Damian Browne riding Earthquake t0o victory in the Blue Diamond Prelude. Photo: Vince Caligiuri
Trainer Mark Kavanagh has declared double figure barrier draws for unbeaten race favourites Rubick and Earthquake will equate to a roughhouse Blue Diamond Stakes at
Caulfield on Saturday.
Kavanagh, who saddles $8 chance Chivalry, said the draw and capacity field of 16 had set the scene for a hectic $1m Blue Diamond (1200m), Victoria’s richest two year-old race.
Star colt Rubick, who drew barrier 10 is now the $3 favourite while filly Earthquake (15) is a drifter from $3 to $3.30 with TAB Sportsbet. Despite the wide draws, the favourites are
compelled to press forward according to Kavanagh.
“They can’t win if they go back. There is no alternative. There will be a lot of runners drawn inside who won’t have the speed to keep up.’’
“I can see a lot of traffic, and a lot of disappointed people. I can see it being pretty rough,’’ he said.
In contrast to the cleanly run Blue Diamond won last year by Miracles Of Life, Kavanagh said this year’s edition was a stronger race.
A fast run race will suit Chivalry who was strong to the line in the Prelude behind Rubick, but Kavanagh, who won a Blue Diamond with Undoutedly in 2005, was cautious about
Kavanagh said he expected a very quick first half of the race with Chivalry, drawn five, settling off the pace.
“My horse is not a dashing beginner. There is pace inside and outside him,’’ he said.
A familiar face on the Melbourne sports scene, Hawthorn five times premiership player
Robert Dipierdomenico was on hand for the draw as a member of the Go U F Racing syndicate which part-owns Chivalry.
Best backed runner with TAB Sportsbet following the barrier draw is the Gai Waterhouse trained Nayeli whofirmed to $9.50 after a $5000 bet at $10.
Waterhouse will also saddle Francesco in a bid to win her first Blue Diamond.
Rubick’s trainer Gerald Ryan was content with a middle draw.
“I'm happy enough with the outcome, but I think the draw has evened the race up. You've got the (co) favourite (Earthquake) in 15 yet some smart horses like Mick Price's pair
and Chivalry are drawn closer in.’’
Co trainer Paul Snowden described Earthquake’s 15 draw as a “bit ordinary.’’
“But she’s a quality filly who can overcome it.’’
Snowden said Earthquake would press forward and was encouraged by how she made two
runs in the race when she scored in the Prelude.
The Snowden stable yesterday advised stewards Mohave had been treated for mucous after trackwork yesterday.