THE Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes is the premier two-year-old sprint in Melbourne and it runs this Saturday at Caulfield.
The $1.5 million feature has attracted plenty of attention throughout the lead-up, in particular the ride of Craig Williams. The in-form jockey picked current favourite Catchy as his Blue Diamond ride and the bookmakers were forced to trim its price.
There’s plenty of value throughout the day on Saturday which also includes the Group 1 Futurity Stakes and Group 1 Oakleigh Plate. That’s three group one races on the Caulfield card and punters betting at Ladbrokes.com.au will get enhanced odds for the Blue Diamond Stakes.
Race 1 – Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m)
Second Bullet has been well backed into $2.40 after opening at $2.50. The Danny O’Brien-trained gelding is a last start winner at Caulfield by four lengths and despite having a lack of second-up form, punters are confident of a big result.
Boom Time produced three consecutive wins earlier this campaign before running fifth in the Magic Millions Trophy last start. That came against a tricky field and carrying 55.5kg in this is ideal. It hasn’t seen Caulfield before which makes it difficult, but it should be going close.
Goldstream is a six-time winner from 14 starts which scored a solid win at Flemington last start. The Darren Weir-trained gelding gets another run at this distance which is ideal and having Craig Williams in the saddle is a bonus. $6.50 available with bookmakers.
Race 1 tip: Second Bullet to win ($2.40) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 2 – Zeditave Stakes (1200m)
Into Orbit won its first two career starts before running second in the Manfred Stakes. That came behind the talented Legless Veuve and it shouldn’t find this any harder. The Hawkes-trained colt looks to have plenty of talent at this level and the $5 has been trimmed into $4.80.
Derryn is the current $3 favourite following its fourth in the Manfred Stakes. The Lindsay Park-trained three-year-old didn’t have much room to work with, but the run was adequate and it should get all favours from the inside draw. Has experience winning here and it should go well again.
Yulong Yongxing has been specked at odds. The Weir-trained colt won well fresh up before running well for fourth last time out. It opened at $10 and is currently sitting at $8.50, so consider at each way odds.
Race 2 tip: Derryn to win ($3) at Ladbrokes.com.au
Race 3 – Heritage Finance Autumn Classic (1800m)
Cliff Hanger scored a narrow last start win at Sandown and it gets a significant jockey change for this. The three-year-old will have the services of Joao Moreira in the saddle and although his record in Australia isn’t outstanding, he should make a difference.
Farson is the hot $2.10 favourite having won three of its last four starts. The Waterhouse/Bott-trained gelding won narrowly over subsequent winner Rising Red last start and it won its only start at Caulfield. The rise in distance is a concern, being by Snitzel, but follow the betting support.
Trenchant is out of form, but punters are specking it at the $8 price. The John O’Shea-trained colt ran on well when clear last start at Moonee Valley and it hasn’t had much luck in starts prior, but place chances appear best here.
Race 3 tip: Farson to win (+110) at Bet365.com
Race 4 – Polytrack Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m)
Ellicazoom comes over from Perth with consistent form having run second in the W.A Guineas two starts back. The Neville Parnham-trained filly won its only start at this distance which is ideal and although Perth form doesn’t always stack up in Melbourne, this filly has ability.
Jennifer Lynn has been disappointing at its last two starts, but not everything has gone its way. The Weir-trained filly is classy at best and if Blake Shinn can sit back and get a drag into the race, the High Chaparral filly could finish over the top of them at odds of $4.80.
Fuhryk hasn’t done anything wrong this season in winning four of its last five starts. The Lindsay Park-trained filly scored an impressive two length victory in the Kevin Hayes last start on this track and Craig Williams stays in the saddle. $2.70 on offer for punters.
Race 4 tip: Fuhryk to win ($2.70) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 5 – Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m)
Black Heart Bart returned to its winning ways last start when taking out the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes on this track. The Weir-trained champion faces a similar field here at equal weights and there’s no reason punters should be jumping off its back. It loves Caulfield and the $1.80 represents its winning chances.
