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The Mounting Yard: Blue Diamond Day at Caulfield

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Roar Guru
18th February, 2021

One of the best days on Australian racing calendar awaits punters on Saturday with it being Blue Diamond Day at Caulfield.

The supporting cast outside of the feature is also fantastic, headlined by both the Futurity Stakes and the Oakleigh Plate at Group 1 level. The weather looks perfect throughout the card and the track is in the true position so it should play reasonably fairly throughout. Let’s find some winners!

Race 1: Mornington Cup Prelude, listed level, 2000 metres
We kick off the day with the Mornington Cup Prelude, where most runners are aiming to get a run in the Mornington Cup, which is a ballot exemption race for the Caulfield Cup. The speed looks strong up front here and that should the race up perfectly for Defibrillate.The Patrick Payne-trained Gelding has put together an impressive record to date, winning eight of 12 career starts and only running out of the placings twice.

The form around him this preparation has been fantastic, beating Paradee three starts back who has subsequently won twice over the Queensland Carnival, before beating Double You Tee who has subsequently won at Group Level. If they spend their tickets early in the race, he will be charging home.

Wolfe might be the main danger. He didn’t have too many excuses two-back when running a length off Spirit Ridge after getting a cosy lead, but that was at the same level he faces again here so on the strength of that form must at least be considered.

Dawson Diva is one at odds who might be ready to show his best fourth-up. He sat three wide and without cover, last start in the race our on top selection won and was only 1.5 lengths off him, while you would expect Blenheim Palace to be fitter for what was an okay first-up effort.

Recommended bet: Win bet on #4 Defibrillate at $2.80.

Race 2: Zeditave Stakes, Group 3, C and G, 1200 metres
Some very talented types have progressed to this year’s Zeditave Stakes but with some queries still surrounding the two favourites, I think Valaquenta is flying under the radar. This is a Gelding that was a neck away from the talented Muntaseera last preparation before running three lengths off September Run, who is now a raging favourite for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap.

He was tipped out in readiness for the Autumn and you can basically forget he went around first-up in a very strong Benchmark 78 at Randwick, being caught four and five wide without cover for the entirety off a hot speed. He likes this track (3:1-1-0) and maps to be just outside the leaders and with no excuses.


The Moody camp have a big opinion of Oxley Jack and have taken him straight up to Group level. He won on debut at Flemington like he had a few gears left to go in too and he was incredibly green once he hit the front and still managed to extend away late. He should get a relatively easy time of it out in front and should be much better off for that race experience.

It’sourtime looks unders at the current quote but isn’t without a chance. The O’Brien Gelding lacked that finishing ability last time over 1400m at this track and I’m just not sold coming back to 1200m is the greatest of setups for him.

Recommended bet: #3 Valaquenta E/W at $5.50.

No Restriction ridden by Declan Bates wins the World Horse Racing Desirable Stakes at Flemington Racecourse

(Reg Ryan/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Race 3: Angus Armanasco Stakes, Group 2, three-year-olds, fillies, 1400 metres
One of the more interesting races on the program arrives here and I’m sure some futures markets will change at the conclusion of it. The race looks set up perfectly for Malicorne. She has gone to another level this preparation. On resumption, she smacked them around at the Valley winning by 2.5 lengths, before being outsprinted two-back down the straight at Flemington over 1100m before doing her best work late to finish 1.75 lengths off the winner.

Last start she looked all over the winner at this track over 1200m before just finding one better in the ultra-talented La Mexicana. She has the fitness edge over basically every runner, looks to be crying out for the 1400m, and maps perfectly to either lead or have the leaders back.

I’m not sure what the story is regarding Oliver here but, interestingly, he is on Miss Guggenheim. She was tremendous first-up last preparation when winning from a mile back at Geelong in what turned out to be a very high-rating maiden, before never having any luck whatsoever in the Edward Manifold. She draws well (4) and I thought her trial pointed to a strong first-up showing.

Impecunious was very good when winning dominantly in her first Australian start but she goes up in grade a long way here. The blinkers going on is an interesting gear change for the first time and 1400m looks like a big tick.


Recommended bet: Win bet on #3 Malicorne at $3.50.

Race 4: Mannerism Stakes, Group 3, mares, 1400 metres
The market has Perfect Jewel as a big favourite here, but I’m happy to be with Rich Hips and I think she represents extremely good value. This Mare has gotten better and better in recent preparations. First-up last preparation she beat the talented Regardsmaree eased down on the line, before recording another two wins in the preparation, one being at this track and distance when beating Power Scheme, and the other when winning at Group level against Lyre and Wild Vixen at Flemington.

She has a brilliant fresh record (3:2-0-0) and from the ideal gate (4) she can get a nice run a pair or so back. Perfect Jewel is the main danger. The Western Australian was fantastic first-up last preparation when winning over 1200m at this track, before working home nicely in better races than this at the Group 2 level. She is another who fires fresh (6:3-0-0) and will be rocketing home late.

Sovereign Award was terrible at Group 1 level on the resumption but is better than that. She can lead here and if they let her pinch some cheap sectionals she can sprint quickly.

Recommended bet: #3 Rich Hips E/W at $5.50.

Our Bottino ridden by Damien Thornton

(Leonie Grbic/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Race 5: Autumn Classic, Group 2, set weights, 1800 metres
One of the hardest races on the program awaits the punters in the Classic with the best horses having a query over their fitness and the fit horses having a query over their ability.

I landed on Butter Chicken with little confidence. The Savabeel Filly was very good on debut when working home well despite sitting wide and without cover throughout, before winning easily over a talented-looking type in Write the Score at Pakenham over a mile. The rise to 1800m seems ideal today and she is fit enough to be about to peak on her preparation.


