2015 Blue Diamond Stakes Favourite Trials Well

January 14th, 2015

Caulfield trainer Robert Smerdon is thrilled with the smart efforts of his Blue Diamond Stakes 2015 favourite Fontiton who was given an easy jumpout at Sandown this week.

Fontiton

2015 Blue Diamond Stakes favourite Fontiton is tracking well ahead of her autumn return in Melbourne. Photo: Sarah Ebbett.

Tuesday morning features a host of youngsters in either hit-outs or official trials eyeing a run in the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 28 this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.

One of those was the current $4.80 in the futures Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, Turffontein filly Fontiton.

She first trialled at Cranbourne in October last year and lead throughout her heat to win by a length with Mark Zahra aboard.

Zahra retained the ride then on October 25 at Moonee Valley for her debut where Fontiton scored an explosive six length victory over Hot Snippety in the $250,000 Inglis 2YO Banner (1000m).

Fontiton was then on show again over 800m in a jumpout yesterday, only 600m of which Smerdon wanted her to run over.

Despite that she finished off right along with the rest of the field competitively over the closing 200m hitting the line well despite not being pushed by Zahra who retained his association with the up-and-comer.

“She has come back well and she simply pushed herself to the line without any encouragement from the jockey. On face value it was a nice effort,” Smerdon told the Herald Sun.

Fontiton will now either run in the $120,000 Listed Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) at Sandown on Australia Day, January 26, or the $150,000 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield over a little more distance on CF Orr Stakes Day – February 14.

“She has not had a lot of time out so she may be more forward than I thought,” Smerdon said.

“We will see how she pulls up and decide if she runs in the Prelude (sic) here on Australia Day or waits for the 1100m of the Preview (sic) a fortnight later.

“I like the idea of the Prelude (the Preview on January 26) because it gives you ideal spacebetween runs leading into the Diamond.”

Also on show ahead of the Blue Diamond Stakes at Sandown on Tuesday were Mark Riley’s unbeaten stakes-winning colt Of The Brave and Goldolphin’s Mesa.

Of The Brave won the Listed Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 11 with Stephen Baster aboard, the jockey also impressed with his latest hit-out that saw him win over the 800m without a worry.

“He went super. He knuckled at the start, but he took over at the 200m and went to the line hard. He is a speedy ­little thing and will improve,” Baster said of the $17 shot in the latest Blue Diamond Stakes odds.

Lonhro colt Mesa meanwhile won the first official Sandown trial on Tuesday by an impressive three lengths in his first appearance since a close third in a blanket finish in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) at the track from Zipping Classic Day back on November 15.

Mesa is currently a $41 outsider for the Blue Diamond Stakes, a price that will firm if he can win the Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview first-up.

“He won well and wasn’t pushed out,” O’Shea said of the trial.

“He is one of the top five we have in the stable and he will run in the Prelude (sic) on Australia Day.”

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