Turn Me Loose is a quality Kiwi runner which returned to form last time out. The Baker/Forsman-trained horse went forward in the C.F. Orr and was only caught in the last 100m. That was an encouraging effort and if it’s back to its best, it could give Black Heart Bart something to catch.
Palentino didn’t finish too far behind them last start and it could be worth a place bet. The Weir-trained four-year-old has yet to place in four starts at Caulfield, but it’s overdue a good showing so consider the $2.05 for a top three finish.
Race 5 tip: Black Heart Bart to win ($1.80) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 6 – Peter Young Stakes (1800m)
Jameka is the class runner of the field and it was primed with a good finish in the C.F. Orr Stakes. The Ciaron Maher-trained mare won the Caulfield Cup last year before disappointing in the Melbourne Cup, but it runs best on this track and should be considered at $3.80 after opening at $4.
Former New Zealand runner Humidor was storming home last start, but ultimately fell short of Burning Front. This is a much harder target, but the Weir-trained gelding has plenty of talent and it’s overdue a win in Australia after three credible efforts. Its opening quote of $5.50 has tumbled into $4 so consider.
Stratum Star has scored back-to-back wins which included the Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes. The five-year-old has had plenty of experience against horses of this quality and it gets in well on the weights. $6.50 suggests it can go another good race.
Race 6 tip: Humidor to win (+300) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 7 – Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m)
Pariah looked great when finishing second in the Blue Diamond Prelude last start and it should go close in this. The Snowden-trained son of Redoute’s Choice stormed home behind Property, which suggested the extra distance will be ideal and its debut win was full of quality. It opened at $6 and has drifted to $7, but that’s due to drawing barrier 11 and it should drop back from there and storm home again.
Catchy was the top pick for Craig Williams and we think he chose wisely. The Lindsay Park-trained filly has looked the most professional runner to date having won all three career starts. It scored a stylish win last start at Caulfield where it dropped back and ran on, which will be the tactics from barrier 13 here. The $5.50 on offer is a good price and we think it’s a great winning hope.
Tulip has been the best-backed runner in the field. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained filly opened at $9 and has firmed into $6.50 following its close up placing behind Limestone in the Blue Diamond Preview. There is plenty to like about this runner and Damien Oliver takes the ride. Consider from a handy barrier.
Race 7 tip: Catchy to win (+450) at Ladbrokes.com.au
Race 8 – Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m)
Fell Swoop is fresh up here after placing in all three runs last campaign. The Matthew Dale-trained gelding ran best when second in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes behind Rebel Dane and it has trialled well leading into this. There’s no denying its talent and the $7 on offer is a respectable price from bookmakers after opening at $7.50.
Extreme Choice has plenty of potential and it won the Blue Diamond Stakes on this day last year. The Mick Price-trained colt is unbeaten in two starts at Caulfield, but it is looking to rebound after a poor performance in the Coolmore Stud Stakes. It gets a great weight of 54kg on its back and it has been the best-backed runner in the field at $3.80.
I Am A Star is a four-time winner from 10 starts and it was making good ground last start. The three-year-old filly has good form on this track and only the wide barrier draw makes it tough here. It has drawn barrier 17, but Craig Williams rides and he can produce the magic.
Race 8 tip: Fell Swoop to win ($7) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 9 – Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes (1400m)
Thames Court ran well for fourth fresh up and it could find quick improvement. The David Brideoake-trained mare has placed twice on this track and despite sitting wide in the Bellmaine Stakes last start, it was able to fight on nicely. Chance here at each way odds.
Miss Rose de Lago endured a tough run in the C.F. Orr Stakes last start, but it is a four-time winner at Caulfield and it will likely make the pace in front. It has been respected in the betting at $8.50 and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a good run.
Silent Sedition flew home to finish second in the Bellmaine Stakes and it put the writing on the wall for this campaign. The Andrew Noblet-trained mare has placed in all four starts on this track and it has good second up form. Punters have come for it at $2.30 and we think it will be hard to hold out.