Facts and figures on the Blue Diamond

Written By

February 22, 2018 - 04:51 PM

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BLUE DIAMOND STAKES

1200m, Caulfield, $1,500,000, Two-year-olds

HISTORY

* First run in 1971 when won by Tolerance

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Manikato (1978); Rancher (1982); Bounding Away (1986); Midnight Fever (1987); Zeditave (1988); Redoute's Choice (1999); Bel Esprit (2002); Alinghi (2004); Star Witness (2010); Sepoy (2011); Miracles Of Life (2013); Extreme Choice (2016); Catchy (2017)

TALKING POINTS

* The only two-year-old Group One race in Melbourne

* Trainer David Hayes is chasing a seventh win and his second with co-trainers, son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig. They have four runners Long Leaf, Ennis Hill, Enbihaar and Qafila. His other winners are: Canonise (1991); Principality (1995); Nadeem (2006); Sleek Chassis (2007); Reaan (2008) and Catchy (2017). Lindsay Park patriarch, Colin Hayes, won with Out Of Danger (1976), Midnight Fever (1987) and Mahaasin (1990)

* Dwayne Dunn, who rides Qafila, is the leading rider with wins on Undoubtedly (2005); Nadeem (2006); Sleek Chassis (2007); Reaan (2008). His wins on Nadeem and Reaan were for Shadwell Stud, the owner of Qafila

* Long Leaf will be out to join seven other colts to win the Preview-Blue Diamond double with Lady Horseowner aiming to be the fourth filly

* Eight fillies and four colts have gone on to win the Blue Diamond after winning the Prelude two weeks earlier. Written By runs for the colts and Enbihaar the fillies this year

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:

"Put it this way, I wouldn't be swapping him for anything other horse in the race" - Written By's trainer Grahame Begg

"He's been crying out for 1200 metres and he's gone ahead by many lengths in the three weeks since his last run" - Encryption's trainer James Cummings

"It's a different race for him but he improved a lot from one doughy run to what he did at Flemington. He improved a lot, so this week I can't ask him to improve any more" - Prairie Fire's trainer Mick Price

"She's due for a bit of luck and I honestly believe if she gets that bit of luck she's the filly for me" - Oohood's trainer Tony McEvoy