Flying filly Fontiton is now a clear cut favourite for the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28 following her scintillating win at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Robert Smerdon trained Fontiton scored a one and three quarter lengths win in the Group 2 $200,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for the fillies, clocking 1.2.83 seconds for the trip while the colts and geldings Blue Diamond Prelude’s winner Of The Brave recorded a slower 1.3.66 seconds when he beat the fast finishing Pride Of Dubai by a nose.
Fontiton is now quoted as the $2.60 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au well clear of the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Pride Of Dubai at $5.50 with Of The Brave on the third line of betting at $7.
The John O’Shea trained Sampeah caught the eye coming from last on the corner to be beaten less than three lengths when third to Of The Brave and is rated a $8 chance.
After the Blue Diamond Prelude Smerdon said that there was still some improvement left with Fontiton and is expecting the Turffontein filly to appreciate the step up to 1200m in a fortnight.
“She keeps stepping up,” Smerdon said.
“Watching the race you could see that she came off the bridle coming around the turn and it looks to me that she could be even better over further.
“We always thought that she could come back as a three-year-old over the middle distances and she is doing things that we didn’t think she would early.”
O’Shea was pleased with the run of Sampeah but will put the blinkers on for the Blue Diamond Stakes in two weeks time in a bid to have the Exceed And Excel colt settle a bit closer in the run.
“I’ll put the blinkers on him now and see if we can’t have him a bit closer in the run. That being the case I think he has a good profile for the Blue Diamond,” O’Shea said.
One time Blue Diamond Stakes favourite Secret Agenda will miss the $1m race for the two year olds after fracturing a split bone as a result of some buffering in the Blue Diamond Prelude on the weekend.
Trainer Mick Price said that the Not A Single Doubt filly would be sent to the paddock for three months to recuperate.
Fontiton remains unbeaten with three wins from three starts with a total of $398,750 in winning prizemoney.
Second favourite Pride Of Dubai also indicated that the 1200m would suit him after making up many lengths in the straight when a narrow second to Of The Brave and connections of the Street Cry colt have indicated that they will pay the $55,000 late entry fee to gain a start in the final field.