The countdown is on to February 20’s $1.5 million Neds Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) with 79 two-year-olds among Third Acceptances today.
14 of Godolphin’s best juveniles will look to emulate the deeds of the operation’s most recent winner of Victoria’s premier juvenile race, Lyre (2019). Their list of Third Acceptances is the largest of any stable and packed with quality with Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) winner Anamoe and fillies Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) placegetter Frost Flowers likely to join forces with a number of their stablemates at Caulfield on February 20.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace will unleash Neds’ Blue Diamond favourite Enthaar ($3) at her Victorian debut in Saturday’s Lamaro’s Hotel Sth Melbourne Chairman’s Stakes (1000m). The Written Tycoon filly, one of six Third Acceptors for the training duo, burst onto the scene with a breath-taking 3L Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) victory in October and will tighten considerably for the Diamond if she can justify her odds-on quote on Saturday. Magic Millions Debutant Stakes (1000m) winner Fake Love, Golden Gift (1100m) victor Sneaky Five and Ottawa Stakes (1000m) runner-up Nice For What underline the stable’s arsenal.
Nice For What’s Ottawa vanquisher Dosh, who backed up that victory with a brilliant win in the fillies Preview on Saturday, will now head straight into the Blue Diamond for Grahame Begg. Cindy Alderson colt Jigsaw, Mick Price and Michael Kent (Jnr) pair Profiteer and Extreme Warrior and Freedman Racing colt Artorius are others prominent in Neds’ all-in market that remain in contention.
Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra appear just once among the list Third Acceptances but face a pair of big decisions, with the connections of colts & geldings Preview winner General Beau and fillies Preview runner-up Tayla’s Moment required to pay the $55,000 Final Later Entry Fee for each if they are to take their place in this year’s Blue Diamond.
Winning sire’s honours remain up for grabs with I Am Invincible and Written Tycoon represented by six of their progeny each, although the latter does boast the aforementioned Enthaar.
The Blue Diamond Stakes series continues next Saturday with the Preludes (1100m; Group 2 for fillies, Group 3 for colts and geldings) before the Group 1 Neds Blue Diamond Stakes takes centre stage two weeks later over 1200 metres on Saturday, 20 February 2021.