Mick Price and Craig Newitt combined for Blue Diamond success with favourite Samaready
Samaready etched her name alongside some of Australia’s great juveniles of the past decade when she won Saturday’s $1 million Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.
The Mick Price-trained filly joined Bel Esprit, Alinghi and Sepoy as the only favourites to have won Victoria’s premier two-year-old event since 1994 when she defeated No Looking Back and Armed For Action in the 1200-metre event.
Her dominant display in 38-degree temperatures justified the faith of punters, who sent her around at $2.20, and was a relief for Price who has always felt he had the filly to win the Blue Diamond.
“It was a mission accomplished, wasn’t it?” Price said. “You check yourself training horses all the time, but she is just one of those fillies that has had the perfect prep.
“Even saddling her up before the race, she wasn’t concerned by the weather and I had a look at her in the mounting yard and thought ‘have I done enough with her?’.”
It was a sweet win for Price, who trained Roedean to ‘win’ the 2003 Diamond only to lose the race after a positive swab.
Top jockey Craig Newitt took no chances aboard the daughter of More Than Ready and she responded with a victory reminiscent of Sepoy’s emphatic win in last year’s event.
After jumping well, Newitt was content to position Samaready just off the leading pack in the early stages before hooking four-wide and edging his way forward at the 500m.
Newitt and Samaready had comfortably assumed the front before straightening, but that didn’t prevent her from surging away for a three-length win.
Second was the Gai Waterhouse-trained No Looking Back ($6.50), who ran a rave race from her wide barrier, while Anthony Freedman’s previously undefeated Armed For Action ($26) fought on well for third, a further two lengths away, after also travelling wide.
The victory was the first Blue Diamond success for Newitt, who enjoys a runaway lead in the Victoria’s Jockeys’ Premiership, and he was ecstatic to combine with his greatest supporter.
“This is one of the greatest thrills I’ve had in racing and it’s a great thrill to ride this filly,” the Tasmanian native said. “She is a tremendous filly and has a great will to win.
“He (Price) has been there ever since I came from Tassie and he’s always been the one that’s willing to give me a go even though I’ve made a lot of mistakes through the way.
“Coming to the corner I had a lapful of horse, she just travelled up to them so sweet, and turning for home she did the traditional pin the ears back, stretched her neck and away she went.”
Attention now turns to whether Samaready will be given the chance to further emulate Sepoy and chase Golden Slipper glory on 7 April and Price said that will be determined by how she recovers from the Diamond success.