Horse Racing
Snowdens hold the key to Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes

22/02/2024 11:48

Father and son training partners Peter and Paul Snowden hold the key to Saturday’s (24 February) G1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield with two of the top fancies in the AU$2 million (approx. HK$10.23 million) feature for two-year-olds.

Bodyguard garnered plenty of support in his most recent run when the colt kept his unbeaten record intact with his second win from two starts to take out the G3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for colts and geldings at Caulfield earlier this month.

Stablemate High Octane went into the same race as second favourite but had no luck in the run and finished fifth, beaten about three lengths, but lost few admirers.

Peter Snowden has already trained three Blue Diamond winners.

The duo will have a third runner in the race, Fearless, and although the colt has a big finish, he is well down in Australian pre-post wagering markets.

Australia’s first lady of racing Gai Waterhouse has won most of the country’s top races, but the Blue Diamond has eluded her, but she is confident that Lady Of Camelot, which she describes as Sydney’s “best two-year-old filly”, will change all that.

Trained in partnership with Adrian Bott, Lady Of Camelot resumed for the stable from a spell with victory at her second start when she led all the way to win the G3 Widden Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill earlier this month.

“Now we will come to Melbourne and take on the colts there and see how we go,” Waterhouse said. “She’s fast and she’s tough. She has a lot going for her.

“She’s the fastest filly in Sydney and it will be interesting to see how the colts down there stack up against her. The colts in Sydney are superior to the fillies.”

Unbeaten across two starts, Coleman looms as the best horse Mornington trainer Matt Laurie has ever prepared. Both wins have been at Caulfield over 1000m and the colt seems suited to the step-up to 1200m after cruising to a near three length victory at his last start in the G3 Chairman’s Stakes.

The Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman-trained Eneeza ran on strongly to finish second behind Coleman and after two seconds and a Listed win over 1000m, the filly should appreciate the rise to 1200m. Her dam Sweet Sherry won a Group 2 and Listed race at 1200m.

Brenton Avdulla, now based in Hong Kong, will fly in to Melbourne for the ride on the luckless filly Kuroyanagi which finished a narrow second to Hayasugi in the G2 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for fillies.

With four starts that have netted two victories, Hayasugi is one of the most experienced runners in the 16-horse field and if successful on Saturday will become the first filly since Midnight Fever in 1987 to win the Blue Diamond and both the preview and prelude.

Hayasugi’s trainer Clinton McDonald said the filly was tough and there was still improvement to come and would “tighten up beautifully” rising to 1200m.