Darley Australia could have up to four runners in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 23.
Darley’s head trainer Peter Snowden could saddle up a quarter of the field with Warwick Farm winner Guelph, last Saturday’s Caulfield winner Metastasio, New Approach filly Montsegur and Exceed And Excel colt Kuroshio all likely to take their place in the sixteen horse field.
Sydney filly Guelph has raced herself in the $1m two year old race and trainer Peter Snowden rates the Exceed And Excel filly the pick of his youngsters at this stage after her last to first win at Warwick Farm on January 26.
“Wait till you see her – she’s big and strong and very impressive,” Snowden said.
“Guelph is in the Blue Diamond. If she runs well, she’ll take her place.”
Guelph and Montsegur are due to have their final Blue Diamond hit out on Saturday at Caulfield in the Group 3 $150,000 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) (1100m).
Montsegur can book a spot in the Blue Diamond if she performs well on Saturday and persuade Snowden to pay the late entry fee of $55,000 for the filly.
Montsegur scored easily at Caulfield on debut on Boxing Day and then was desperatlely unlucky in the Listed $120,000 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Preview for Fillies (1000m) at Caulfield on January 26 when held up for a run in the straight when sixth to flying Adelaide filly Miracles Of Life.
“Montsegur has got to earn her way there so she has got to run very well next Saturday to get her in the good race.”
Caulfield winner Metastasio is nearly guaranteed a place in the field with Snowden saying that Darley will pay the late entry fee for the Street Cry filly after winning by almost three lengths last Saturday.
Even though she did a few things wrong, Snowden was happy with the way she finished the race off after wobbling around the home turn.
“She did a few things wrong today, which I was a bit disappointed in,” Snowden said.
“She got on the wrong leg and wanted to drift out in the straight. She got on the right leg once she straightened up and she was right from then on.
“I was really proud of the way she won and she won well but when a-grade comes in three weeks’ time, she can’t afford to make a mistake.”
“We have got to pay up for her but I am sure the team will be keen to get her there, as I am, in three weeks.”
Kuroshio only has to run up to his last start second when he was caught on the line by the Peter Moody trained Dissident in the Listed $120,000 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) at Caulfield on January 26 in the colts and geldings Prelude to be given the all clear to take his place two weeks later.
Adeliade filly Miracles Of Life remains the Blue Diamond favourite at $3.20 after maintaining her unbeaten record of three wins from three starts with a scintillating win in the fillies’ Preview.
Guelph ($6) and Metastasio ($7) are the next in the market ahead of Moody’s colt Thermal Current at $8 and Robert Snowden’s filly Poilteness at $9.50.
Kuroshio is a $21 chance while Montsegur is the longest priced of the Snowden two year olds at $26.