Smart two year old filly Thurlow will have her third gear change when a visor is added for the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28.
Thurlow raced with winkers and a tongue tie at her first two starts which resulted in a debut second to Antelucan in the Group 3 $150,000 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 4 and a win in the Listed $120,000 Santa’s Magical Kingdom Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on November 15.
And even though Thurlow beat Haybah in the Group 3 $150,000 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on February 7 with the blinkers on, trainer Robert Smerdon took the advice of jockey Craig Williams and will replace the blinkers with a visor for the Blue Diamond Stakes.
“Going to the 1200 (metres) I put it all back on Craig and we’ll go back to visors, which are modified blinkers and have peripheral vision,” Smerdon told AAP.
“She’s thrived since her win, the jump-out was good, her action was good and she’s earned her place in the field.”
Big race jockey Craig Williams has been an integral part of Thurlow’s Blue Diamond Stakes preparation and has been aboard the Sebring filly in all her three race starts.
Thurlow is currently third in the Order Of Entry for the Blue Diamond Stakes and Smerdon has a very strong hand in the $1m race for the two year olds with his other filly Fontiton at the top of the Order of Entry list.
The undefeated Fontiton has won $398,750 in prizemoney from her three wins and was most impressive in winning the Group 2 $200,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for the fillies at Caulfield on February 14.
The Mark Riley trained Of The Brave also remained undefeated scoring his second win in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for the colts and geldings on the same day taking his earnings to $177,250 and placing him second in the Blue Diamond Stakes Order Of Entry.
Fontiton heads the market order for the Blue Diamond Stakes at $2.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Peter And Paul Snowden trained Pride Of Dubai at $4.60 and Off The Brave at $7 while Thurlow is marked as a $17 chance.
Pride Of Dubai wasn’t in the original nominations for the Blue Diamond Stakes but after a sizzling run when a closing second to Of The Brave in the Blue Diamond Prelude, connections have indicated that they will pay the $55,000 late entry fee to be included in the final field.