2014 Blue Diamond Prelude Events to Decide Stakes Favourites

February 5th, 2014

Favouritism for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes is set to reach its climax this weekend, with Blue Diamond Prelude events for fillies and colts and geldings set to run at Caulfield.

Rubick currently sits favourite for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes

Rubick currently sits favourite for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

The Prelude for Colts and Geldings reached full capacity when final fields were released this morning, with exciting colt Rubick favourite to beat home 15 fellow competitors.

The young Encosta De Lago Colt claimed a resounding victory in the TAB IPhone APP Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on January 25th; well and truly stamping himself as a leading contender for the Blue Diamond and will retain usual partner Brenton Avdulla for this weekend’s  event.

While selecting poorly at the barrier draw, Mark Kavanagh-trained Chivalry has shown plenty of promise since debuting in December 2013 and is shaping as Rubick’s biggest hurdle for the Blue Diamond Prelude.

In only two competitive starts the Street Cry colt has recorded both a win and a competitive second and currently features as a 10-1 chance at Ladbrokes.com.au to claim the major Group 1 event on February 22nd.

Promising colt Nostradamus will be aiming to replicate the heroics of half-brother Star Witness, who claimed the 2010 edition of the Blue Diamond Stakes and looked well and truly capable of a successful run when comfortably claiming the 1100m Nursery Plate at Flemington in January.

While very impressed with the form and work shown by the son of Medaglia D’oro to date, co-trainer Wayne Hawkes believes the Prelude this weekend will in fact be his first real test.

The Blue Diamond Prelude for fillies will run one race prior to the colts and geldings event this weekend, with the Peter Snowden-trained Earthquake currently headlining the eleven-strong field.

The talented Exceed and Excel filly comfortably dispatched a field of nine to claim the Colin Pearce 100th Birthday Plate at Royal Randwick in November, and has since impressed in a recent Cranbourne barrier trial to register as one of the favourites for the resulting Group 1 event.

In-form jockey Damian Browne will take up the ride of Earthquake after usual partner Kerrin McEvoy ruled himself out of the prelude event as a result of an ongoing knee problem, however is expected to be back in the saddle come February 22.

While not featuring in either prelude event, classy two-year-old Nayeli is expected to cause a serious threat to the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes after claiming both starts to date in commanding fashion, including the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes on February 1st.

The More Than Ready filly has gained the attention of some of the industry’s biggest players, including rival trainer Gerald Ryan.

“Nayeli was pretty good on Saturday, and she’s now done it twice” Ryan told the Daily Telegraph.

“Nayeli was strong, she sat on the speed and then quickened.”

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