Stewards to decide Of The Brave’s Blue Diamond Stakes fate

By: Mark Mazzaglia
February 24th, 2015

Racing Victoria Stewards will have the last say whether Of The Brave will take his place in the Group 1 $1m Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Of The Brave has drawn barrier nine in the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Of The Brave has drawn barrier nine in the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Of The Brave’s trainer Mark Riley was yesterday disqualified for three years after his horse Gold For Kev was found to an above level quantity of bi-carb detected in its blood sample at Sandown on July 13.

Stewards said they would oppose Riley getting a stay of proceedings when he lodges an appeal against the sentence with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

If Riley isn’t granted a stay of proceedings, Stewards will still have to approve the new trainer before Of The Brave is allowed to take his place in the Blue Diamond Field.

“As far as the owners are concerned we would not prevent them from accepting for the race,” Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey told Racenet.

“Obviously it will play out between now and Friday who will train the horse for the race but we will need to be satisfied with whatever application comes in for whoever is going to train the horse.”

“The horse would need to be moved from where it has been trained. The Rules say a horse can’t be trained by a close associate of a disqualified trainer.”

Of The Brave is one of the main chances for the Blue Diamond Stakes and came up barrier nine in the fifteen horse field with Stephen Baster to ride.

Baster has been aboard the undefeated Of The Brave for his two wins, a debut victory in the Listed $120,000 Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield in October and then a first up win over Pride Of Dubai in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14.

Of The Brave has raced right on the pace in his two runs to date and no doubt Baster will go forward from barrier nine.

Blue Diamond Stakes favourite Fontiton has drawn the rails and Mark Zahra is likely to take a sit just behind the leaders and start looking for a way out about the 600m mark.

Late entry Pride Of Dubai with Damian Browne has drawn beautifully at gate five and will get a lovely run midfield before he starts to move forward approaching the home turn and is a great chance of making to back to back Blue Diamond Stakes wins for Peter and Paul Snowden who prepared the 2014 winner Earthquake when Peter Snowden was the head trainer for the giant Darley Racing operation.

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