Two-year-old Nostradamus has lived up to the hype with an impressive debut win to confirm he is a genuine Blue Diamond contender.
The half-brother to 2010 Blue Diamond winner Star Witness stepped out as the $1.45 favourite in Saturday’s Nursery Plate (1100m) at Flemington and showed his class to score a 2-1/4-length victory.
The $500,000 yearling purchase had already been supported into $11 for the Blue Diamond with TAB fixed odds before Saturday’s debut but tightened to $8 equal second favourite for next month’s $1 million juvenile feature after the win.
The Peter Snowden-trained filly Earthquake heads Blue Diamond betting at $3.60 with unraced colt Rubick at $8 with Nostradamus.
“It would make a good story if he won the Diamond because his half-brother Star Witness won the Blue Diamond,” co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said.
Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his brother Michael and father John, said Nostradamus was “a dead-set two-year-old”.
The colt didn’t jump cleanly but quickly had the race under control on speed and sprinted quickly when jockey Glen Boss asked him to go in the final 200 metres, defeating Jarklin ($19) with another 1-1/2 lengths to Hennessy Rock ($8.50) third.
“When the other horse came down the outside and looked like it was going to make a bit of a race of it, that’s when Bossy went for him,” Hawkes said.
“He’s got a good turn of foot. And the best thing about him, if you watch the replay you’ll see how low he got.
“His whole action just dropped and he flattened out really, really good.”
The Blue Diamond Prelude and then Blue Diamond appears the likely path for Nostradamus but Hawkes said they never made decisions on raceday.
The team also has last week’s Flemington winner Bugatty on a Blue Diamond path.
“You would think the Blue Diamond Prelude and then into the other race (Blue Diamond), but lots can happen,” Hawkes said.
“All Too Hard was going to run in the Golden Slipper and never did.”
Boss won on Bugatty last week but rates Nostradamus a better horse.