Nayeli stamped herself as a Blue Diamond Stakes contender for Gai Waterhouse last weekend and the leading trainer is confident that exciting colt Francesco can do the same when he contests the Group 3 Blue Diamond Colts And Geldings Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Francesco made his racing debut in the Golden Gift (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on December 21 and was second across the line behind Kumaon, but was relegated into third place on protest by stablemate Cyclone.
Waterhouse told Sky Racing HQ this morning that she has an extremely high opinion of Francesco, who is owned by Greg Kolivos of Pierro fame, and believes that the Wanted colt has the ability to perform well in the feature juvenile races during the autumn.
“He is a very lovely colt and he is a very laidback individual,” Waterhouse said.
“He is well above average and I think that the form out of that race is pretty good.
“He was relegated from second to third and I had to laugh because I only had two horses in it and they both got into strife.
“He takes everything in his stride; he is like an older horse and he is very nicely balanced.
“He just ticks all the boxes for me.”
Waterhouse has won the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on five occasions, but is still chasing her maiden win in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) after finishing second with No Looking Back in 2012 and Wager in 2004.
Nayeli is on track to contest Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on February 22 following her impressive victory in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday and Waterhouse believes that the daughter of More Than Ready is an excellent chance of giving her a maiden victory in the Group 1 event.
“She is a most glorious filly,” Waterhouse said.
“She was purchased at Inglis in the Easter sale and she is exactly the sort of More Than Ready that I look for and have had so much success with.
“I think that she was bought under average and I think that she is the horse that they have to beat in the Blue Diamond.
“She did a couple of things wrong (in the Chairman’s Stakes, she couldn’t get straight on her Melbourne leg and was caught racing off the fence a little bit wide.
“She got into her rhythm and that was that; she never looked back.”
Nayeli ($8) is currently on the third line of the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes behind Rubick ($2.90) and Earthquake ($4.50).