Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The Grahame Begg-trained Written By is one of the early two-year-olds confirmed as targeting the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2017 at Caulfield Racecourse next Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Mt. Eliza-based Begg is yet to prepare a winner of the lucrative sprint feature that is known as a stallion-making race, but hopes to have unveiled a genuine chance this coming season with his son of Written Tycoon.
Written By is being prepared for a shot at the Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 24 after winning his race debut on December 2 at Sandown-Hillside.
In the wet on a Heavy (8) track, the up-and-comer enjoyed a one length victory in the two-years-old set weights race over 1000m before being sent straight out to recover ahead of a big autumn return in next year’s Melbourne Festival of Racing.
“We put him out in the paddock virtually straight after his run at Sandown,” Begg told Racing Victoria on Wednesday.
Begg, formerly based in Sydney, knows what it takes to prepare a star juvenile having trained Written By’s class sire Written Tycoon for his Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) victory back in 2005.
He has scheduled the Group 3 $150,000 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 3 as the first-up run for Written By, a race won this year by the Lindsay Park-trained filly Formality who went on to run third to her stablemate Catchy in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes trifecta.
“He’s getting prepared to run first-up in the Chairman’s [Stakes] on the third of February at Caulfield over 1000m,” Begg confirmed.
“If he can shape up well in that, it’s three weeks into the Blue Diamond, and we’ll give him his shot.”
The last Blue Diamond Stakes winner to back directly up off a run in the Chairman’s Stakes was the Mick Price-trained Extreme Choice (2016) who did the double Written By is aiming at in 2018.
The form of Written By’s debut could be franked this weekend when the first two past the post behind him, the Tony McEvoy-trained stablemates Sanctimonious (2nd) and Logan River (3rd), do battle in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick on Villiers Stakes Day.
“He always showed us good ability,” Begg added.
“It got to the stage with the track deteriorating; we were a bit unknown [before his debut] because he’d never galloped on any rain-affected surface.
“It’s a mark of a good horse, I feel, for any horse to win at their first start in a race, doesn’t matter where it is, they’re certainly better than average as they’re doing it on ability alone and not so much their education, so he got away with that.
“I believe the horses that ran second and third of McEvoy’s, he’s got a good opinion of, and they line up on Saturday in the Inglis race – so that’ll give us more of a benchmark for how we shape up going forward, so it’ll be exciting to see how they shape up in Sydney.”
It is a wide-open affair in futures Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes betting at bookies around the country at this stage.
Some of the standout juveniles high-up the all-in markets include Not A Single Doubt filly Qafila for last year’s winning trainers and Ranier.
Qafila won first-up in mid-October at Caulfield in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) before a fourth to Setsuna at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day as the beaten favourite in the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes (1000m).
Ranier is a well-bred Lonhro colt prepared by James Cummings for Godolphin whose sole start to date took place on October 7 at Flemington for a devastatingly close second in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial (1000m).
Official 2018 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Second Declarations close at midday on Tuesday January 9, 2018.
Stay tuned for all the latest on next autumn’s Blue Diamond Stakes, race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au to release markets shortly.
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