Last Tuesday’s beaten favourite Weatherly is still in contention for the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 27, according to trainer Paul Messara.
First starter Weatherly was sent out the $4.4o equal favourite for the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) at Caulfield on Australia Day but blew his chances at the start when he stumbled out of the starting gates.
Craig Williams was able to recover quickly, but the Beneteau colt was never a winning chance after the mishap and was beaten two and three quarter lengths when sixth to Cohesion who carried the royal blue Godolphin colours.
But Messara hasn’t lost faith in Weatherly who he regards as a very fast two year old with loads of ability.
“I wouldn’t be ripping up the Blue Diamond tickets yet, that’s for sure,” Messara said.
“If you watch the replay, he half stumbled coming out and his legs went from underneath him. He’s a very fast horse, he should have been upfront, freewheeling for home.”
Messara will now look to start Weatherly in the Group 3 $200,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 13 in order to chase some very important prizemoney to gain entry into the Blue Diamond Stakes two weeks later.
Weatherly is still rated a $15 chance for the Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au with the Mick Price trained Extreme Choice heading the market order at $6, just ahead of the unraced Defcon at $7.
But that could change after the weekend with the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Defcon sporting silks for the first at Rosehill on Saturday in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
Defcon has been installed as the short priced favourite for the Canonbury Stakes and an impressive winning debut could see the Choisir colt jump to the top of the Blue Diamond Stakes market order.
Blue Diamond Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Extreme Choice, $7 Defcon, $10 Calliope, $15 Cohesion, Hell Of An Effort, Manuel, Sword Of Light, Weatherly, $17 Astern, Concealer, So Serene, $21 El Venetian, Mount Panorama, Power Trip, Tessera.