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Nominations have now closed for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2020, the two-years-old autumn classic attracting a record 1767 early entries for the $1.5 million feature running at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday February 22 next year.
The biggest race for juveniles held during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, nominations for the Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) are up notably from last season’s 1688 early entries.
The Blue Diamond was won in 2019 by the Godolphin-raced filly Lyre.
Godolphin return in 2020 with 85 Blue Diamond nominees in their pursuit of back-to-back victories.
Heading the Godolphin contingent are Medaglia D’Oro colt Namazu and the filly Jadida, both progeny of previous Blue Diamond Stakes winning fillies Earthquake (2014) and Miracles Of Life (2013) respectively.
Victorian training duo Ciaron Maher & David Eustace head the list of Blue Diamond 2020 nominations numbers-wise chasing their first success with 132 potential runners.
Maher & Eustace are followed by Lindsay Park with 126 yearlings and Peter & Paul Snowden who have 101 youngsters in the mix.
Lindsay Park have an outstanding Blue Diamond Stakes record, while David Hayes has recorded four victories with Nadeem (2006), Sleek Chassis (2007), Reaan (2008) and most recently Catchy (2017).
Peter Snowden is also a multiple Blue Diamond Stakes winning trainer having prepared the champions Sepoy (2011) and the aforementioned Earthquake (2014) before another victory in 2015 with Pride Of Dubai who was his first in partnership with son Paul.
Just below Godolphin with 84 nominated yearlings is master Sydney-based horseman Chris Waller of Winx fame.
Waller is yet to prepare a Blue Diamond Stakes winner but has a strong line-up of potential runners for the 2020 edition led by a half-sister to his historic mare Winx, Convent Garden (Exceed And Excel – Vegas Showgirl).
Other high pedigree entries for Waller include a Medaglia D’Oro colt from The Broken Shore who is a half-brother to three-time Group 1 champ Shoals and a son of Deep Impact from the brilliant Golden Slipper winning filly Miss Finland.
Chasing his inaugural Group 1 winning two-year-old progeny is ace sire I Am Invincible with 98 of his lineage 2020 Blue Diamond-nominated.
The other best-represented stallions are Written Tycoon (88) who sired the 2018 Blue Diamond Stakes winning colt Written By, Snitzel (73), Zoustar (64) and the 2015 Golden Slipper winner Vancouver (56).
Kicking off the 2020 Blue Diamond Stakes series are the Blue Diamond Previews at Caulfield on January 25, followed by the Preludes on February 8.
The first round of Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2020 declarations close at midday on Tuesday November 19, 2019 with betting to open shortly at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
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