Talented filly Fontiton remains favourite for the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes after taking out the Blue Diamond Fillies Preview at Sandown yesterday.
Fontiton stamped herself as a leading contender for the Blue Diamond Stakes when she recorded a dominant six lengths front-running victory in the Inglis Banner (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and she went into the Blue Diamond Fillies Preview as a clear favourite, but she suffered a little bit of interference at the start and jockey Mark Zahra was forced to settle the filly behind the leaders in the early stages of the race.
The daughter of Turffontein looked as though she was under pressure at the 250 metre mark, but she showed an impressive will to win to get her head past Haybah in the shadows of the post.
Assistant trainer Stuart Webb said after the race that he was happy with the toughness shown by Fontiton when she was placed under pressure and he believes that the two-year-old will take plenty of benefit from the run heading into the Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 and the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
“At the furlong) she was going to cruise up and win by two (lengths) then over the last 100 her fitness gave out,” Webb told the media after the race.
“I think we’ll go to the Prelude and the Blue Diamond will be her third run in.
“They’re hard races and you don’t want to go there unfit.”
Zahra confirmed after the race that Fontiton jumped at the start and cost herself a length and a half, but he was thrilled with the way that the Blue Diamond Stakes was able to overcome her early hiccup to maintain her unbeaten record.
Like Webb, Zahra believes that Fontiton’s fitness gave out in the final stages of the race and he feels that she would have won the race far more comfortably with a bit more racing under her belt.
“If she was really fit I reckon she would have put them away quite easily,” Zahra said.
“The second horse has been in work a long time and had a lot of fitness up its sleeve. I reckon she had had enough 100-metres out, but she wasn’t going to let the other horse beat her.
“She’s got that good winning attitude.”
Fontiton is currently available at 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $4.60 with Ladbrokes Australia and she is a narrow favourite from Secret Agenda ($5) and Ottoman ($9).