Exciting colt Nostradamus will be against the odds from the get-go in this Saturday’s Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), making up only one place in a talented field of sixteen that will feature the highly-anticipated showdown between leading two-year-olds Rubick and Earthquake.
Despite the seemingly near-impossible task, owner Eric Koundouris is hopeful Nostradamus can figure in the race’s dying moments, even when carrying a minor niggle picked up in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude event two weeks ago.
“The horse hurt himself in the Prelude, but I think he’s progressing in the right direction and I hope he’ll be ready on the day” Koundouris told Racing Victoria News.
“I think both the 1200 metres and a slightly better draw than what he had in the Prelude are positives but it’s one of the strongest Blue Diamonds in many years and the extra 100 metres will suit a couple of the others as well.
Having previously claimed the Blue Diamond Stakes with Nostradamus’s half-brother, classy colt Star Witness in 2010, Koundouris said the potential of further Blue Diamond success played a huge part in the initial purchase of the Medaglia D’Oro colt, as did extensive consultation with trainer John Hawkes.
“It’s obviously a race I have fond memories of with Star Witness and this year’s race has four of five live chances, so I hope we’re one of them” Koundouris added.
“I did identify him at the sales, primarily because he was Star Witnesses half-brother, but I’ve got to say that until John Hawkes had a look at him and said that he ticked all the boxes, I hadn’t made up my mind to buy him.”
The field for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes is undoubtedly one of the best featured for the event since the turn of the century.
Having each secured two victories from as many starts and amazingly recording precisely the same time in winning their respective Blue Diamond Prelude events over 1100 metres at Caulfield on February 8th, many are expecting this weekend’s Group 1 to be solely fought out between talented filly Earthquake and impressive colt Rubick.
Nostradamus is currently fifth-favourite amongst the betting community to claim honours in the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes at a generous quote of $11.