Godolphin have both Sampeah and Bantam in the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes field and trainer John O’Shea believes that the application of blinkers will help both horses in the Group 1 event at Caulfield this afternoon.
Sampeah and Bantam both performed well without winning in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Colts And Gelding Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 and O’Shea told Racing Ahead that he is hopeful blinkers will sharpen both juveniles up for the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes.
“They have just been horses that I have always intended to do that with,” O’Shea said.
“The progeny of Exceed And Excel are more effective in them and they have been going along ok without them, but the opportunity to run in a Group 1 race means that it is the right time to put them on.
“They worked in them on Tuesday and were very sharp and both colts have improved nicely going into the race.”
Sampeah started his racing career with a comfortable win in the Tab Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 29 and he found the line strongly to finish third behind Of The Brave and Pride Of Dubai in the Blue Diamond Preview.
O’Shea said that Sampeah struggled slightly coming around the bend in his first start at Caulfield, but he is hopeful that the two-year-old will not have the same problems in the Blue Diamond Stakes.
“He has probably just been looking for the hood all along,” O’Shea said.
“It was a classic Sydney horses run at Caulfield and he got a little bit wayward in the run, but when he got himself balanced up he showed his capabilities.
“Hopefully he doesn’t get that far back on Saturday.”
Bantam was well-backed in the lead-up to his racing debut in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 8, but he could finish no better than fifth before he recorded his maiden race win in the Adapt Australia Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley on November 29.
The Exceed And Excel colt was slightly plain in the Blue Diamond Prelude, but he feels that the two-year-old has taken plenty of benefit from the run and can produce an improved performance this afternoon.
“He is a nice tough little colt and he did work sharply on Tuesday morning,” O’Shea said.
“He had a lot of improvement from his first-up run and there is no excuse for him on Saturday.”
Sampeah is currently available at 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $14 with Ladbrokes, while Bantam is priced at a generous quote of $81.