Lofty Strike kept his unbeaten record in-tact, when winning the Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The colt by Snitzel was impressive in winning on debut at Flemington, and he backed that up today, winning by over a length to Semillion.
Trained by Julius Sandhu, the trainer was lost for words after the race, describing the win in the Group 3 event as “exciting”.
“Exciting. Big win – important one,” Sandhu said on Racing.com.
“More importantly, it was really nice to see him actually get here and at a different course from where he won last time – it’s got its own challenges.
“He was off the bit a long way from home, and then he just picked the bit and went down to the line – he was quite impressive at the end, he put them away quite well.
“Exciting times, but it’s more about the horse – that’s probably going to be the most exciting factor tomorrow morning. If he’s happy, I’m happy.”
Lofty Strike produces a big win in the Blue Diamond Prelude for the boys!
Julius Sandhu has a smart one on his hands. pic.twitter.com/gcatzSYhka
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) February 12, 2022
After jumping only fairly from barrier eight, Jamie Mott restrained the colt back to third-last, before bringing him to the extreme outside around the turn.
Mott and Lofty Strike his the front inside the final 100m and drew away to win by 1.25 lengths, with a further half-length back to Daumier in third, while the two market fancies – Counttheheadlights (4th) and Jacquinot (5th) – finished two lengths behind the winner.
The 1100m event wasn’t without a minor bit of drama, as the well-supported race favourite Jacquinot missed the start slightly, which saw him a number of lengths off the second-last horse throughout the early stages of the race.
Pre-race, Jacquinot was the $5.50 favourite for the Blue Diamond Stakes, but he has since drifted to $8.50 after finishing midfield today.
With the Group 1 feature just two weeks away (February 26), Sandhu said that they “will go back home and celebrate”, before it’s back to business to get his unbeaten colt ready for the 1200m event feature for two-year-olds.
“At this point, my mind is just working about making sure he is okay,” he said.
“We’ve got another race probably in a fortnight if everything goes well, so we’ll go back home and celebrate this a little bit as we should – it’s an endorsement to the team, not just me.
“The stable have worked really hard to keep him the way he is, so there’s a lot of excitement – that’s true.”
Lofty Heights firmed into $6 joint favouritism in the Blue Diamond, alongside Sebonack who was ultra-impressive when winning this Chairman’s Stakes just seven days ago.