Catch Me and I Am Immortal are the early favourites to continue their winning ways in the respective divisions of the Blue Diamond Preludes which are set to provide the best pointers yet towards Victoria’s premier juvenile race.
Unbeaten in two starts, Catch Me, who won the fillies Preview at Caulfield last Saturday week, will clash with impressive debut winners Brooklyn Hustle and Athiri for the first time.
Trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, Catch Me has been installed the $2.80 favourite in first markets for the fillies Prelude (1100m) ahead of Brooklyn Hustle ($4.50) and Athiri ($6).
Trainer Phillip Stokes is set to run Blue Diamond hopeful Brazen Brando in the colts and geldings Prelude over the same distance and has booked premier Melbourne jockey Craig Williams.
Brazen Brando produced an eye-catching debut in the colts and geldings Preview when fifth to I Am Immortal who headlines the 16 nominations for the Prelude and is also the early favourite.
The Anthony Freedman-trained I Am Immortal is at $3.50 ahead of Preview runner-up Microphone ($6), while Brazen Brando is among a host of runners on the next line at $11.
Brazen Brando came from last under Regan Bayliss to run the fastest closing sectional times of the race in the Preview in a performance that encouraged Stokes from a Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) perspective.
“I was very happy with his performance in the Preview,” Stokes said.
“His last 600 metres said that.
“He pulled up well and Criag Williams takes the ride on Saturday.
“Craig came out and rode him on Friday and was impressed with the horse.
“Definitely 1100 metres and 1200 will be better for him than the 1000 metres.
“He’s like his half-sister Serenely Discreet who I won an Edward Manifold Stakes with. She used to get back and run on and he’s got the same sort of style.”
Stokes has unraced Indiscretion and Sizzlefly, an 8-1/4-length winner on debut in Adelaide, among the nominations for the fillies Prelude.