In demand jockey Craig Williams will stick with the Lindsay Park trained Catchy for the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 25.
Williams will be chasing his first Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes trophy while David Hayes who heads up the Lindsay Park operation with co-trainer Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, has been in the winner’s stall five times with Mahaasin (1990), Canonise (1991), Nadeem, (2006), Sleek Chassis (2007) and Reaan (2008).
Williams confirmed his Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes mount via twitter this morning.
“I am riding Catchy in the Blue Diamond,” Williams tweeted.
Williams had the choice of five leading chances for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes at the end of the day’s racing at Caulfield last Saturday after riding both two year old winners, Catchy and Property, in the fillies and the colts and geldings Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preludes (1100m).
Catchy scored a gutsy win in the fillies Group 2 $200,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude to make it three wins from three starts while the Robert Smerdon trained Property was also impressive in winning the Group 3 $200,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude for the colts and geldings.
Williams was also in the running to ride the Lindsay Park trained Formality and Tulip after having won on both but David Hayes said that their owners, Coolmore, didn’t want to wait any longer and miss out on a high profile jockey and on Sunday booked English jockey Ryan Moore and Damien Oliver to ride the fillies in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
“Everyone was starting to panic on what he (Williams) was going to ride,” Hayes said.
“I thought we’d make it easier and told the owners to put your own jockey on, Ryan Moore and Damien Oliver.”
Williams had also been aboard the Ciaron Maher trained Jukebox who was also impressive with two wins from two starts in an 1100m Geelong 2yo Maiden on January 12 followed by a win in the Restricted Listed $250,000 Inglis Premier 1200m) at Caulfield February 4.
Catchy was wearing the winkers for the first time last Saturday and Williams was happy with the way the Fastnet Rock filly responded to the gear change.
“The gear worked really well for her today and we had a nice run,” Williams said after the race.
“We presented early and I could see the grey horse (Limestone) that pipped me last time getting up on the inside and Damian’s (Lane) already had a great day.
“I asked her to flatten out which is the first time she’s been put under that pressure and she did. I’m glad she prevailed.”
“True to her form, she’s better after exercise. She’s a two-year-old girl that is built like a three-year-old boy. It’s really good.”
Catchy now shares favouritism for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes at $6 with the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Pariah who was doing his best work at the finish when second to Property in the colts and geldings Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude last Saturday.
Early market order for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Catchy, Pariah, $8 Formality, Property, $9 Jukebox, $10 Limestone, $15 Roomooz, Tulip, $17 Azazel, Chateau Griffo, $21 Arctic Angel, Madeenaty, Veranillo, $26 or better the rest.