Bodyguard blitzes rivals in the Blue Diamond Prelude

The Peter and Paul Snowden stable has strengthened their claims on capturing a first Blue Diamond Stakes together with a potential quartet of runners in the Group 1 race at Caulfield.

Peter Snowden has won Melbourne’s premier juvenile race on three occasions and will chase a first with his son on February 24.

Bodyguard entered his name as a leading contender for the 1200m race after an impressive win in the Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on Saturday.

The Snowden’s also had High Octane and Holmes A Court in Saturday’s race – both potential Blue Diamond contenders – while Fearless could make his way down from Sydney for the race in two weeks’ time.

Ridden by Mark Zahra, Bodyguard ($4.20) scored a half-length win from Stay Focussed ($3.40) with Holmes A Court ($15) a further 2-¼ lengths away third.

High Octane, the $2.30 betting site favourite, wound up in fifth spot.

Peter Snowden said he had hoped to sort out the seedings of his two-year-olds after Saturday’s race but was left to ponder the bad luck High Octane suffered in the run.

“That’s racing. It was a bit unfortunate,” Snowden said of High Octane.

“The only upside, if there’s any, he’ll have enough money to get in.

“He’s fit enough. I’ll treat that like he’s had a hard run, even though he didn’t have a hard run.

“He’s not a gross horse. I won’t change too much in the next two weeks. What it has done, it never hurt him, that’s for sure.

“I wanted today to split them, but I can’t.

“One got a good ride while the other had plenty of bad luck, but they’re two great hopes.”

Snowden said Zahra had given Bodyguard the perfect ride at his first outing around Caulfield.

“If they get on the wrong leg, you’ve just got to coax them around the corner but when you’re buried away inside and can’t see air it takes longer for them to change stride,” Snowden said.

“He’s a very professional horse this bloke, and it was good to see what he did late.”

Zahra said there was improvement to come from Bodyguard who was having only his second race start having scored at Flemington last October.

“Peter and Paul have got a real sense of getting it right on the day, so I would’ve thought there was a fair bit of improvement,” Zahra said.

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