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Trainer Steve Richards resisted any temptation to run Marcado in the Blue Diamond and he expects the decision to pay dividends in the Sires’ Produce Stakes at Flemington.

Marcado scored a strong win in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington last month, a week before the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes.

Marcado, Steven King - Photo by Sharon Chapman

Richards said the intention was never to push the colt to go to the Blue Diamond, with Saturday’s race the target.

“We always planned to run in the Sires’,” Richards said.

“He’s in good shape and his work has been good.”

The colt could, however, get his chance in a Group One next month with Richards considering the $1 million Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in Sydney.

“We’ll get through Saturday first but he is in the Sires’ up in Sydney,” Richards said.

“If he won and pulled up well we’d look at it.”

Marcado is the $3.40 favourite for Saturday’s race over last-start Sandown winner Awesome Rock at $4.40.

Richards is confident the step up from 1100m to 1400m will be no problem for Marcado.

“He has given us the indication that’s what he’s looking for. He looks like he’ll run a strong 1400 but we’ll find out on Saturday,” he said.

Awesome Rock scored by two lengths over 1300m at Sandown in his second start, confirming plans to run in Saturday’s event.

Trainer Leon Corstens is convinced the colt has improved again.

“I thought he worked enormous on Tuesday morning,” Corstens said.

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