History behind the Blue Diamond Stakes

History behind the Blue Diamond Stakes

BLUE DIAMOND STAKES

1200m, Caulfield, $1.5 million for two-year-olds, run Saturday, February 22

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); Written By (2018), Lyre (2019)

TALKING POINTS

* The 50th running of Victoria’s premier two-year-old race

* Unbeaten colt and race favourite Hanseatic is striving to join Rancher (1982), Midnight Fever (1987), Bel Esprit (2002) and Sepoy (2011) as the only horses to have won a Preview, Prelude and Blue Diamond. Midnight Fever is the only filly to achieve the feat

* Hanseatic could give trainer Anthony Freedman, owner Godolphin and jockey Luke Currie back-to-back Blue Diamonds after Lyre’s 2019 success

* Trainer David Hayes is chasing a seventh win and his second with co-trainers, son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig. The stable is represented by Aryaaf, Personal and Riverina Storm

* Dwayne Dunn rides Riverina Storm and is aiming for a fifth win following victories on Undoubtedly (2005), Nadeem (2006), Sleek Chassis (2007) and Reaan (2008)

* Co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have six runners – Ideas Man, Rathlin, Tanker, Away Game, A Beautiful Night and Muntaseera

* Away Game can become the first to claim the Magic Millions-Blue Diamond double. Bradbury’s Luck is the last Magic Millions winner to run in the Blue Diamond, finishing 12th in 2005. Testa Rossa was second to Redoute’s Choice in 1999 after winning the Magic Millions

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:

“He’s definitely the one to beat. I wouldn’t be swapping him for anything else” – Hanseatic’s jockey Luke Currie

“Tagaloa will take big improvement out of his first-up run. We knew he was soft and the horses in front of him had all had a run under their belt. He’s got enough improvement in him to say he can at least finish closer to the winner of the Prelude (Hanseatic). Letzbeglam has done nothing wrong. She’s snuck up under the guard and I suppose on face value there’s no reason why she can’t win again” – co-trainer Trent Busuttin

“It’s a great effort by everyone to get them here in good physical condition and winning the right races to get in. Hopefully they can do the talking on Saturday” – co-trainer David Eustace on the stable’s six runners

“The good thing about the Blue Diamond is they tend to run along in the race and he should get a lovely run the whole way though. He’s just going to need a bit of luck, which you do in a Blue Diamond anyway” – assistant trainer Sam Freedman on favourite Hanseatic

Credit: AAP