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First acceptances for next year’s Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2018 have attracted over 700 young hopefuls with a record number of entries for the autumn classic.
The richest race for juveniles held during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, the next edition of the stallion-making Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) is scheduled for Caulfield Racecourse on February 24, 2018.
This time last season Racing Victoria received 686 first acceptances.
That number rose to 706 horses with the closure of Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2017 first declarations on Tuesday, the first time the classic has drawn above 700 entries.
Leading the current Blue Diamond Stakes acceptances numbers-wise is the David Hayes-led Lindsay Park stable with a bumper 77 chances to go back-to-back in the sprint feature.
The team prepared this year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Catchy (2017) who handed Hall of Famer Hayes with his incredible sixth win in the autumn showdown.
Lindsay Park’s top early chance shapes-up as Not A Single Doubt filly Qaflia who won the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield in mid-October before a fourth in Flemington’s Group 3 Ottawa Stakes (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
2018 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes First Acceptances: Top Stables
- Lindsay Park (77)
- Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott (46)
- Tony McEvoy (46)
- Aaron Purcell (38)
- Mick Price (34)
- Hawkes Racing (34)
Sydney’s leading lady of racing Gai Waterhouse is still in the hunt for her maiden Blue Diamond Stakes success and her and co-trainer Adrian Bott are the next best represented stable with 46 entries.
Dual Blue Diamond Stakes winning trainer Mick Price was successful with Samaready (2012) and Extreme Choice (2016) and is back this coming season with 34 hopefuls.
James Cummings and the Godolphin stable’s early 31-strong Blue Diamond Stakes contingent meanwhile is led by Lonhro colt Ranier who ran second on debut, narrowly defeated at Flemington on October 7 in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial (1000m), and Encryption.
Also a son of Lonhro, who ran fourth as the beaten Blue Diamond Stakes favourite behind True Jewels back in 2001, Encryption was third to Qaflia on debut in the Debutant Stakes before a close last start second to Run Naan in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on Emirates Stakes Day.
Tony McEvoy’s Maribyrnong Plate winner Run Naan is a well-bred Makfi colt who also won first-up at Bendigo on October 21 and who is another key early Blue Diamond hope for next autumn.
McEvoy has 46 first acceptors, equal second best with Waterhouse & Bott, and his other standout is Debutant Stakes runner-up Sacred Sword.
Some of the blueblood entries for the race next year include Hawkes Racing’s full sister to Catchy, Symi, and former superstar sprinter Black Caviar’s second foal Prince Of Caviar from the same stable.
View the full First Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2018 acceptances by following the link.
Second declarations close at midday (AEDT) on Tuesday January 9, 2018 with all-in Blue Diamond Stakes odds to open shortly at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
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