The Blue Diamond is Victoria’s richest juvenile race and has and boasts a star-studded honour roll, including Samaready, Sepoy, Alinghi and Bel Esprit.
The 2013/14 two-year-old season has already been littered with some outstanding performances, blistering times and dazzling displays of speed, most notably by the two heading the market — 2 RUBICK and 12 EARTHQUAKE.
Randwick also plays host to a good quality program on Saturday, with two of the best horses in the country down to run. Boban and Guelph won four G1s between them in the Spring and could easily add to that this Autumn. Their main aims are The Championship races but getting an early win on the board on the track where those features will be held can only be a positive.
Caulfield Race 7 — Blue Diamond Stakes Group 1 (1200m)
This year’s edition of the Blue Diamond looks as though it will be run along at a decent clip. 2 RUBICK is a natural runner and along with 13 NAYELI, 1 BOOMWAA and 10 MALAGUERRA, a solid tempo up front is almost certain. 12 EARTHQUAKE is the interesting runner from a speed perspective as she has raced forward at two starts to date but draws the carpark here in gate 15. The other runner of real note is 4 CHIVALRY who well get back to near enough last.
Our blackbooker, 2 RUBICK has been outstanding in two starts to date. Prior to his debut we gave a glowing report on his trial:
“RUBICK – The spruik on this horse has been enormous since this trial and Gerald Ryan has been quoted as saying this is his best horse since Snitzel. Now that is a big call and one we are definitely taking with a grain of salt. No doubt this 2yo has plenty of ability but to say he is better than the likes of Melito and Snitzerland is a large statement at this stage. Ryan may have meant “best colt” or he may have been misquoted by some media outlets. Given he is a colt and will likely go to stud in a couple of years, this quote by Ryan will undoubtedly be used in promotion. This son of Encosta De Lago is a superbly bred individual, out of the lightly raced Sliding Cube, from the family of Redoute’s Choice. Talk and spruik aside, this trial was nothing short of outstanding and has seen him firm into favourite for the Blue Diamond. It is important to note that Gerald Ryan horses are notable good triallers. RUBICK jumped very well and simply flew out in front. Railled nicely and left them for dead at the top of the straight. Dashed clear and won with plenty in hand. Time was very quick. No doubt he will be very short on debut but we will watch with interest.”
He lived up to our lofty expectations when stopping the clock at an astonishing 56.39 seconds on debut over the 1000M at Randwick. The son of Encosta De Lago didn’t forget to bring his arsenal when trekking down the Hume to tackle the Blue Diamond Preview and again produced a dominant win after being a touch slow out of the barriers. Gerald Ryan has been singing this colts praises for weeks and to date he justified his trainers claims but you feel only a Group 1 win will truly silence any doubters. Of the two favourites 2 RUBICK is going to get the best run in transit and with little between them on racetrack performances he shapes as the horse to beat.
4 CHIVALRY is a massive lump of a horse but once he hits his top gear he can explode. He was backed as if unbeatable on debut at Flemington before being hopelessly held up inside of runners. His second outing at Moonee Valley looked like it was going to be a carbon copy when he was bailed away on the inside in a seemingly hopeless position, but when he saw daylight he burst through a gap for a very soft win. This 2YO son of Street Cry resumed in the Blue Diamond Preview behind 2 RUBICK and came from second last on the point of the turn to run a brilliant third. Although we feel he will be better over 1400M and even up to a mile he will relish the strong tempo up front and is a massive chance to run right over the top of them here.
It is hard to knock 12 EARTHQUAKE. The filly was breathtaking on debut at Randwick back in the Spring, stopping the clock just shy of 2 RUBICK’s time of the same track and distance at 56.49. The Trial Files noted she was probably a gallop short in her Cranbourne trial leading up to the Blue Diamond Preview so to sit three wide and win with grace and ease was outstanding. The drawback here is the barrier which will either see her trapped wide or alternatively further back than she has been used to. Can she win? Yes. Would we back her? No.
