The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
- 2023 Blue Diamond Stakes Scratchings Update: Widely-drawn filly #14 Cigar Flick (18) from the Chris Waller stable has been scratched.
The official Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 2023 final field is now out with Extreme Threat the last runner to make the starting 16 following the non-acceptance of Serasana, Empress Of Wonder and Freakofnature from the $2 million feature this weekend.
The Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) runs at Sandown Lakeside on Saturday with the Caulfield renovations forcing a change of locations for the 2023 edition of the two-year-old’s showdown.
A full field is engaged for the six furlong clash plus Sensical (Peter Moody) and Beauty Rising (Phillip Stokes) on the emergency list.
Updated Blue Diamond Stakes odds at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au are narrowly led by Godolphin‘s Prelude winning colt Barber at $5.
The undefeated son of Exceed And Excel made it a perfect three-from-three record when resuming on February 11 on the Hillside track at Sandown with a close but convincing victory in the boys’ Prelude over 1100m.
He was good at his first go the Melbourne way having won back-to-back Sydney races last prep including the $1 million Golden Gift at Rosehill and sure to take improvement heading into the big one on the weekend.
Jockey Jamie Kah retains the ride, and both her and trainer James Cummings chase their maiden Blue Diamond trophy.
Cummings plays a strong hand numbers-wise in this year’s Blue Diamond Stakes field saddling up three chances in total with Barber joined in the starting line-up by fellow last start winners Zulfiqar ($13) and Exploring ($17).
Like Barber Zulfiqar is another Exceed And Excel colt who was good at the track fresh winning the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes over 1000m with 59kg.
Jockey Craig Williams recently rode the filly Catchy to victory in 2017 and partners Exploring for the Royal Blue brigade.
The in-form daughter of Brazen Beau was a Flemington New Year’s Day winner on debut before her fourth in the Preview and then last start Prelude victory in the fillies’ edition of the traditional Blue Diamond lead-up at big odds.
Battling Barber for favouritism in Blue Diamond betting at $5.50 meanwhile is Steel City.
Ace training partnership Ciaron Maher & David Eustace has their untapped Merchant Navy filly ready to peak third-up and fit off back-to-back seconds at Rosehill most recently in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) on January 28.
The Widden Stakes form was franked with the Annabel Neasham-trained winner Learning To Fly, a non-acceptor for the Blue Diamond, backing up to win the $2 million Inglis Millennium.
The in-form Maher/Eustace stable have also paid final acceptances into the Blue Diamond for Capitalist colt Veecee ($15) coming off a Chairman’s Stakes second.
Higher up the markets occupying the third line of betting is the Sean & Jake Casey-trained son of Brave Smash, Brave Halo ($7), from WA.
After winning his opening three starts at home in Perth the class colt was solid in Melbourne when fourth only a length beaten in the Prelude.
In an open market a further three Blue Diamond Stakes horses are also under double-figures for the win with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Don Corleone ($8), Ben & JD Hayes‘ Prelude runner-up Little Brose ($9) and Preview winning Russian Revolution colt The Instructor ($9) fresh from the Waterhouse/Bott stable.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden has won the Blue Diamond Stakes on three occasions with Pride Of Dubai (2015), Earthquake (2014) and Sepoy (2011).
He chases a fourth this time in partnership with son Paul represented by the up-and-coming Extreme Choice colt Don Corleone racing in Melbourne for the first time on Saturday.
The official 2023 Blue Diamond Stakes barrier draw was conducted live by Racing.com from 1:40pm (AEDT) on Tuesday afternoon with Barber drawing well in barrier nine.
2023 Blue Diamond Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||11×1||BARBER||James Cummings||Ms Jamie Kah||9||57kg||86|
|2||1×0||ARKANSAW KID||Ben & JD Hayes||Jye McNeil||4||57kg||72|
|3||15×1||ZULFIQAR||James Cummings||Ben Melham||15||57kg||78|
|4||21×2||LITTLE BROSE||Ben & JD Hayes||Michael Dee||7||57kg||76|
|5||111×4||BRAVE HALO||Sean & Jake Casey||Damien Oliver||16||57kg||73|
|6||11||THE INSTRUCTOR||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Jordan Childs||6||57kg||74|
|7||12||VEECEE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ethan Brown||14||57kg||72|
|8||14||DON CORLEONE||Peter & Paul Snowden||Mark Zahra||3||57kg||68|
|9||141||EXPLORING||James Cummings||Craig Williams||13||55kg||80|
|10||10||DE SONIC BOOM||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Daniel Moor||8||55kg||72|
|11||3112||PARTY FOR TWO||Damien Batters||Nikita Beriman||1||55kg||74|
|12||22||STEEL CITY||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Blake Shinn||5||55kg||70|
|13||463×1||DUBENENKO||Chris Bieg||Dean Yendall||11||55kg||64|
|14||145||CIGAR FLICK||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||18||55kg||68|
|15||25||PICKY||Leon & Troy Corstens||Damien Thornton||17||55kg||63|
|16||3||EXTREME THREAT||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Blaike McDougall||2||55kg||67|
|17e||34||SENSICAL||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||12||55kg||65|
|18e||27||BEAUTY RISING||Phillip Stokes||10||55kg||62|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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