Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
A capacity line-up of promising two-year-olds will face off at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday with 16 final acceptors plus four emergencies in this year’s Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2018 field.
The premier juveniles’ race of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, the Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) is shaping up as an open edition in 2018.
On Tuesday morning Racing Victoria took final acceptances for the classic and last year’s winning stable Lindsay Park play a strong hand in the field numbers wise with four runners.
Head trainer and Hall of Famer David Hayes celebrated his sixth Blue Diamond Stakes win in 2017 with Catchy (2017) and the best fancied of the team’s contingent this year is Long Leaf.
The undefeated son of Fastnet Rock shoots for his fourth win from as many career starts on Saturday having been freshened-up since his latest victory on January 27 at Caulfield in the Listed Blue Diamond C&G Preview (1000m).
Yet to race over further than the 1000m, the distance will be the test for Long Leaf on Saturday with the colt at $8 in Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au despite giving the fitness edge away to plenty of his rivals.
Long Leaf is joined in the official Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes field this autumn by stablemates Enbihaar, Ennis Hill and Qaflia.
Of those it is Ennis Hill at the next shortest quote in Blue Diamond Stakes betting, the Fastnet Rock filly at $11 to back-up from her nice one and a half-length victory in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) on February 3 and salute again.
Ennis Hill is out to do the Chairman’s Stakes – Blue Diamond double last completed by the Mick Price-trained Extreme Choice (2016) only two years ago.
Enbihaar ($15) is another filly yet to taste defeat heading into the big one this weekend, the daughter of Magnus two-from-two to date including her half-length success in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) a fortnight ago.
The B.D. Prelude races have produced three of the past four Blue Diamond Stakes winners and Enbihaar is in line to do the double stablemate Catchy did in 2017.
Heading the updated Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes odds after final acceptances meanwhile are $7 co-favourites Plague Stone and Kinky Boom.
Godolphin’s James Cummings trains Lonhro colt Plague Stone who has finished second best in both career runs including behind Written By on January 10 in the Group 3 Blue Diamond C&G Prelude (1100m).
He is tipped to enjoy the step-up to 1200m on the weekend and is considered the best winning hope along with Tony McEvoy’s untapped Spirit Of Boom filly Kinky Boom.
Last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winning jockey Craig Williams chases back-to-back wins in the race aboard Kinky Boom who comes off a debut win in the $250,000 Inglis Premier (1200m) at Caulfield on February 3 that she won by nearly two lengths.
McEvoy is the best represented trainer in Blue Diamond Stakes contention this season with Kinky Boom one of a bumper five hopefuls, two of which are emergencies with Aristocratic Miss and Roobeena in doubt to make the starting line-up.
Joining Kinky Boom as McEvoy’s confirmed Blue Diamond horses are Group 3 winning Makfi colt Run Naan ($17) and I Am Invincible filly Oohood ($8) who comes off a Prelude second.
Other standout hopefuls include the Prelude (C&G) winner Written By ($7.50), Price’s Talindert Stakes winner from last Saturday Prairie Fire ($9) on the quick back-up and Native Solider ($13) who is the first ever Blue Diamond Stakes starter for leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir.
2018 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Final Field
Caulfield Racecourse – 24/02/2018
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight|
|1||11×1||LONG LEAF||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||0||56.5kg|
|2||1×1||WRITTEN BY||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||0||56.5kg|
|3||11×35||RUN NAAN||Tony McEvoy||Andrew Mallyon||0||56.5kg|
|4||31||PRAIRIE FIRE||Mick Price||Mark Zahra||0||56.5kg|
|5||120||OLLIVANDER||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chris Symons||0||56.5kg|
|6||32×2||ENCRYPTION||James Cummings||Damian Lane||0||56.5kg|
|7||56113||NATIVE SOLDIER||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||0||56.5kg|
|8||2×2||PLAGUE STONE||James Cummings||Ben Melham||0||56.5kg|
|9||2||GRAND SYMPHONY||Robbie Griffiths||Jye McNeil||0||56.5kg|
|10||11||ENBIHAAR||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Cory Parish||0||54.5kg|
|11||1||KINKY BOOM||Tony McEvoy||Craig Williams||0||54.5kg|
|12||11||LADY HORSEOWNER||Greg Eurell||TBA||0||54.5kg|
|13||41||ENNIS HILL||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Stephen Baster||0||54.5kg|
|14||4×126||CROSSING THE ABBEY||Tim Hughes||Luke Nolen||0||54.5kg|
|15||14x||QAFILA||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||0||54.5kg|
|16||2×32||OOHOOD||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||0||54.5kg|
|17e||3×332||ARISTOCRATIC MISS||Tony McEvoy||Jamie Kah||0||54.5kg|
|18e||2×1||MORE THAN EXCEED (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||0||56.5kg|
|20e||61||MELVEEN||Henry Dwyer||Damien Thornton||0||54.5kg|
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