Imposing filly Loving Gaby retains her grip on Blue Diamond Stakes favouritism and her co-trainer Ciaron Maher remains bullish about his stable’s prospects despite wide draws for his two runners.
Loving Gaby is set to begin from barrier 12 in a less-than-capacity field of 14 in Saturday’s $1.5 million Group One Blue Diamond Stakes for two-year-olds at Caulfield while stablemate Bella Rosa has gate 10.
Loving Gaby won the Chairman’s Stakes stylishly on debut earlier this month at Caulfield and remained $4.50 favourite after Tuesday’s draw ahead of Athiri ($6) who has barrier 13.
“I was hoping for around barrier 10 with Loving Gaby,” Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, said.
“She doesn’t need to be getting boxed up on the rail.
“She wouldn’t be as sharp as some of the others at the beginning but if she’s in striking distance at the turn I’d say she’ll give them some curry.
“Bella Rosa’s a sharp on-speed horse and she could have drawn a little better but she’ll put herself there and there’s only one bend.
“She’s in great order as well.”
Four of the past five winners have jumped from double digit gates.
Anthony Freedman trains the Blue Diamond Prelude winners Lyre and I Am Immortal who have drawn five and nine respectively.
Lyre has firmed from $11 to $7 while I Am Immortal was $9 on Tuesday.
“The draw probably doesn’t matter with the colt (I Am Immortal) because he will roll forward and be in the first couple,” Freedman’s racing manager Brad Taylor said.
“Gai Waterhouse’s filly Vinicunca will probably roll forward and he might be able to sit off her.
“The filly, Lyre, has a perfect draw and she should be able to get a lovely spot right in behind the speed.
“On their work this morning they’re heading into the race in tip-top order and it’s very hard to split them.”
Trainer Jason Warren was “happy enough” with barrier 11 for Brooklyn Hustle who was taken to Caulfield on Tuesday morning for a gallop under race jockey Beau Mertens.
“Two of the past three winners have jumped from 11,” Warren said.
“For a filly like her it probably suits her pattern, so I don’t think it’s a drama.
“There will be good speed in the race and Beau probably comes into it when he wants, and if she’s good enough she wins.”
Adelaide trainer Chris Bieg believes barrier six is ideal for unbeaten colt Free Of Debt.
“If he can get a nice little trail behind the early speed I think he’ll take some beating,” Bieg said.