Last week we discussed the wide-open Golden Slipper Stakes market with no one putting their hand up. Now we are writing about the even wider market for the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield this coming Saturday. Being only five days out, we need to find the one.
Last year’s impressive winner, Artorius, has contested some very nice races since but hasn’t had another victory to date. That’s a bit of a common trend lately, as 2019 winner Lyre has raced 22 times since without saluting. That mare started off her career with three wins from as many runs. She has been racing in stacked Group races from her third race in and aiming up in the vast majority, with three Group 1 placings including the 2019 Golden Slipper. Tagaloa wasn’t fond of the winning post either, only saluting once after beating the much more fancied Godolphin runner Hanseatic in the 2020 Blue Diamond.
So, what has 2022 thrown us? A whole lot of quality two-year-olds who could possibly win but with no standout at all. The depth maybe isn’t as strong this year either. We definitely can’t see an Anamoe popping up from this Blue Diamond Stakes field and in a year’s time being considered as one of the best horses in the land.
Online bookmakers have the Price & Kent-trained Jacquinot installed as the $5 favourite with Lofty Strike at $6 and the Snowden-trained Revolutionary Miss at $8.
The winner is likely to come from one of those three, and we are marginally siding with the Blue Diamond Prelude (F) winner Revolutionary Miss. As a last-start winner with the polish of master two-year-old trainers Peter & Paul Snowden, she ticks a couple of crucial boxes. Nobody is 100% sure of the talent she beat in Miss Roseiano and English Riviera, but they are still live chances in an open race. Revolutionary Miss did win with some sort of authority and could be the one they all have to beat.
Jacquinot will be hard to beat but also does a fair bit wrong. Last start in the Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) he missed the start and settled last, 12 lengths off the speed. He ran a very good race after that but was never really in it, as he went up the fence and found nothing but rump in the last few hundred metres. If he jumps with them and the pace is on, then watch out, because he has a very strong finish and could run right over the top of them.
The Julius Sandhu-trained Lofty Strike was a very impressive winner in the Prelude (C&G) and is unbeaten, having done nothing wrong from his two starts to date. He went back from barrier eight in the Prelude, sitting three wide with cover, coming around the bend four or five wide and finished strongly to the line. The extra 100m will be a plus, so he is a major player. Counttheheadlights, Semillon and Daumier all ran solid races behind those fancies in the Prelude and have to be considered chances at $15.
Will the Gelagotis camp pay the late entry fee for filly Miss Roseiano? She’s won $181,000 in her two starts, so why not have a throw at the stumps for a genuine winning chance at $10?
Maybe the Capitalist colt Sebonack could be the one flying under everyone’s radar. At $8 he’s well and truly in the market by winning the Chairman’s Stakes, although he has only had the one start and it seems like the Hawkes camp are keeping their cards close to their chest with this colt. Good chance.
We’ll know a little bit more once barriers come out, but once again it’s a very tough addition of the Blue Diamond Stakes. Who’s going to run a blinder and put their name up in lights en route to the Golden Slipper? In the past this race hasn’t been a great form reference for the Slipper, but with no clear standouts in what is a very open market, the winner could very well come from the Blue Diamond and maybe another star will be born just like Anamoe.