A capacity field of two-year-olds has been released for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2016 at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne.
This season’s $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) line-up features a full 16 starters plus three emergencies led by the Mick Price-trained Extreme Choice.
Local horseman Price won the race in 2012 with smart filly Samaready and his undefeated Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice is the red hot favourite to hand his trainer another success this weekend.
Sitting top of the pre-barrier draw Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.80, Extreme Choice has won both of his career starts to date.
The first was a two length romp at Randwick in December’s Inglis Nursery (1000m) before his even more impressive four and a half-length victory in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) first-up on February 6.
Craig Newitt jumps aboard Extreme Choice for the first time on Saturday having also ridden Samaready for her Blue Diamond success.
Price also saddles-up the current $3.50 second favourite in Blue Diamond Stakes betting, Flying Artie to be ridden by Damien Oliver.
Oliver’s only Blue Diamond Stakes winning ride to date was back in 2004 aboard the Lee Freedman-trained Alinghi.
He stays aboard Artie Schiller colt Flying Artie on Saturday having ridden the progressive two-year-old for his first-up success in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude (1100m) a fortnight ago.
That run followed the horse’s second to Power Trip on debut in Flemington’s Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) during November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The next two best fancied Blue Diamond Stakes acceptors and only other hopes under $10 for the win currently are Concealer ($7) and Samara Dancer ($9).
Adelaide’s Tony McEvoy prepares Nicconi filly Concealer who is looking to become the fourth filly in five years to take out the race following Samaready (2012), Miracles Of Life (2013) and Earthquake (2014).
She won a Flemington Group 3 last Melbourne Cup Day before her resuming second in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) earlier in the month.
Winner of that lead-up, Samara Dancer, is also a visiting filly from South Australia trained by Phillip Stokes.
The daughter of Hinchinbrook is two-from-two so far and had a length to spare of Concealer last time out ahead of her shot at completing the Prelude – Blue Diamond double achieved by Earthquake two years ago.
Earthquake was prepared by Peter Snowden who also won in 2011 with star colt Sepoy and prepared last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner Pride Of Dubai (2015) in partnership with his son Paul.
This season Team Snowden are without a runner in the Blue Diamond Stakes field.
Five of the past six Blue Diamond champions won their lead-up race, Pride Of Dubai who came off a Blue Diamond Prelude second the exception.
Along with the Price duo and Samara Dancer the other most notable last-start winner that fits the bill this autumn is the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Valliano.
Damian Lane rides the Equiano gelding who enjoyed an easy two and a half length win in an Inglis-restricted race over the track and distance on February 6 at his fourth career start.
His co-trainer Hayes boasts five Blue Diamond Stakes wins to date most recent Reaan (2008).
Hayes & Dabernig boast a total of four acceptors in the race this year.
Along with Valliano and the second emergency Seaburge the stable has Chairman’s Stakes runner-up to Extreme Choice last start Highland Beat and Redoute’s Choice filly Zamzam in the mix to be ridden by Luke Currie and Nicholas Hall respectively.
See below for the full Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2016 field, the barrier draw to be conducted at 11am (AEST) this morning.
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2016 Blue Diamond Stakes Field
Caulfield Racecourse – 27/02/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11||EXTREME CHOICE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||56.5kg||77|
|2||325×1||VALLIANO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||56.5kg||73|
|3||2×1||FLYING ARTIE||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||56.5kg||78|
|4||31×2||STAR TURN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||56.5kg||73|
|5||1×46||POWER TRIP||John McArdle||Jamie Mott||56.5kg||72|
|6||9×1202||HIGHLAND BEAT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Luke Currie||56.5kg||66|
|7||110||HELL OF AN EFFORT||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||56.5kg||68|
|8||124||HEY DOC||Tony McEvoy||Opie Bosson||56.5kg||67|
|9||33||CHINA DREAM||Mick Price||Glen Boss||56.5kg||70|
|10||1×1||SAMARA DANCER (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||54.5kg||78|
|11||1×2||CONCEALER||Tony McEvoy||Mark Zahra||54.5kg||73|
|12||10×6||SWEET SHERRY||Brent Stanley||James Winks||54.5kg||72|
|13||26×0||KINETIC DESIGN||Stuart Webb||Ms Michelle Payne||54.5kg||66|
|14||19||ZAMZAM||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||54.5kg||67|
|15||63||MISS NYMERIA S||Robbie Griffiths||Ryan Maloney||54.5kg||70|
|16||1||ARETI||Robbie Griffiths||Craig Williams||54.5kg||65|
|17e||44||SELENIA||Robbie Griffiths||Jye McNeil (a)||54.5kg||65|
|18e||1||SEABURGE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||TBA||56.5kg||63|
|19e||4||REVOLVING DOOR||Clinton McDonald||TBA||56.5kg||63|