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Trainer Mick Price is hoping to pick up a third Blue Diamond Stakes trophy in 2018 after a smart Flemington win on Black Caviar Lightning Day by his youngster Prairie Fire confirmed the colt for the Group 1 on the seven day turnaround.
Price prepared by Samaready (2012) and Extreme Choice (2016) for their wins in the now Ladbrokes.com.au sponsored Blue Diamond race and on Saturday Snitzel colt Prairie Fire put his hand up for the February 24 feature at Caulfield.
After a third on debut to Ennis Hill in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) on February 3, Prairie Fire showed nice improvement saluting in the Listed $120,000 Talindert Stakes (1100m) down the famous Flemington straight.
“He raced like a professional today whereas two weeks ago he raced like he had no idea,” Price told the media post-win.
“He’s improved since [his debut], we haven’t galloped him too hard and he only galloped reasonable so that was a bit of a surprise how well he went then.
“I spoke to Sun Stud before today and they definitely want to run him in the Blue Diamond, which is why they ran him here.
“This is basically his gallop to get him to next Saturday, so I just need to give him a soft week and let him get over today.”
The up-and-comer was ridden to the one length success of $4.40 co-favourite Khulaasa from the Lindsay Park stable by jockey Mark Zahra.
The ride aboard Prairie Fire in the Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) Saturday week however is up for grabs, Zahra confirmed to ride rival Plague Stone for the Godolphin stable.
All-in Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes betting lists the James Cummings-trained Lonhro colt Plague Stone at $7 after his first-up second behind Written By in the Group 3 Blue Diamond C&G Prelude (1100m) on February 10.
Prairie Fire has since firmed into $11 in the pre-field Blue Diamond Stakes odds after his maiden turf triumph.
Sharing the first line of betting with Plague Stone are Tony McEvoy’s Spirit Of Boom filly Kinky Boom and stablemate Oohood who remains a maiden after three placings from as many starts most recently a second to Enbihaar in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude.
Price is also still hoping to get his Fastnet Rock High Ratio ($40,150) and his Blue Diamond Prelude third-placed Hinchinbrook filly Seabrook ($30,500) into the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes field, the duo outside the safe order of entry based on prize money earned.
“I want to run High Ratio and I want to run Seabrook with D. [Damien] Oliver on board,” he said.
“Seabrook is thriving so I’m crossing fingers that she’ll get a run.”
High Ratio is a $41 roughie in the Blue Diamond odds after a disappointing Blue Diamond Prelude seventh, while Seabrook is being kept safe at $11 equal with Prairie Fire.
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