The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Julias Sandhu-trained Lofty Strike looks the two-year-old to beat in the upcoming Group 1 $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) following an impressive win in the 2022 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) on Saturday.
The son of Snitzel made it two-from-two to date backing up from a strong Flemington win on January 15 to post another dominant upset at $10 in the Group 3 $300,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for colts and geldings on C.F. Orr Stakes Day.
Jockey Jamie Mott retained the ride and rode the eventual winner with plenty of arrogance, coming very wide on the home turn to power down the outside before switching back up the middle and run down his rivals.
The striking looking Lofty Strike did plenty wrong in the run but still won with ease posting a one and quarter length margin on the line over the returning Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Inglis Banner winner Semillion ($7) who was up on the pace throughout.
Blue Diamond Preview winner Epaulette colt Daumier for Anthony & Sam Freedman and the Godolphin stable rounded out the trifecta a further half-length back for third off a good run fourth the fence.
Mott was happy to settle back off the speed as Philosopher led the Blue Diamond hopefuls around Caulfield before working his way into the lead 100m out from the line.
From there Lofty Strike’s class shone through in the ideal lead-up into the 2022 Blue Diamond Stakes on February 26.
Looking better suited to the step-up to 1200m in the Group 1 with improvement to come, the only box left to tick is how the colt pulls up after his Group 3 success.
“Exciting. Big win, an important one, but more importantly it was really nice to see him at another different course from where he went last time,” Sandhu told Racing.com post-win.
“Quite impressive at the end, he put them away quite well.
“It’s now more about the horse to make sure he comes back and pulls up well and hopefully he ticks all the boxes and pulls up well and tomorrow morning if he’s happy then I’m happy.
“Honestly at this point in time I’m relieved that he’s finished the race off well.
“My mind’s just about making sure he’s okay and we’ve got another race in a fortnight hopefully if everything goes well.”
Four colts or geldings have completed the Blue Diamond Prelude – Blue Diamond Stakes double to date: Rancher (1982), Bel Esprit (2002), Sepoy (2011) and most recently Written By (2018).
2022 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) Results & Finishing Order
|1||6||LOFTY STRIKE||Julius Sandhu||Jamie Mott||8||57kg||$10|
|2||1||SEMILLION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jye McNeil||1.25L||4||57kg||$7|
|3||2||DAUMIER||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Mark Zahra||1.75L||3||57kg||$8|
|4||4||COUNTTHEHEADLIGHTS||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||1.85L||6||57kg||$4.40|
|5||5||JACQUINOT||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Damian Lane||2.05L||1||57kg||$2.80F|
|6||8||RIVER RIBBLE||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Craig Williams||5.3L||9||57kg||$31|
|7||3||PHILOSOPHER||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Ms Linda Meech||5.8L||7||57kg||$10|
|8||7||LASCARS||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||7.55L||2||57kg||$26|
|9||9||CROWNING MOMENT||Clayton Douglas||Ms Jamie Kah||11.55L||5||57kg||$31|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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