Connections of Hell Of An Effort are confident the colt can take full advantage of barrier one in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Peter Moody trained Hell Of An Effort will wear the blinkers for the first time and managing part owner Wylie Dalziel can see Luke Nolen pinging him out the gates and taking up a prominent position in the early stages.
“Very happy with that. It is probably better to draw inside. The horse has blinkers on for the first time in a race,” Dalziel told racing.com.
“He trialled in them really nicely here last Tuesday.”
“From barrier one Luke Nolen is going to take the ride, hopefully he can ping, absorb a bit of pressure and be there in the finish.”
“He won a trial here nicely in his blinkers.”
“I think he is a horse that can actually switch off. Hopefully the blinkers might switch him on. From barrier one if he gets running and gets rolling and absorb the pressure.”
Hell Of An Effort was successful at his first two starts with a win in an 1121m Geelong two year old Maiden on December 6 followed by a win in an 1100m two year old Plate at Caulfield on December 26.
But the Reward For Effort colt blotted his copy book with a last of thirteen in the $250,000 Inglis Premier (1200m) at Caulfield on February 6 when jockey Linda Meech eased him down in the straight when she thought there was something amiss.
Dalziel said that the colt had pulled up with some minor soreness, but has fully recovered with Moody giving the go ahead to run in the Blue Diamond Stakes on the weekend.
He believes that on his best form and with the blinkers to switch him on, Hell Of An Effort can be competitive and a top five finish would be a nice result for the huge syndicate of owners.
“He’s with a chance. He is not here for the run,” Dalziel said.
“I said to Moods (Peter Moody) don’t put him in just for a day out. He said that I will assess him and if I think he will be competitive he will run around.
“If he could run top five in a Blue Diamond, that would be a massive tick for everyone.”
“I think in Diamonds and these sort of races it is whoever absorbs the pressure the best.”
“Two year olds are a week to week proposition so who ever handles it the best on the day and absorbs the pressure and gets the right run in the race and gets the luck will come out on top.”
In early betting for the Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au, Hell Of Effort has been listed as one of the outsiders of the sixteen horse field at $41, while Caulfield trainer Mick Price will saddle up the two favourites, Extreme Choice at $3 and Flying Artie at $4.40.
Early market order for the Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 Extreme Choice, $4.40 Flying Artie, $6 Concealer, $7.50 Samara Dancer, $14 Star Turn, $17 Miss Nymeria, $21 Zamzam, $26 Valliano, $41 Hell Of An Effort, China Dream, $51 Power Trip, Revolving Door, Artei, Seaburge, Selenia, $61 Sweet Sherry, $71 Hey Doc, $91 Highland Beat, $151 Kinetic Design.