Barrier key to Diamond pick
Trainer Peter Snowden. Photo: Getty Images
PETER Snowden believes Kerrin McEvoy faces the very best kind of dilemma on Tuesday as he decides which of Darley's two headline Blue Diamond Stakes contenders - Guelph and Metastasio - he will partner in Saturday's race.
Snowden has put his faith in a trio of gifted fillies for the Blue Diamond, electing to pay the $50,000 late entry fee for Metastasio and Montsegur on Monday while leaving in-form colt Kuroshio for targets in Sydney. Powerhouse filly Guelph remains both the trainer's and the punters pick of the team but Snowden is not certain that McEvoy shares his thoughts on the order of the top seeds.
''I still think Guelph is our best chance,'' Snowden said.
''She's a big strong filly and as always most of these two-year-olds are still very young, so that physical strength is a big advantage. She is very similar to her mother [Camarilla, 4th in the 2007 Blue Diamond]. But all three fillies are in great order and will have their final workout this morning, I could see any one of them winning the race and I can see why Kerrin is in a bit of a tizz about which one to pick.''
Snowden confirmed that Sydney-based jockey Christian Reith would partner Montsegur on Saturday and that Glen Boss was waiting patiently to snap up the ride on the remaining filly once McEvoy makes his decision following this morning's barrier draw, which is likely to be the defining factor in his decision.
''The draw is always important, maybe more so for Guelph,'' Snowden said. ''Metastasio is not far behind her [Guelph] on ability and the best part about her is her great gate speed, she puts herself right there and has the ability to really quicken when asked.
''In any big field two-year-old race you want to stay out of trouble. If you have to get back in the field with a lot of young green horses around you, you don't want your horses getting into that sort of traffic.''
Both Guelph and Metastasio have been incredibly impressive during the lead up to the Blue Diamond, with Guelph emulating her dam Camarilla with victory in the Blue Diamond Prelude a week after her stablemate cruised to victory in the Chairman's Stakes at the same track, with McEvoy in the saddle on both occasions.
Guelph's victory was good enough to displace long-time Blue Diamond favourite Miracles Of Life at the head of the market, with Metastasio third favourite for the race with most agencies.
Snowden has enjoyed a great season with two-year-olds with his tally of nine winners in that category putting him five wins ahead of nearest rival Peter Moody, with an incredible winning strike rate of 37 per cent. Interestingly, Snowden's juvenile charge has been headed by a group of highly-talented fillies that have, to this point, had a winning edge over their male stablemates.
''It certainly has been the way it has worked out so far,'' he said. ''But I've got quite a few good colts at home too, in the early part of the season the fillies have been very good.''