A capacity field of sixteen plus one emergency has accepted for the Group 3 $150,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Dual acceptor Pride Of Dubai will be racing to gain a spot in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28 and an impressive run will tempt Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum to pay the late entry fee of $55,000 for a place in the rich two year old event.
The Street Cry colt was also an acceptor in the Listed $125,000 DX Solutions Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday but co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden has scratched him from his Sydney assignment and will head to Caulfield on the weekend.
Jockey Damian Browne won the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes on Earthquake for Peter Snowden under the Darley banner and the multiple Group 1 winning jockey has been engaged to ride Pride Of Dubai in the Blue Diamond Prelude.
Pride Of Dubai has drawn barrier seven in the big field and Paul Snowden said he would have to win or race very well to warrant paying the late entry fee for the Blue Diamond Stakes.
“He’s got to perform to get to the Blue Diamond,” Paul Snowden told AAP.
“If he goes down there and runs tenth then he won’t be going back down.”
Pride Of Dubai has only raced once for a third to Golden Slipper equal favourite Ottoman in an 1100m two year old Plate at Rosehill on December 20.
The Street Cry colt will be facing some tough opposition on Saturday including the Mark Riley trained Of The Brave and three youngsters from the powerful John O’Shea stable, Bantam, Sampeah and Demonstrate.
Of The Brave was impressive at his only race start in winning the Listed $120,000 Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield in October and has drawn gate ten with Stephen Baster to ride.
O’Shea’s two Exceed And Excel colts are both winners with Bantam scoring over 1000m at Moonee Valley on November 29 while Sampeah was a winner on the same day over 1100m at Rosehill.
Craig Williams has picked up the ride on Bantam who has come up with a horror barrier and will jump from gate fourteen if the emergency fails to gain a start while Sampeah has Chad Schofield in the saddle from barrier four.
Demonstrate finished fourth at her only race start behind Burnstone in the Listed $120,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) at Sandown on January 26.
The New Approach filly has drawn the rails and has Nick Hall in the saddle.
Danny O’Brien’s Stratum colt Ragazzo Del Corsa also created a good impression with his two lengths win over 1000m down the Flemington straight on January 10 and winning jockey James Winks has retained the ride and will jump from gate thirteen if the emergency fails to gain a start.