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Former Racing Victoria chairman and owner David Moodie is weighing up options with Thursday’ Blue Diamond Preview winning filly Limestone who could be a late entry for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2017.
The Darren Weir-trained daughter of Helmet posted her second career win when narrowly holding off one-time Blue Diamond favourite Tulip in the $150,000 Group 3 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) at Caulfield on Australia Day.
Saluting for the punters after jumping the $2.70 favourite in the set weights plus penalties sprint, Limestone was ridden to victory by Damian Lane and had just a short half-head to spare on the line over the Lindsay Park-trained Tulip ($2.80).
In a surprise third only a half-length further back was the previously unraced Robbie Griffiths-trained Chateau Griffo who bolted in for the minor placing at $101.
It was an impressive effort from Limestone who was worse than midfield before her weaving run through the line-up to nudge out Tulip.
The winner Limestone came off a Flemington win from New Year’s Day and her other career run was a third at Moonee Valley on debut behind another key Blue Diamond Stakes-bound filly Catchy.
Limestone is currently not nominated for the $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) to run at Caulfield on February 25, but connections have until the Monday before the race to pay the $55,000 late entry fee.
Last year Moodie did just that with New Approach filly Sword Of Light after her Blue Diamond Preview win, but she failed to make it to the Group 1 after a disappointing 10th in the Blue Diamond Prelude.
One race earlier on Thursday the also un-nominated Property from the Robert Smerdon stables won the Blue Diamond Preview for colts and geldings, firming into $13 in future Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Limestone is now the $9 second elect in the all-in Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets second only to Tulip’s aforementioned stablemate Catchy ($8) who was last seen defeating Property over 1100m at Caulfield on January 7.
Weir is yet to saddle-up a starter in a Blue Diamond Stakes field, and is still unsure where Limestone stands among the current crop of two-year-olds.
“I’ve never had a two-year-old like this before,” Weir said post-win on Thursday.
“We’ve been focussing on them a little bit of late – probably since the sales last year.
“She [Limestone] had her head on the side down the straight [in the Preview] and she’s never done that at home so I’m hoping she’s fine when she pulls up.
“She’s a terrific two-year-old to train and if she pulls up well tomorrow, we can lay out a plan to go to the Diamond if David wants to.”
To check out the revised Blue Diamond Stakes 2017 odds head to Ladbrokes.com.au now before third declarations for the event close on Tuesday January 31.
2017 Blue Diamond Preview (Fillies) Results
Caulfield Race 4 – 26/01/2017
|1||1||LIMESTONE||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||–||5||55kg||$2.70F|
|2||2||TULIP||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||0.1L||3||55kg||$2.80|
|3||8||CHATEAU GRIFFO||Robbie Griffiths||Ryan Maloney||0.6L||10||55kg||$101|
|4||4||SPOILS||Clinton McDonald||Damien Oliver||1.85L||8||55kg||$8|
|5||11||SQUAW PEAK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3.1L||1||55kg||$18|
|6||3||MISS WAHOO||Tony McEvoy||Kerrin McEvoy||3.3L||4||55kg||$9.50|
|7||12||UNWISE||John O’Shea||Ben Melham||4.3L||6||55kg||$41|
|8||9||CHERIEF’S CHOICE||Robbie Griffiths||Jye McNeil||5.55L||9||55kg||$61|
|9||6||STRAVIERA||Henry Dwyer||Regan Bayliss||6.55L||2||55kg||$19|
|10||10||NO ALIBI||Robbie Griffiths||Craig Newitt||7.8L||7||55kg||$61|
|–||7||BLONDIE||Brendan McCarthy||Chris Symons||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||ZARPOYA||Robbie Griffiths||Luke Currie||–||0||–||–|
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