Promising filly Thurlow has been overshadowed by stablemate Fontiton heading into the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes, but trainer Robert Smerdon believes that she is worthy of her place in the field for the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Thurlow made her racing debut with a close second behind Antelucan in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 4 and went on to record her maiden race win in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on November 15.
The Sebring filly was sent to the spelling paddock following the Merson Cooper Stakes before she returned to racing with a professional victory over Haybah and Brooklyn in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on February 7.
Smerdon said after Thurlow’s Chairman’s Stakes victory that he was wary about running the two-year-old in the Blue Diamond Stakes because she remains a class below outright favourite Fontiton, but he told Racing Ahead that he is now confident that Thurlow will be more than competitive if she is able to run out a strong 1200 metres.
“She has done nothing wrong,” Smerdon said.
“Cup Day which was her first start she got carted on to the part of the track that we didn’t want to be on and she got beaten a neck and then she came out and won the Merson Cooper.
“Off a break first-up she won the Chairman’s and she only had a soft half-mile trial before that.
“She wins that with a bit of improvement and you can’t do anymore then what she has been doing.
“She has earnt her opportunity there.
“I am not quite sure that she will run 1200 because she is only a little filly and that will certainly be interesting, but she should certainly be competitive.”
Craig Williams has ridden Thurlow in all three of her race starts as part of his arrangement with owners Qatar Bloodstock and he has maintained the ride for the Blue Diamond Stakes this weekend.
The leading Melbourne hoop is chasing his first win in the Blue Diamond Stakes after previously finishing second on Hallowell Belle in 2011 and Miss Finland in 2006 and third on Armed For Action in 2012.
Thurlow is currently available at 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $26 with Ladbrokes, while Fontiton ($2.45) remains a clear favourite from Pride Of Dubai ($5.50), Of The Brave ($10) and Lake Geneva ($10).