field and the girls have an outstanding recent record in the race winning the past three editions on the trot with Samaready (2012), Miracles Of Life (2011) and Earthquake (2014).
Of the contingent looking to add to that record, the top fancy and Blue Diamond Stakes market leader at a firming $2.30 through Ladbrokes.com.au is the Robert Smerdon-trained daughter of Turffontein Fontiton.
Fontiton has won all three of her career starts to date including the Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude last time out, a race Earthquake won on way to her Blue Diamond Stakes win last autumn.
Flamboyant Lass, a nicely bred daughter of 2005 Golden Slipper winner Stratum, meanwhile is out to $18 in the latest Blue Diamond Stakes odds.
She has had three starts to date for two thirds and a win, the sole victory being over 1000m at Randwick by a tidy three and a quarter lengths on January 10 to kick off her racing in 2015, but has shown promise from day dot according to Waterhouse.
“The filly immediately displayed the most crucial trait for two-year-olds… precocity,” Waterhosue said of the $190,000 buy from the 2014 Magic Millions sales.
“She trialled nicely in the first set of official trials for the babies, in September 2014, and showed on that day that she was an early runner.”
Last time out she took on Fontiton in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield for her Melbourne debut, and was far from disgraced finishing two and a half lengths off the winner and her main rival in the Group 1 on Saturday.
“I began training Flamboyant Lass with the Blue Diamond in mind knowing full well that to win the Diamond, Flamboyant Lass of course had to win at Caulfield,” Waterhouse explained.
“Very few Sydney horses win at Caulfield at their first attempt.
“True to the theory, in the Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield…Flamboyant Lass wobbled around the turn, looked under pressure almost the entire race and still found the line as well as anything and finished a brave third.”
Flamboyant Lass is out to turn the tables on Fontiton on the weekend but the duo is drawn at opposite ends of the field.
Race favourite Fontiton came up trumps with the inside alley jumping from barrier one with Mark Zahra to ride.
Waterhouse’s runner meanwhile has Glen Boss retaining the ride in the outside barrier of 15.
Amazingly those two barriers, one and 15, have produced the past two Blue Diamond Stakes winners with Miracles Of Life and Earthquake respectively.
Waterhouse is hoping her filly has the goods and is confident she will be improving on the Prelude run wherever she ends up in the finish on Saturday.
“Whether or not Flamboyant Lass can make up the ground on the favourite come Saturday, I am not entirely sure, but I do know that the filly will improve dramatically on what she did first-up in Melbourne,” she said.
“Natural improvement and the benefit of Caulfield experience will see the striking bay filly being very hard to get past on Saturday.
“Flamboyant Lass has demonstrated she has what it takes. She is fit. She is happy and she is ready to take on a great field of two-year-olds for $1 million dollars on Saturday.”
To get behind Flamboyant Lass to score an upset Blue Diamond Stakes result on the weekend visit Ladbrokes.com.au who have open Best Tote or SP + 20% markets for the two-year-olds’ Group 1!