Blue Diamond Stakes 2017: Odds reshuffled after Final Field is announced
The barrier draw has had an impact on betting for the 2017 Blue Diamond Stakes with the Robert Smerdon-trained Property now equal favourite.
After Craig Williams elected to ride the Lindsay Park-trained Catchy following her win in the Blue Diamond Prelude on February 11, she became the $5 favourite for Saturday’s Group One race.
But with Property, who will be ridden by champion Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira, drawing barrier three and Catchy 13, the pair now share favouritism at $5.50.
Pariah is next pick at $6 with Jukebox at $7.50 while Formality and Tulip are the only other runners under $10, each at $9.
Williams said the draw wasn’t ideal for Catchy.
“I would have loved to have drawn eight, six to eight would have been the perfect draw,” Williams said.
“She worked well yesterday, she’s in the field, but we’ll need a bit of luck from that barrier.”
But Williams said wind direction on Saturday could play a part.
“Barrier one could all of a sudden become like barrier 28,” he said.
English jockey Ryan Moore is due in Melbourne on Wednesday to ride Coolmore’s Formality, who drew barrier 12, while their other runner Tulip drew barrier eight with Damien Oliver to ride.
Coolmore’s James Bester said Moore was happy to leave the decision on which two-year-old he rode to senior Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes.
“That was David’s recommendation as to which rider he thought would suit each respective horse best,” Bester said.
“Ryan Moore’s view was David knows the horses better and he didn’t have a firm view.
“It may have been different if one had drawn 16 and the other had drawn three.”
Moore is yet to ride at Caulfield but Bester doesn’t see that as a negative.
“He had never ridden at Moonee Valley until he won the Cox Plate on Adelaide either,” Bester said.
Trainer Ciaron Maher described barrier four for Jukebox as super.
He said barring any incidents or slow getaways he should be in the ideal position in the run.
“He begins quick, he travels well. He likes to follow one and come off the back of one,” Maher said.
Brendan McCarthy is confident filly Blondie, a $34 chance, is up to the task after drawing barrier nine.
“You’ve got half a dozen there you’d throw in together like Catchy, Tulip, Property and there’s not much between them,” he said.