Of The Brave to be set for Blue Diamond Stakes

Impressive Debutant Stakes winner Of The Brave has recovered from a paddock accident and will be set for the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28.

Of The Brave will be set for the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Of The Brave will be set for the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Of The Brave scored at his only race starts when he took out the Listed $120,000 Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 11 with Stephen Baster aboard and trainer Mark Riley immediately sent the Starspangledbanner colt for a break before preparing him for the rich Autumn two year old races.

But Riley thought all those plans had to be scraped when Of The Brave was injured in a mystery paddock accident that left a wound above his knee.

A further inspection last week has the boosted the hopes of Riley after he found the wound had healed and an Autumn Carnival campaign is back on the agenda.

“I’ll bring him back into work this week and we’ll see how he is,” Riley told Racing Newtwork.

“I saw him on Friday and he looked magnificent. The improvement has been remarkable.”

“I don’t know how it happened, I went all over the paddock and couldn’t find anything.”

Riley plans to have Of The Brave ready to tackle the Group 3 $150,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 as a lead up to the Blue Diamond Stakes a fortnight later.

The Mornington trainer has a high opinion of the chestnut colt and also has his eye on the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21.

“If he’s not right then we’ll just go for the Slipper,” Riley said.

The Danny O’Brien trained Prompt Return is also heading towards the Blue Diamond Stakes.

Prompt Return will have a short break after being beaten as favourite when second to the Gai Waterhouse trained Carriages in the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat last Saturday.

O’Brien was favouring a start for Prompt Return in the $2m BMW Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January but changed tact after he was beaten on the tight turning Ballarat track and thinks that the more spacious Caulfield track will suit him better.

“We didn’t think he was at his best on that tighter turning track at Ballarat,” O’Brien said.

Prompt Return made his race debut with a win over 900m at Bendigo on October 18 then went on to score a dominant two lengths win in the Group 3 $150,000 racing.com Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 8.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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