Golden Slipper favourite Ottoman has been taken out of Blue Diamond entries but the powerful Godolphin operation still has plenty of talented juveniles in contention for the $1 million feature in Melbourne.
Godolphin has eight two-year-olds among the 84 nominations for the Group One Blue Diamond on February 28 after third declarations were taken on Tuesday.
The Robert Smerdon-trained Fontiton maintained favouritism for the Blue Diamond with her narrow first-up win in the fillies Preview at Sandown on Monday.
The Mick Price-trained Secret Agenda, impressive winner on debut at Moonee Valley last month and second favourite in the Blue Diamond market, won a jumpout at Sandown on Wednesday and is scheduled to clash with Fontiton in the fillies Blue Diamond Prelude on February 14.
Godolphin’s eight juveniles still in the Blue Diamond nominations are Igraine, Chamarel, Antelucan, Calaverite, Sampeah, Pursuits, Promenades and Bantam.
Mesa, who finished fifth as favourite in his division of the Blue Diamond Previews on Monday, has not been paid up for in the latest declarations.
The Godolphin team has been a force in juvenile races so far this season with eight individual two-year-old winners in Australia.
They were unable to snare either of the Blue Diamond Previews on Monday with Pursuits the best finisher of its four representatives in the respective divisions.
Pursuits hit the line nicely for third in an encouraging debut behind Fontiton with Promenades finishing fifth in the same race after working from a wide gate to sit outside the lead.
Stakes-winning filly Antelucan and city-winning colt Bantam are scheduled to be among Godolphin’s runners in the respective Preludes at Caulfield.
“They have been set on a path to join in in the Preludes. Antelucan would be our number one seed at this stage, but Pursuits has shown plenty there (in the fillies Preview),” Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh said after Monday’s Previews at Sandown.
Antelucan won a Group Three for two-year-old fillies at Flemington on debut in November.
The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig training partnership has the most number of horses still nominated with nine entries.
There is an option for horses to be paid up as late entries by February 23, with final declarations taken on February 24.