In what shapes as a cracking Blue Diamond hopes must also be given to the Hawkes’ trained 5 NOSTRADAMUS and the Waterhouse filly 13 NAYELI. Whilst respectful of the two favourites we are keen to back 4 CHIVALRY on an each way basis.
Randwick Race 4 — Southern Cross Stakes (1200m)
The Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes looms as a sensational race over 1200m. Very important to monitor conditions here as a number of these are either untried in the wet or do not get through it as well. Expecting 7 THAT’S A GOOD IDEA to set the tempo as he likes to do. 10 TERRAVISTA can be thereabouts from barrier 4, given he travels in the going.
With the Group 1 Epsom placegetter and the Group 2 Crystal Mile winner in 1 TOYDINI engaged here, we are faced with a condensed weight scale. The Bernadini gelding has a handicap rating of 110 and carries 60.5kg here meaning a wide spread of runners will be carrying between 55.5kg and the minimum of 54kg. This generally does not favour those at bottom, carrying the same weight as horses with a better handicap rating.
The Snowden trained 5 ALBRECHT is one that is very much suited at the weights. He is 6 Hcp Ratings points ahead the likes of 10 TERRAVISTA and 9 NOT LISTENIN’TOME but carries the minimum of 54kg. 5 ALBRECHT comes off a very nice trial win back on February 11 and looks set to run a good race here. The 4yo handles all going and has drawn perfectly in barrier 5. Whilst his record at the trip doesn’t read that well with only the one win from 7 starts, the majority of these have been in top class races and he has been around the mark. He goes well fresh and looks a major player.
One blackbooker engaged is 10 TERRAVISTA. We have highlighted that he is not all that well suited at the weights but he is lightly raced having won 4 from 6. He is a progressive 4yo and has clearly come back in good order given his recent hit-out. A slight query on rain affected tracks so important to monitor conditions but he is drawn perfectly and can give a good sight.
9 NOT LISTENIN’TOME comes into this with a big spruik on him after excelling in his first prep. He debuted with a 5.5 length win at Bendigo before working through the grades to beat all bar the sensational Zoustar in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes in the Spring at only his fourth career start. What he did in his first prep was simply superb and if he lives up to that he is a huge contender. Again, not all that well off at the weights but he could be a star and be on his way to much better races this Autumn. Interestingly he trialled only on Tuesday and won in nice fashion. Importantly, that was on a slow track and he looked to handle it very well. The fact he backs up so quickly from that run suggests he is going nicely. Accepted in the Zeditave Stakes at Caulfield also, but if here he looks a major player.
Willing to risk 1 TOYDINI here. He not only carries a big weight but he has looked a bit more dour in his two trials leading in and may get out sprinted here. Expect him to be doing his best work late.
Besides 10 TERRAVISTA, Pride also has the smart 7 THAT’S A GOOD IDEA who has won 6 from 14 career starts including 4 wins from his last 5. Two trials leading into his first up run today, his latest was a nice enough effort when not having a great deal of room in the straight and not knocked about at all. If the track is playing leader-ish which it can do when the rail is out he must come into calculations also.
A fantastic race and a few with good hopes. No surprise to see 9 NOT LISTENIN’TOME and 10 TERRAVISTA continue their good form and end up in some strong feature races in the Autumn. Both look major players here. Hoping 9 NOT LISTENIN’TOME runs here. 5 ALBRECHT has a lot in his favour and will be thereabouts. He looks the safest way to play on an each way basis. A quinella with these three may be a smart option. 7 THAT’S A GOOD IDEA next best but monitor track conditions/pattern.
The Trial Files’ selections
for Saturday’s horse racing
• Caulfield Race 7 – CHIVALRY (each way)
• Caulfield Race 8 – LANKAN RUPEE (win)
• Randwick Race 4 – ALBRECHT (place)
• Ascot Race 1 – 8 OUR PIE ‘O’ MY (win)