Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
The Blue Diamond bid for Lindsay Park’s classy filly Aryaaf begins on Saturday with the Group 3 winning jumping favourite in the Chairman’s Stakes 2020.
Due to run as Caulfield Race 5 at 2:55pm (AEDT), this season’s Group 3 $160,000 MRC Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) has attracted 11 juveniles led in betting by the David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Epaulette filly Aryaaf.
On debut last Melbourne Cup Day, she made an immediate impact handling the pressure of the country’s biggest race day to win the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes (1000m) by three-quarters of length.
Saturday sees her race for the first time since jumping from a lovely barrier two draw in the Chairman’s Stakes field with her Cup Day winning hoop Luke Nolen back in the saddle.
Nolen chases his second win in the race having previously partnered the Peter Moody-trained Headway to victory back in 2009.
Hall of Famer David Hayes meanwhile has an outstanding record in the race having prepared five winners in the past 15 years including back-to-back victories with his current training partners with Formality (2017) and Ennis Hill (2018).
Aryaaf is out to be the fourth straight filly to beat home the boys in the MRC Chairman’s Stakes results and is at a current quote of $2.90 in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Eight of the past 10 Chairman’s Stakes winners were fillies: Loving Gaby (2019), Ennis Hill (2018), Formality (2017), Thurlow (2015), Nayeli (2014), Metastasio (2013), Mama’s Choice (2012) and Crystal Lily (2010).
History is also in favour of Aryaaf as the favourite with seven of the past 10 top fancies saluting for the punters: : Loving Gaby ($3.50 in 2019), Formality ($2.45 in 2017), Extreme Choice ($1.40 in 2016), Nayeli ($3 in 2014), Metastasio ($1.45 in 2013), Atomic ($2.80 in 2011) and Crystal Lily ($2.20 in 2010).
The Chairman’s Stakes is a key lead-up to the esteemed Group 1 $1.5 million Neds Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) run back at the track on February 22.
All-in Blue Diamond Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is currently led by impressive BD Preview winning colt Hanseatic ($3.50).
Aryaaf can be found further down the futures Blue Diamond odds at $19, a price sure to firm should she salute fresh on the weekend.
Along with Aryaaf the Lindsay Park stable is also represented by debutants Frederick The Dane ($13) and Exporter ($16) drawn barriers eight and 10 respectively.
Following Aryaaf in Chairman’s Stakes betting on the weekend are three other single finger fancies including the $4 second elect Ideas Man ($4).
Extreme Choice (58kg in 2016) is the only Chairman’s Stakes winner in the past 20 years to carry more than 55.5kg to victory making it a tough task historically for the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Ideas Man with 59kg.
The Brazen Beau colt won the Inglis 2YO Banner (1000m) on Cox Plate Day last October and has support to win again first-up on Saturday despite the weight from a favourable barrier three draw.
Early market mover Rock Of Kryptonite ($7) and Black-Type winning Hinchinbrook filly Mildred ($8) round out the hopefuls under $10.
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