KhoeKhoe shapes as one of the dangers. The Cumani Colt was excellent over this distance at Flemington last preparation when beating a couple that he faces here. He then went to the Valley and was just nosed out by the very smart Cherry Tortoni. His jump out at Terang leading into this was excellent and he will be running on strongly.

Sentanta was good in his last few starts and the blinkers going on is a big positive, while Parure running a big race wouldn’t surprise.

Recommended bet: #11 Butter Chicken E/W at $6.50.

Race 6: Futurity Stakes, Group 1, weight-for-age, 1400 metres
The race of the day awaits punters here with some of Australia’s best horses going around over the famous 1400m at Caulfield. I’m happy to be with the champion in Arcadia Queen. She was simply outstanding in the Spring, winning both the Caulfield Stakes over Russian Camelot and the Mackinnon Stakes over the likes of Fifty Stars and Kiwi Champion Melody Belle. Her first-up record is fantastic (3:2-0-0) and her only one failure come on wet ground at this track which she absolutely resents. The speed should be strong up front, and she will be rattling home late.

Behemoth is the clear danger. The Darren Jolly-trained Gelding was excellent in the Spring as well, winning both the Memsie and Rupert Clarke Stakes over this track and distance. He returned a few weeks ago with a dominant win in South Australia and from the gate (2) he maps to get the run of the race.

Streets of Avalon is a tough campaigner who is coming off a fantastic win in the CF Orr Stakes, while Mr Quickie has a brilliant first-up record (5:1-2-1) and track record (8:2-3-0) and it wouldn’t shock to see him run a big race at big odds. He was only 1.5 lengths off Arcadia Queen first-up last preparation and that bodes well here.

Recommended bet: #6 Arcadia Queen E/W at $6.

Brian Park riding horse Jamaican Rain

(Photo: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)


Race 7: Blue Diamond Stakes, Group 1, two-year-olds, 1200 metres
The 2021 Blue Diamond headlines the program and it is a cracking edition of the race.

I am happy to play at two horses at a price and one of them is Anamoe. I have had a big opinion of this colt since his debut when unlucky behind Fake Love, and his win at Sandown in what was a high-rating maiden had to be seen to be believed. He was tipped out for three months and pretty much did everything wrong on resumption in the Blue Diamond Prelude and was still only a nose away from beating General Beau.

The wide draw (15) is a slight concern but if Oliver can get him some cover throughout, he is the best horse in the race and will be the strongest late over the 1200m. I want to have something on Jigsaw as well. This colt, ironically ridden by Michael Walker, is following a similar path as Tagaloa did last year. He was an excellent winner over Artorius on debut at Geelong, winning by three lengths, before going to Caulfield in the Prelude, sitting wide throughout and racing greenly to finish 2.5 lengths off General Beau. He maps to get the run of the race from the ideal gate (4) and is one open to plenty of improvement.

Enthaar is unders in the current market but is still a winning chance. She was a dominant winner in the Gimcrack before spelling and then returning with a big win in the Chairman’s Stakes. The wide gate (14) is very concerning, but she has the speed to try and cross, and if she does, she will be hard to run down. Arcaded hasn’t put a foot wrong and shouldn’t be underestimated either at a big quote.

Recommended bet: Backing both #5 Anamoe at $8 and #8 Jigsaw at $18 E/W.

Race 8: Oakleigh Plate, Group 1, handicap, 1100 metres
A wide-open version of the Oakleigh Plate confronts the punters in the penultimate race of the day. I hated seeing Anders draw the car park (17) but I’m still sticking with him with the featherweight of 50 kgs. This is a colt that beat Ole Kirk by nearly five lengths last preparation before going on to smack around Peltzer by 3.3 lengths at the Group 3 level. You can pretty much forget his next two runs as he was never right physically. His trial leading into this first-up assignment at Geelong was brilliant, winning with ease over the likes of Cambourne without being touched. If he crosses, he is the one to beat.

Ancestry faces his biggest test here but is clearly very talented. He was unbeaten last preparation winning four on the bounce, all by significant margins (shortest was 1.5 lengths) and he loves a hot speed out on the speed which he is almost guaranteed to get here. He flies first-up and draws ideally (4) to try and keep out the main dangers from crossing.

Zoutori flashed home in this race last year to finish half a length off Pippie in what was a leader-dominated track and he can go one better here. Jamie Kah rides and you couldn’t find a more in-form jockey in the world of racing at the moment. Hanseatic carries no weight at all and does love the Caulfield 1100m. He looks to have come back in good order and will be flashing home.


Recommended bet: #18 Anders E/W at $8.

Smart As You Think

(Sarah Ebbett/Racing Photos)

Race 9: Peter Young Stakes, Group 2, weight-for-age, 1800 metres
We round out the program with a race that the bookmakers have marked as the hardest race on the program with it being $4.60 on the field. I am happy to be with Paradee here who is in a rich vein of form. The O’Brien gelding was half a length off Defibrillate at this track over 1700m three-back, before going to Queensland and scoring dominant wins over the likes of Frosty Rocks and So Dapper. He returns to Melbourne aiming for a hattrick and I think from the rails draw (1) he can have the perfect run and be produced by Oliver at the right time.

Homesman is the main danger and he has great fresh statistics (7:3-2-0) and track statistics (6:2-2-0) which point to a bold showing here. He might have to work a bit early to cross them from the outside gate (10) but he is a Group 1 winner and if he brings his best he wins. Nonconformist is a talent and shouldn’t be underestimated, while Regal Power is an All-Star Mile winner resuming in much easier grade.

Recommended bet: #12 Paradee E/W at $5.50.

Best bet
Race 1 #4 Defibrillate

Next-best bet
Race 4 #3 Rich Hips

Best value
Race 7 #5 Anamoe