Multiple runners in a Group One race is usually the domain of the likes of Chris Waller, David Hayes, John O’Shea, Gai Waterhouse and Darren Weir.
Not yet in their league, Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths will saddle two, and possibly three, juveniles in Saturday’s Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield, Melbourne’s premier two-year-old race.
Griffiths already has Miss Nymeria and Areti set to run while a scratching will give first emergency Selenia a start.
“I think we bought 18 yearlings so to have up to three make the field, it’s great,” Griffiths said.
“It will be the first time we’ve had multiple runners in a Group One but the biggest plus about having runners in this race shows us the selection criteria we’re using is working and the program to get the horses from last year to the races is also working.”
Griffiths said he followed a similar regime each year when he looked at yearlings.
“We look for nice, strong, athletic horses that we think will be successful on the track,” he said.
“The fact that they run early, I don’t think anyone can accurately predict that, is just luck of the draw.”
But Griffiths is not surprised Miss Nymeria and Selenia have stepped up as two-year-olds.
He said sires of the pair, Stryker and Not A Single Doubt, are known to produce early runners while Areti, a winner at her only start at Moonee Valley, is a surprise packet.
“She’s from more of a three-year-old family in Europe,” Griffiths said.
Miss Nymeria and Selenia finished third and fourth respectively behind Samara Dancer and Concealer in the Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude and are rated $21 and $81 in Saturday’s market with Areti a $61 chance.
The Mick Price-trained Extreme Choice retains favouritism at $2.80 while his stablemate Flying Artie continues to drift and is now $5 after coming up with 17 in Tuesday’s barrier draw.
Samara Dancer and Concealer share the third line of betting at $6.50 with Star Turn next best at $11.
Griffiths, who is chasing a maiden Group One win, will also saddle The Quarterback in the Oakleigh Plate.
“It’s a shame for us that’s it’s one of the best Oakleigh Plates we’ve seen for ages,” he said.