The addition of blinkers could be the key to Chivalry upsetting the two favourites, Rubick and Earthquake, in the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Chivalry put in an outstanding effort coming from second last in the sixteen horse field to finish one and three quarter lengths third to Rubick in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8.
Race jockey Stephen Baster agrees with trainer Mark Kavanagh’s decision to put the blinkers and a tongue tie on the Street Cry colt and definitely thinks that it will be beneficial.
“They have put blinkers and a tongue tie on him this time which I think will help him, especially in a 1200-metre race,” Baster told AAP.
“I think the blinkers will spark him up a bit and he can race that bit closer.”
“His run in the Prelude was sensational, drawing off the track and finishing off strongly.”
“I hope he’s closer to the speed because it’s going to be hard to win if we’re that far back.”
Baster also thinks that the 1200m of the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes will suit Chivalry and a good barrier draw will also be advantageous after jumping from gate fourteen in the Blue Diamond Prelude.
“He’s a horse that’s going to get over further later, but I think for this grand final it’s perfect. He’s drawn well and I couldn’t really ask for much more,” Baster said.
Chivalry is currently on the third line of betting with Ladbrokes.com.au for the Blue Diamond Stakes at $7.50 behind the Gerald Ryan trained Rubick at $2.80 and Peter Snowden’s classy filly Earthquake at $3.70.
Rubick and Earthquake have been at the top of the market order since they made their race debuts with both youngsters claiming the top spot at different times over the last month.
Earthquake was the early favourite when she scored on debut over 1000m at Randwick in November but was disposed of the top spot when Rubick lived up to his pre-race hype and scored a dominant first up win over 1000m at Randwick on January 25.
Then both Rubick and Earthquake stepped out on the same day and ran the exact same time, 1.3.71 seconds, in winning the colts and geldings and the fillies versions of the Blue Diamond Preludes.
But following the barrier draw Rubick was elevated to outright favourite after coming up with gate ten in the sixteen horse field while Earthquake has to contend with the horror barrier of fifteen.
Ryan said that Rubick will not have to race on the pace and is capable of settling behind the leaders with Brenton Avdulla while Damian Browne will more than likely use Earthquake’s early speed to get across from the wide gate to get a handy position.
“Rubick isn’t a one-dimensional sprinter who has to lead. He can race from back in the field and that’s probably how we’ll ride him on Saturday,” Ryan told The Age.
Melbourne foreman for Darley, Paul Snowden, said that Earthquake has the class to overcome the bad barrier and they wouldn’t be changing her racing style after she raced on the pace when she won the fillies Blue Diamond Prelude.
“She can race forward so that won’t change. She’s a quality filly,” Snowden said.