The Blue Diamond 2023
The Blue Diamond Stakes, the feature race for the 2yo’s highlights this weekend at Sandown. There might be a tiny bit of rain around on the day but the track and conditions should be good. Let’s try and find the winner.
Expecting plenty of speed. Extreme Threat, The Instructor, Exploring and Zulfiqar can all lead this. Party for Two and Steel City should be somewhere on speed. Barber, Veecee and Brave Halo to be somewhere midfield looking for the right runs. From there, expect Don Corleone and Little Brose to be running on quickly from the back.
Three out of three reads pretty good, winning over a few in this field. Maps midfield but you’d expect Jamie Kah to find a good spot in run. $5 seemed a little short though in a fairly open race with many open to improvement. Can win but happy to risk.
Big run last start, really being challenged by Veecee but just was too strong late. Gate the issue with wanting to be on speed but having to carve across from the wide barrier to get there. Did look slight overs but Godolphin would be happy with any of their runners winning, so was happy to risk.
4: Little Brose
Has decent form, including a win over Cylinder who was impressive on the weekend just gone. Was making up very quick ground on Barber as well last start but just missed. Looks to need to improve slightly. Fairly priced and a winning hope.
5: Brave Halo
Had no room in the Prelude with 100m to go and rattled off very quick sectionals for the meeting despite this. The wide barrier is not ideal, but better to be on the outside instead of where he was last start. Would need to improve but hard to discount. Watch the betting late, was well backed last start.
6: The Instructor
We know the plan here for the Waterhouse runner, jump and run. Both runs and wins over the 1000m however, so is 1200m an issue? Will be plenty of early pressure as well. Maps well, and a winning chance, but no value to bet on him.
Was entitled to go past Zulfiqar last start but didn’t. Maybe didn’t handle the Soft ground, which he won’t find here. Yard watchers have loved him both runs so keep an eye on the market late. Winning chance at decent odds, but fairly priced.
8: Don Corleone
A disaster last start at $1.60. Was crowded, unbalanced and was on the inferior inside ground. Ignoring that run, his best looks a clear winning chance here. Loses McDonald but gets Zahra so that’s not a downgrade off recent form. Trust the camp to get him right for this grand final. Looks like big overs and a great winning chance.
The prelude winner for the Fillies with a great ride from Williams who sticks. Will go forward but can she get a nice run with plenty of speed around her? Last start figure was very strong though and anything similar will have her right in this. Place chance.
11: Party for Two
The QLD Raider. Couldn’t entertain her based on her four runs so far. Happy to risk with plenty ahead of her.
12: Steel City
Plenty to unpack here. Been well backed in early betting. Hasn’t won a race, but is the favourite. Easy to see why though through the previous runs. Has had two 2nd’s behind the two top seeds for the Golden Slipper which looks clearly the best form in this race. Looks to map well with Shinn on. A very strong winning chance but needs to put it all together.
16: Extreme Threat
Over-raced last start but finished off well so the 1200m likely won’t be an issue. Will have a lot of pressure around her early and I think that will prove costly near the finish. Can run well but was happy to risk.
Happy to risk any other runner in this.
Pretty even contest this with no horses ever running over 1200m in this race. Happy to stick with Don Corleone who has the best figure overall for this and willing to trust the Snowdens to get it right.