Thurlow No Certainty For Blue Diamond Stakes After Chairman’s Stakes

By: Thomas Hackett
February 9th, 2015

Promising juvenile Thurlow is no certainty to contest the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on February 28 despite recording an impressive win in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on Saturday.

Thurlow showed an impressive turn-of-foot in her 2015 Chairman's Stakes victory. Photo by: Adrienne Bicknell

Thurlow showed an impressive turn-of-foot in her 2015 Chairman’s Stakes victory. Photo by: Adrienne Bicknell

Thurlow was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Craig Williams in the early stages of the Chairman’s Stakes, but she responded well when asked for an extra effort by the leading hoop and she hit the front at the 100 metre mark before hanging on to record a second race win despite tiring in the final stages.

Trainer Robert Smerdon was happy with the tough win of Thurlow in the Chairman’s Stakes, but he maintains that Fontiton clearly has the measure of her stablemate and he told the media after the race that he may elect not to clash his star juveniles in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and instead save Thurlow for the Group 3 Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.

“If you have two bullets to fire maybe you are better firing them all off,” Smerdon said.

“To run in a group 1 is pretty hard to turn down, but we were thinking maybe the Breeders Stakes, group 2 down the straight.

“They are all possible.”

Jockey Craig Williams partnered Thurlow when she made her racing debut with a second place finish in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day and was also aboard the Sebring filly when she took out the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on November 15.

Smerdon elected to apply blinkers to Thurlow for the Chairman’s Stakes after he failed to perform sharply in a barrier trial at Cranbourne in the lead-up to her return to racing and Williams believed that the gear changed meant that the juvenile was a little bit fired up in the early stages of the race.

“The last 100 metres to the line couldn’t come quick enough, but she had an excuse after getting a bit revvy early,” Williams said.

Maribyrnong Plate winner Prompt Return was a big drifter on track in the lead-up to the Chairman’s Stakes, but he never looked like a winning chance and could finish no better than fifth.

Thurlow is currently available at 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $17 with Ladbrokes Australia, while Secret Agenda ($4.60) is a narrow favourite from Fontiton ($5), Heatherly ($9) and Flamboyant Lass ($10).

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