Brilliant colt Hanseatic has tightened his grip on favouritism for the $1.5 million Blue Diamond after another impressive performance to win the Prelude at Caulfield.
Hanseatic made it three wins from as many starts when he powered down the outside to chase down Randwick debut winner Rulership in Saturday’s Group Three Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for colts and geldiings.
In the process Hanseatic has firmed from $3.50 to $2.50 for the Group One Blue Diamond (1200m) for two-year-olds on February 22 when he will try to become the first horse since star colt Sepoy in 2011 to win the Blue Diamond after also winning a Preview and Prelude.
Rulership is second favourite at $6 after giving a sight in front in his first Melbourne appearance while Letzbeglam and Muntaseera, who ran the quinella in Saturday’s Blue Diamond Prelude for fillies in slightly faster time, are at $11.
The Godolphin-owned Hanseatic is trained by Anthony Freedman and ridden by Luke Currie – the same combination that won last year’s Blue Diamond with filly Lyre.
Assistant trainer Sam Freedman is confident they have the right horse again, with Hanseatic showing his class after overcoming being shuffled back coming to the home turn before Currie angled him to the outside.
“He obviously had to be very good to win from where he was on the turn,” Freedman said.
“He’s just got a brilliant turn of foot. There’s yet to be a two-year-old that can match it with him at the moment so hopefully he can produce it again in two weeks.
“He’s a bit more brilliant than Lyre was. He’s got more of an instant acceleration.”
Frighteningly for rivals, Freedman insists Hanseatic is yet to put it all together in his three starts and they elected to run him in the Prelude to give him another race-day experience leading into his grand final.
Currie said he wouldn’t be swapping him for anything else in the Diamond.
“He got shuffled back but I preferred to come back and just trust his turn of foot rather than be bailed up and be an unlucky runner,” Currie said.
Rulership’s co-trainer Peter Snowden believes Rulership will be even better when he can take a sit and remains upbeat about his G1 Blue Diamond chances.
“Hopefully in the Diamond in a bigger field with more speed in the race we can have the opportunity to ride him the way we’d like to ride him and hopefully he’s good enough on the day to beat that horse,” Snowden said.