The Blue Diamond Stakes meeting on Saturday consists of 3 Group 1 races. The Caulfield track was rated Dead 4 on Thursday and with fine weather forecast for Saturday, the track should remain at Dead 4 on raceday.
The ATC meeting will be held at Warwick Farm on Saturday. The track was rated Dead 4 on Thursday and with showers forecast for the next 3 days, Warwick Farm could border on Dead/Slow range on raceday.
In the Polytrack Handicap (Melbourne Race 2, 1400m), it’s an open race with $5.00 the field. I like the Clinton McDonald-trained Finishing Card. The 6YO has been racing consistently this time in. He has 3 starts over 1400m this preparation with 2 wins and a 3rd. His overall record at this course and distance reads 2 wins and 2 thirds from 4 starts. With the claim of Chad Schofield, he’ll be down to 52.5kg and from barrier 4, he’ll be able to sit just behind the probable leader Now You Know who would cross from a wide barrier. Currently at $6.00, Finishing Card represents a good bet.
In the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (Melbourne Race 5, 1800m), both Mawingo and Mr. Moet had put in slashing run in the C.F. Orr Stakes a fortnight ago. Mawingo was resuming from a spell, settled mid-field and finished a good 2nd to All Too Hard, beaten by only half a length. However, Mawingo has never won second-up and has never won at Caulfield.
The West Australian visitor Mr. Moet settled last in the Orr Stakes and flashed home to run 3rd beaten only 0.7 lengths. He had to come back in distance in the Orr having previously raced over 2400m. I believe Mr. Moet is the more impressive of the two horses and I will stick with him in the Peter Young.
In the main feature race of the meeting the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (Melbourne Race 7, 1200m), 14 youngsters have accepted for the event (Casquets and Thermal Current have both scratched). The unbeaten Adelaide filly Miracles of Life has firmed into favouritism after drawing barrier 1. She has enough gate speed so the inside barrier should not represent a problem. However she has not raced for 4 weeks since her last start victory in the BD Preview and she has never raced beyond 1000m. She will have to be used up a bit to go forward from the inside barrier and whether she has enough petrol left to kick on in the last furlong remains to be seen. But the Blue Diamond history is definitely against Miracles of Life. The last and only winner in the race’s history after running in one of the preview races (4 weeks before the BD) and not having another start was Reaan in 2008.
But the history is with Guelph. Though the Peter Snowden-trained filly has drawn wide (from gate 13 into 12 after scratching), plenty of BD winners came from wide gates. The first came to mind was the mighty Redoubt’s Choice who came from barrier 15 in 1999. Matter of fact, 4 out of the last 10 winners came from wide gates. And 17 winners in the last 30 years ran in one of the 1100m BD Prelude races a fortnight before the big race. Though Guelph raced a little bit greenly in the Prelude filly race 2 weeks ago, she won the race impressively. With the scratching of (in my opinion) her only danger Thermal Current, Guelph looks the winner of the 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes.
By Owens Wong, Editor