Trainer Mick Price to looking to win back to back Blue Diamond Stakes from a band of fillies ready to show their ability in the Group 3 $150,000 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Price took out last year’s Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield with his smart filly Samaready and will saddle up first starters Future Gains and La Ballerine as well Drfiting Cube who has had one start for a fifth at Ballarat.
The Caulfield trainer has selected the USA bred La Ballerine as the one that has taken his fancy and has shown enough ability on the track to suggest that she would not be out of place in the Blue Diamond line up.
‘She is clearly our pick but there are probably five or six of that sort of filly there but we do have an opinion of her,” Price said.
”It’s all or nothing on Saturday. If she wins it’s off to the Blue Diamond but even if she can only run a place there is some valuable black type there.”
La Ballerine has continued to improve in the lead up to her race debut with Price being very impressed with recent trackwork and trials.
”She’s had a couple of trials and got clobbered at Sandown in one but that was a good learning experience for her,” Price said.
”She went well in a jump out here last Tuesday and also trialled well last preparation.”
”She worked well on the course proper this morning with a horse that has won in town and finished on terms with her.”
Price is expecting a vast improvement from Encosta De Lago filly Drifting Cube who was unplaced in a Ballarat two year old maiden on January 10 but is unsure about Future Gains who Price thinks will be better at her next preparation.
‘I think she is a filly of the future. She’s quick enough and goes good but I just want to monitor her during the week before deciding which way we go,” Price said.
Last year’s winner Samaready is on track to resume in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday week after winning a jump out at Caulfield today.
“She did a good job and ran good time so we’re very happy with her,” Price said.
“The track was a bit choppy, especially after they got to the fifth trial of the morning.
“She’ll go into the Lightning Stakes in good order. Of course, it’s going to be very difficult for her but she’s in good shape for it.”
Price was referring to the fact that rival Caulfield trainer Peter Moody has earmarked the race named after his mighty mare Black Caviar also as the race her return to the racetrack.