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Untapped filly Oohood will kick off her Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2018 bid at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend as part of a gun two-years-old contingent eyeing the $1.5 million feature for trainer Tony McEvoy.
The daughter of I Am Invincible is one of the key nominees for Saturday’s Group 3 $150,000 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m), which also features an early entry for her stablemates Roobeena and Lake District Girl.
Angaston-based McEvoy chases his first success in this autumn’s Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 24 and has a number of standout juveniles eying a run in the classic.
The Blue Diamond Preview races are the first official lead-ups into the elite level with Saturday also host to the Listed $150,000 Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview (1000m) where McEvoy has nominated for Run Naan.
Of the 17 early entries in the fillies’ edition, Oohood is one of just six with previous race experience having run a devastatingly close second to Long Leaf at Ladbrokes Park on debut last November in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m).
Currently listed as a $21 chance in the futures Blue Diamond Stakes odds at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au, Oohood will be looking to break her maiden status on Saturday with Luke Currie in the saddle.
McEvoy is confident she would have won last spring if she didn’t miss the jump and he goes into the Blue Diamond Preview on Saturday assured the filly has improved her barrier manners since.
“She was slow away that day and was only beaten a short head,” he told Racenet on Tuesday.
“We sent her home to our farm and she’s really developed, is stronger now and a very progressive filly.”
After she was temperamental in the gates on January 15 for a Werribee jump-out, McEvoy fitted Oohood with a barrier blanket at Flemington last Friday that “worked a treat”.
“The only window I had to give her some more practice under pressure was last Friday at Flemington so she had another jump-out and this time we fitted her with the barrier blanket,” he said.
“That worked a treat and she was well behaved and went very well indeed.”
While yet to confirm his Group 3 Ottawa Stakes (1000m) runner-up Roobeena for Saturday, McEvoy said the unraced Lake District Girl would be in the starting line-up with Jamie Kah booked for the ride.
The Not A Single Doubt filly trialled twice last spring and was also meant to debut in the Ottawa Stakes at Flemington on November 7, but was a race morning scratching.
“She’s very sharp and got natural speed – I thought she was the best of ours going into the race but I just wasn’t happy with her on race morning and scratched,” McEvoy said.
“We ran second and third in the race with Roobeena and Aristocratic Miss so that tells you what I think of Lake District Girl.”
Lake District Girl is listed at $26 in all-in Blue Diamond Stakes betting, equal with McEvoy’s undefeated Makfi colt Run Naan.
Run Naan runs first-up in the Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) and was last seen saluting for the second time in as many starts in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
Lock in your early Blue Diamond Stakes 2018 tips at generous autumn futures betting now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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