Tony McEvoy’s Group 3 winning filly Concealer steps up her Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2016 preparations this Tuesday with a Flemington gallop.
The undefeated daughter of Nicconi debuted at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last November and made an immediate impact.
Despite jumping a $20 chance off a winning Murray Bank trial, she beat home Prompt Response by a half-length in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) to put black-type on the record straight up.
Spelled after her successful debut, Concealer is preparing to return for her Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival campaign targeting the $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 27.
McEvoy will be in Melbourne on Tuesday watching Concealer gallop who is paying $17 in the early Blue Diamond Stakes odds with the race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
“She was so impressive that day at Flemington. She’s physically got a little better I think, so I’d say she’s the benchmark (two-year-old) of mine,” McEvoy told Racing Ahead on RSN this week.
The trainer, who has saddled-up nine previous Blue Diamond Stakes runners for just the one second place finish, is also leaning towards keeping the nose roll on Concealer for her latest piece of work.
“I’m a bit loathe to change it. It worked well with her, so I’ll keep her with that,” he said.
Current Blue Diamond Stakes betting on the 209 second acceptors is led by Mick Price’s impressive Inglis Nursery winning Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice ($6).
Other top fancies include the John O’Shea-trained Exceed And Excel filly Calliope who won last October’s Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on debut and Peter & Paul Snowden’s unraced Choisir colt Defcon at $9 each.
Team Snowden won last autumn’s Blue Diamond Stakes with Pride Of Dubai, the third win in the race for Peter Snowden who also prepared Earthquake (2014) and Sepoy (2011).
The now three-year-old Street Cry colt Pride Of Dubai hasn’t raced since he became a dual Group 1 winner with a Randwick win last April in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
The first round of official Blue Diamond Stakes lead-up races run Tuesday week at Caulfield’s Australia Day meeting on January 26.
Both the Listed Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview and the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview take place at the meeting over 1000m before the Group 3 Preludes of the series run on February 13.
February 13 is also the start of Group 1 racing for the season with the $500,000 Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) stealing the show.
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