Philosopher shortens for Blue Diamond after impressive debut

One of the most anticipated horses to step out at Caulfield delivered for punters and connections when Philosopher won the Ann Kilkenny Handicap over 1000 metres.

Having impressed in trials, co-trainer Sam Freedman anticipated that Philosopher ($2.40 favourite) would jump well from the barrier stalls and is what eventuated with the colt by Zoustar registering an all the way victory with Damian Oliver in the saddle.

“”He’s a very fast colt, he’s been very professional in everything he’s done,” Freedman said post-race.

“That said, in his trials he pricks his ears when he gets to the front and has a look around.

“He’s not screwed down by any means and it’s a long series to get to the Blue Diamond but that would be the goal again and he’ll certainly appreciate the experience.”

Damien Oliver shared Freedman’s sentiment but was wary to declare Philosopher as high on the list of Blue Diamond chances with other juveniles yet to be seen at the races.

“He’s a pretty fast horse and shown good speed,” Oliver said.

“My one jump out on him he indicated to me that you just want to go with him and try not to hold him up too much and I think it suited him today.”

The James Cummings-trained Jewellery ($7.50) was and eye-catching second, beaten by a short-neck as Philosopher tired towards the line, with $975,000 Magic Millions purchase Bonheur ($4.20) who was also on debut 3/4-length away in third.

The overall race time was 57.65 seconds.

Philosopher is rated an $8 chance across markets for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on 26 February.

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