Talented filly Fontiton will start the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes as a clear favourite after she maintained her unbeaten record with an impressive victory in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield this afternoon.
Fontiton jumped from the gates fairly and was settled in fourth position by jockey Mark Zahra in the early stages of the race, while Simon Zahra and Matthew Ellerton-trained Heatherly took up the running at a very quick tempo.
The Turffontein filly looked to wobble when she came around the bend, but she responded well when she was straightened-up and she finished over the top of Miss Gidget and Flamboyant Lass to record her third race win from as many starts in a very quick time of 1.02.83 seconds.
Fontiton showed plenty of raw speed when she scored an impressive six lengths victory on debut in the Inglis Banner (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October 25, but she has since showed some versatility and trainer Robert Smerdon could not be happier with the way she hit the line in the final stages of the 2015 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude.
“She keeps stepping up,” Smerdon said.
“Watching the race you could see that she came off the bridle coming around the turn and it looks to me that she could be even better over further.
“We always thought that she could come back as a three-year-old over the middle distances and she is doing things that we didn’t think she would early.
“I thought she was terrific today; when they were going that fast I thought it was going to be hard for the leaders and I was a bit concerned, but the way that she flattened out and hit the line was terrific.”
Fontiton eased out three wide after straightening in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) and Zahra elected to show the juvenile the whip in his left hand in order to avoid a repeat of that in the Blue Diamond Prelude this afternoon.
“She wanted to roll back on the fence under pressure at Sandown and she has a ring bit on her today,” Smerdon said.
“That is the benefit of a good rider building a rapport because she knows that under pressure she likes to go slightly left and he was ready for that.”
Smerdon is chasing his second win in the Blue Diamond Stakes after he took out the 1985 edition of the race with Let’s Get Physical.