Trainer Ciaron Maher is looking to step his...
The race towards the Blue Diamond Stakes is on in earnest from Saturday when the first traditional lead-up events kick-off including the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview 2018.
Set to run as Caulfield Race 2 at 11:30am (AEDT) one race prior to the fillies’ equivalent, this season’s Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) attracted just the eight runners.
All but two of the colts and geldings in the mix have previous race experience and heading the line-up with the rails run from barrier one is the Tony McEvoy-trained Run Naan.
Rated a $26 shot in futures betting for the Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 24, the undefeated son of Makfi chases his third career victory first-up on the weekend.
The gun colt was last seen running during the Melbourne Cup Carnival when the narrow winner of the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m).
Also undefeated and chasing a third win from as many stats is the Lindsay Park-trained Long Leaf.
Long Leaf broke his maiden status at Morphettville in late October and became a black-type winner last November at Ladbrokes Park in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) when narrowly defeating the filly Oohood.
Ace hoop Damien Oliver is booked for the Long Leaf ride on Saturday the 2004 Blue Diamond winning jockey (Alinghi) riding the youngster for the first time.
Drawn the outside barrier in the small eight-starter field is the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Ollivander who, along with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Invincible Lad, are the other $21 chances for the big one next month.
Charge Forward colt Ollivander won his debut at the Caulfield track in mid-December over 1100m, while Invincible Lad will be out to atone for his failed ninth to Performer at Randwick last September in the Listed Breeders Plate (1000m).
The other non-maiden in the mix meanwhile is the Darren Weir-trained Native Soldier jumping from barrier two with Damian Lane riding the well-bred colt.
Native Solider is bred for Blue Diamond success being a son of the race’s 2011 champion Sepoy and was last seen enjoying a breakthrough win over 1100m at Geelong on Boxing Day.
That followed two earlier Melbourne runs including his sixth to Ollivander in the Caulfield race from December 16.
Check out the full Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview 2018 field for colts and geldings below, updated odds on the black-type to open shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2018 Blue Diamond C&G Preview Field & Barriers
Caulfield Race 2 (11:30am) – 27/01/2018
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11x||RUN NAAN||Tony McEvoy||Andrew Mallyon||1||57kg||74|
|2||11x||LONG LEAF||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damien Oliver||6||57kg||72|
|3||1||OLLIVANDER||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chris Symons||8||55kg||68|
|4||561||NATIVE SOLDIER||Darren Weir||TBA||2||55kg||62|
|5||9x||INVINCIBLE LAD||Peter & Paul Snowden||Mark Zahra||3||55kg||61|
|6||9x||BOLD TYPE||John McArdle||Dwayne Dunn||4||55kg||60|
|7||–||FANDRAL||Peter Gelagotis||Ben Melham||5||55kg||–|
|8||–||ROBE DE FETE||Robbie Griffiths||Jye McNeil||7||55kg||–|
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