What horse will Craig Williams ride in the Blue Diamond?

Craig Williams
Craig Williams will need more than three fingers for every Blue Diamond runner he can choose from in the juvenile feature at Caulfield

PREMIERSHIP-leading jockey Craig Williams has a problem which all jockeys will be envious of. The Victorian hoop has the pick between five potential Blue Diamond Stakes rides, but we’re in the dark as to which runner he will choose.

We look at his options for the group one feature at Caulfield on February 25, which have all been well-backed in the betting, especially after his wins aboard Jukebox and Formality on Saturday.

Williams also has the option to ride Catchy, last start winner Property and promising filly Tulip. Both Catchy and Property will run this Saturday in the Blue Diamond Preludes and those performances could alter Williams’ decision moving forward.

“It will be a tough decision,” Williams said.

“Hopefully they all get there and I make the right decision.”

It’s a problem we’d all love to have and we’re predicting the odds of his chosen runner will firm significantly.


Catchy – $9

The Lindsay Park filly is unbeaten from two starts and it has the right breeding to suggest it can win the Blue Diamond.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock was a $220,000 sales purchase for Dorrington Farm and it’s well on its way to winning that back in prizemoney.

It scored a narrow win on debut, but it picked a path through the field at Moonee Valley which included the likes of Garrard and current $10 chance Limestone.

Another win would follow at Caulfied where it was untested in winning by over two lengths. In second placing was Property which has subsequently blown its opposition away in a Blue Diamond Prelude, so that form stacks up nicely.

It’s not the biggest horse in the world and the Blue Diamond can often be run roughly, but this filly will be high on the radar for Craig Williams and it will start the short favourite this Saturday.

Formality – $5.50

Stablemate to Catchy, Formality burst into favouritism with its win at Caulfield in the Ladbrokes Chairman’s Stakes.

The Fastnet Rock filly scored an impressive win after appearing to be under pressure at the top of the straight. It was a good sign to see it fight back under pressure and we think it’s at the top of Williams’ pecking order for the Blue Diamond.

The $120,000 purchase for Coolmore Stud was given a soft entry to racing with a maiden win at Werribee by 4.3 lengths, but it proved it’s up to metropolitan grade and the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes could be within its reach by the end of this month.

The two-year-old looks a type which could progress over the longer distances, but it has lethal gate speed at its disposal and it should be considered at $5.50 with Sportsbet.com.au.

Jukebox – $7

Another quality winner on Saturday was the Ciaron Maher-trained Jukebox, which put its rivals to the sword in the Inglis Premier.

The son of Snitzel has looked one of the most professional Blue Diamond hopefuls after winning both career starts to date. It won by 1.3 lengths on debut at Geelong when beating only a moderate field, but its win at Caulfield on Saturday demonstrated its class.

The $200,000 colt sat just in behind the speed in the Inglis Premier before the rails run opened up inside of Perast and the colt kicked clear for an impressive two-length victory.

Maher was confident of a good run during the week and he has set Jukebox for the Blue Diamond from a very early age. That’s a good sign for punters wanting to take the $7 available and we think it could start shorter on the day if it draws well.

It’s hard not to like the form of Jukebox and it should progress into a handy three-year-old at the 1400m-1600m distances.


Tulip – $11

Tulip is another highly-touted juvenile from Lindsay Park which has won and placed from its two career starts.

The Pierro filly was an expensive $400,000 purchase and its debut win at Moonee Valley suggested it has plenty of talent, but it was beaten last start and that defeat might see Williams opt for another runner.

Blue Diamond hopeful Limestone proved too good for Tulip on that occasion in the Blue Diamond Preview and we’re now questioning the strength of its opposition on debut.

It defeated the likes of Pure Emotion, Memory Bank and Kid Flash, but that form won’t be winning a Blue Diamond and it would need to improve a few lengths to be considered a good bet at $11.

If Williams does choose to ride Tulip, then it has likely been working the house down in track work and punters should take note.

Property – $17

Property isn’t current nominated for the Blue Diamond so punters betting into the all-in market are taking a risk, but there’s plenty to like about the gelding.

The Robert Smerdon-trained son of Starcraft finished second behind Catchy on debut, but it showed remarkable improvement second-up when winning the Blue Diamond Preview by 1.8 lengths.

It ran as a $4.50 chance at Caulfield on January 26 and the beaten brigade didn’t include many superstars, but it won with authority with a good turn-of-foot which is often needed to win a Blue Diamond.

Property is definitely the interesting choice for Craig Williams and whilst it’s at the longest odds of his five chances, we wouldn’t sleep on this gelding at $17 with Bet365.com.

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