Trainer Brendan McCarthy is confident that two-year-old Blondie is better than her 2017 Blue Diamond Stakes odds suggest.
Blondie has only made one competitive appearance at the races so far, but the filly more than stamped herself as one to watch when she delivered a smart field a comfortable two-length defeat in the Sweeney Estate Agents Plate (1000m) at Moonee Valley on January 27th.
Blondie was due to take her position in the field for the Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude F (1100m) a fortnight ago, but was scratched from the race after it was found she was harbouring a slight elevation in white blood cell count and mucus.
McCarthy told Racing Ahead that he is thrilled with the condition of the Reward For Effort filly, but concedes that she is yet to face a group of runners that is as talent-packed at the 2017 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes field.
“She’s great,” McCarthy said.
“She’s done really well. We had a bit of a setback with her when she was meant to run in the Prelude, but all is full steam ahead now.
“Her white cell count was just a little bit elevated and there was a little mucus there, so we just went the safe option with her.
“It’s a little bit hard because I would have liked to have gotten a jump-out or something into her. She was still a little bit off colour for a few days and then we just got too close to the race.
“We’ve just got a nice few gallops for her under the belt and her fitness level is really good, so we haven’t lost too much ground with her.
“It’s a little bit hard to line her form up with any of the other horses’ form, not having run in any of the Preludes or the Previews and really she hasn’t come up against any of these horses that are running in the race at all.”
Blondie has drawn into the 2017 Blue Diamond Stakes field in barrier 9 and McCarthy is confident that with some luck, the filly will be right in the finish of the race.
“You’d always like to get that little bit better because she’s got that bit of natural pace, but we’re not that much further out,” he said.
“She’s a very, very versatile little filly. She’s got a lot of upside to her and even though she’s only had the one career start, she’s a horse that anything she learns, she learns very quickly and very well.
“She’s got a great determination and just a fighting spirit, so I think that when it comes down to it, if she’s in the firing line there, she won’t give it away very easily.”
Blondie is currently available at 2017 Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $41 at Ladbrokes.com.au.