Morphettville horseman Phillip Stokes has confirmed his Prelude winning filly Samara Dancer will have a quiet week with just one solid piece of work between now and taking on the boys in the 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Saturday week at Caulfield Racecourse.
The progressive daughter of Hinchinbrook retained her undefeated status last Saturday when travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne for the first time, stepping up in class for the Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) (1100m) on CF Orr Stakes Day.
She won over 1050m at Morphettville Parks in South Australia on debut last November by three lengths before a nearly five length trial win at the same track back home leading up to her big effort at Caulfield.
With SA hoop Dom Tourneur continuing his association, Samara Dancer flew home to defeat Concealer by a length in the Group 2, confirming Stokes’ plans to back her up in the $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 27.
She will be Stokes’ first Blue Diamond Stakes runner and after her Prelude win has shot up the futures odds at the race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au to win.
The all-in Blue Diamond Stakes odds are led by Mick Price’s Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice ($2.70) who is also two-from-two and was last seen blitzing his rivals by four and a half lengths in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 6.
Also at single figures is the favourite’s stablemate Flying Artie ($3.80) who put the writing on the wall last Saturday winning the Group 3 Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude in .07 seconds quicker than Samara Dancer’s win in the fillies equivalent.
The BD Fillies Prelude quinella of Concealer and Samara Dancer then follow at $8.50 each.
Concealer is also prepared in Adelaide, the Tony McEvoy-trained Nicconi filly having won a Group 3 at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last season.
Stokes admits that she looks a big rival in the upcoming Group 1 for his filly again, and he is confident the girls could have the boys’ measure in the race this year.
“They’re very nice horses but I don’t think there’s a lot between the boys and girls to be honest if you’re going on times,” Stokes told Racing Ahead.
“I thought Tony McEvoy’s horse was very good and is definitely going to be a big show too.”
Of the past four Blue Diamond Stakes winners three were fillies with Samaready (2012), Miracles Of Life (2013) and Earthquake (2014).
To help Samara Dancer come through her tough win over the weekend, Stokes will give her a quiet week before one piece of fast work between now and Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
“You can see the run in her, she’ll have a very quiet week – just off the pony and a bit of swimming,” he said.
“She’ll just do one piece of fast work now going into the Blue Diamond.”
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