Talented filly Eloping will be set for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing after recording an impressive win in the BJC Members Celebration Handicap (900m) at Bendigo yesterday.
Eloping was slow out of the gates but was able to recover quickly and was taken straight to the front of the field by jockey Stephen Baster, who controlled the tempo of the race before letting the Choisir filly loose in the final stages of the race to record a comfortable win from Tudor and Jarklin.
“I always felt strong and full of running,” Baster told TVN after the race.
“The way we were travelling I didn’t think anything would flash home over the top of her.
“I think she will improve from this and I think she is going to be a very nice filly.”
Co-trainer Peter Morgan revealed after the race that the Magic Millions Classic (1100m) at the Gold Coast on January 11 next year was the original target for Eloping but said that a hamstring issue meant that the filly would not be ready for the $2 million race.
The Whittlesea-based trainer said that he will now give Eloping a brief freshen-up before returning her to the stable to being preparations for the Blue Diamond Stakes; with the talented filly to resume in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 8 or the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) on January 25.
“At the moment it is the Preview we’re looking at, but whether we change our minds and go to the Prelude,” Morgan told TVN.
“Her legs are cold this morning, she has eaten up and looks like she hasn’t had a race.
“The most impressive part was when she hit the line, Stevie Baster said she picked up the bridle again and took a bit of pulling up, which is a good sign.
“He reckons she only woke up the last bit of the race.”
Darley filly Earthquake ($3.50) remains a clear favourite in 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets, while Eloping is now into odds of $17 behind Risen From Doubt ($7), Boomwaa ($8), Oakleigh Girl ($13), Lockroy ($13), Top Dolly ($13) and Dezanna ($15).