Adelaide’s Tony McEvoy is excited ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2016, confident his filly Concealer is spot on for the Caulfield run.
There are officially 71 two-year-olds still in the mix for this season’s $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), Nicconi filly Concealer one of the best in betting at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
Current all-in Blue Diamond Stakes odds are led by Mick Price’s Extreme Choice and stablemate Flying Artie, while Concealer occupies the third line in the markets at around $8 for the win.
McEvoy has saddled-up nine previous Blue Diamond Stakes starters for just the one second place finish in the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival classic, but is confident Concealer can be the one to break the drought.
She is looking to add to the gun recent record of fillies in the race with Samaready (2012), Miracles Of Life (2013) and Earthquake (2014) bringing the record of female gallopers up to three wins in the past four years.
On debut Concealer won the Group 3 Ottawa Plate (1000m) down the Flemington straight on Melbourne Cup Day last spring, and she has had just the one other lead-up into her maiden Group 1 assignment.
She resumed at Caulfield on February 13 and, after missing the kick, was brave in defeat making up ground to cross just a length off the winner Samara Dancer in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m).
This weekend she is up not only in class but also distance, seeing the 1200m for the first time, but McEvoy is confident she has improved off her first-up run.
“She’s thrived, she hasn’t left an oat and she looks beautiful. That run has tightened her up and I wouldn’t change anything,” McEvoy told Racing Victoria.
“Sadly she just looked the other way when the gates opened (first-up), but I’ve got no doubt that she would have won had she jumped.
“She has had a faultless preparation and I’m really excited about her going in to the Blue Diamond.”
McEvoy agreed with the bookmakers and has Price’s undefeated Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice as the one to beat.
The smart youngster won at Randwick in December taking out the Inglis Nursery by two lengths before his runaway four and a half length romp in Caulfield’s Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at the start of the month.
“If Extreme Choice runs 1200 then he’s clearly the one to beat. We’re all querying him at 1200 but that’s a guess,” McEvoy said.
The fellow Price-trained hopeful Flying Artie entered the Blue Diamond Stakes picture when he too scored an impressive first-up win at Caulfield.
Runner-up to Power Trip in last Novembers’ Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) by a narrow margin, the son of Artie Schiller resumed in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude (1100m) and made up all the ground to overcome the outside alley to win by a neck.
“Flying Artie had a real Blue Diamond style about him as does my filly and Samara Dancer for that matter and swoopers win more Blue Diamonds than on-pacers,” McEvoy added.
“I think it’s pretty typical people talking up their colts because they want them to be a stallion if they win the Blue Diamond, but I don’t think there’s much between them.”
McEvoy’s second Blue Diamond Stakes 2016 hopeful is Hey Doc, a $61 roughie in betting, who is out to atone for a fourth to Valliano over the track and distance earlier in the month.
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