A record number of horses remain in contention for the 2017 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes following the conclusion of the first round of acceptances yesterday.
686 horses have been declared as first acceptors for Victoria’s richest two-year-old race to be run on February 25th next year.
Reigning Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Champion trainer Mick Price is this year’s top nominator, with the Caulfield-based trainer accepting with 55 horses. Team Hayes and Dabernig (46), Aquanita Racing (45) and global giant Godolphin (43) are the other leading first acceptors.
The best-represented stallion among the list of first acceptances is Snitzel, who has 47 sons and daughters still in contention for the February 25 race next year. Snitzel was the leading two year-old sire by winners last season with 29 and was second only to Written Tycoon by earnings.
Two horses have been added as late acceptors for the $1.5 million feature. Tony McEvoy has paid up with Maribyrnong Plate winner Aspect, while the John Price-trained and Peters Investments-owned Battle Storm has also been entered as a late acceptance.
Aspect and Battle Storm shape as two horses to follow given their late acceptance status, while Peter and Paul Snowden’s debut winner Khan and the Lindsey Park-trained star Madeenaty are other notable first acceptors.
The 2017 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond series commences with the Blue Diamond Previews (1000m; Group 3 for fillies, Listed for colts and geldings) on Australia Day, followed by Preludes (1100m; Group 2 for fillies, Group 3 for colts and geldings) on February 11, climaxing with the Blue Diamond Stakes over 1200 metres on Saturday, 25 February 2017.
All horses originally nominated for next year’s Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes will remain eligible for the 2017 Group Three Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes, even if their nomination lapses at the first, second, third or final acceptance stage.
Second declarations for the 2017 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes close at 12pm noon (AEDT) on January 10th 2017.
|2017 Blue Diamond Stakes|
|Hayes & Dabernig||46||Exceed and Excel||37||NSW||226|
|Aquanita Racing||45||All Too Hard||35||SA||40|
View the full list of nominations HERE