Of The Brave Still on Track for 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes

November 24th, 2014

Stamping his claims as a serious two-year-old contender over his short racing career so-far, trainer Mark Riley has confirmed the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) remains the autumn target for Of The Brave despite an unfortunate training accident appearing to have dashed hopes of a berth.

Of The Brave is on target for the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Of The Brave is on target for the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Claiming one win from his solitary appearance at the races so far, Of The Brave was found to have punched a hole above a knee; an injury Riley was sure would put an end to his chances of a 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes appearance.

Understandably pleased with the Starspangledbanner colt so far, Riley said he is still unsure how Of The Brave sustained his knee injury but has been thrilled to witness a far-faster recovery than previously anticipated.

“I don’t know how it happened, I went all over the paddock and couldn’t find anything,” Riley told TVN.

“I saw him on Friday and he looked magnificent. The improvement has been remarkable.

“I’ll bring him back into work this week and we’ll see how he is.”

If not ready for the year’s first two-year-old Group 1 race in late February, Riley said the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) with instead figure as Of The Brave’s first target.

“If he’s not right then we’ll just go for the Slipper,” Riley added.

Charging home to secure a strong Cranbourne barrier trial prior to his maiden competitive appearance on course on October 11th, Of The Brave jumped from the gates well in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on Guineas Day, settling in prime position on the heels of the race’s early leaders and extending well in the final straight to find the line two lengths in the clear of closest rival Miss Idyllic.

Should he completely overcome all ailments, Riley has revealed he will resume Of The Brave in the Group 3 Prelude Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 14th; two weeks prior to the Blue Diamond Stakes.

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