Jockey Craig Williams admits that his mount Catchy needs more than her fair share of good luck to overcome a wide barrier in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Williams chose Catchy as his Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes mount over four other youngsters before the barrier draw on Tuesday and he can’t deny the fact that his is very disappointed with the awkward gate.
“It (barrier draw) wasn’t ideal,” Williams told the Herald Sun.
“I would have loved to have drawn eight. Six to eight would have been perfect. Outside the middle is not that nice, but happy with the horse, she worked really well yesterday, she’s in the field and we just need a little bit of luck.”
But Williams is not losing confidence and is hoping conditions on the day will suit his filly.
“It’s just what you work with now. If we turn up on Saturday and we’ve got a side wind, all of a sudden barrier one is barrier 28. That’s racing.
“It’s race seven, so we’ll be working out the track pattern, we’ll be working out mother nature. Going into last spring, mother nature affected I would say three or four lead-up races to the carnival. It was amazing how races were run and won by mother nature with the sheer gusts of winds she had directed at different parts of the track.
“Usually it (wind) affects the state of play here at Caulfield hugely because of the shape of the track and where the stands are.”
Even though the record books show that the majority of Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes winners have come from single digit barriers, the race can still be won from a wide barrier as was proven by the Mick Price trained Extreme Choice last year who jumped from gate eleven to record a one and three quarter lengths win over his stablemate Flying Artie.
In recent times the Peter Snowden trained Earthquake was able to score a comfortable win in 2014 and Star Witness scored for Danny O’Brien from barrier fourteen in 2010.
Williams said it was a tough decision to choose Catchy over her stablemates Tulip and Formality and Property and Jukebox but is content with his final choice.
“She’s (Catchy) undefeated, she’s come through the traditional form races (Blue Diamond Prelude) and she’s favourite so, in most people’s eyes, she was the horse for the race — at that stage,” Williams said.
“Barrier draws will change the market because I think the market showed it is a very competitive race this year.
“There’s no standouts, there’s a really good crop of two-year-old quality horses.”
Catchy is undefeated from three race starts with Williams aboard on each occasion for wins in a 1000m Moonee Valley 2yo Plate on December 9, in an 1100m 2yo Plate at Caulfield on January 7 and in the Group 2 $200,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for the fillies at Caulfield on February 11.
In a very congested market order for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au Catchy holds a slender grip on favouritism at $5 just ahead of Tulip and the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Pariah at $6.50.
The Robert Smerdon trained Property is next in the market order at $7 just ahead of Formality and Ciaron Maher’s undefeated colt Jukebox at $8.