Victorian racing fans get an early taste of the Festival of Racing this Wednesday when some of Australia’s top young horses step out at Caulfield.
A couple of Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Previews for the two-year-olds and the return of Caulfield Guineas champion Anacheeva headline the popular Australia Day meeting.
Peter Moody’s star three-year-old will make his first appearance since completing an undefeated spring in the $1 million The Age Caulfield Guineas on October 9.
The Anabaa colt will launch a campaign aimed at the $750,000 Australian Guineas on March 6 in the $100,000 Listed Zeditave Stakes over 1200 metres. His quest to take his record to five wins from seven starts will be carried out from barrier seven in the 10-horse field.
Several of those rivals also boast impressive records. Run For Levi (barrier five) will renew acquaintances with the only horse who beat him home in the Caulfield Guineas, while Hollowlea (eight) – winner of the Group 2 Stutt Stakes in September – also resumes.
Standish Handicap placegetter Éclair Mystic (four), Anacheeva’s stablemate Servant (three) and the Mark Kavanagh-trained Linked In (10) – an impressive Geelong winner on debut – are also engaged along with a couple of intriguing interstate raiders.
Perth speedster Mister Moneypenny (two) and Spirited Eagle (nine), from the Adelaide stable of Leon McDonald and Andrew Gluyas, have both won five of seven starts and will face their toughest tests.
A two-year-old preparing for his Victorian debut is boom Brett Cavanough-trained juvenile Bossdon City, who will contest the colts and geldings’ Blue Diamond Preview.
The son of Beautiful Crown announced himself a gelding of immense ability when he proved too speedy for much-hyped blueblood Godpseed at Rosehill on January 15.
Bossdon City will start from barrier six in the event that contains Maribyrnong Trial winner Sepoy (two) and unbeaten Moody-trained colt Golden Archer (seven) and spruiked debutantes in Envious and Boys On Tour.
The Clinton McDonald-trained Envious (four) has already been backed from $71 into $17 for the Blue Diamond with TAB Sportsbet, while the John Thompson-trained Boys On Tour (10) was a sizzling Randwick trial winner at his only public appearance.
There is plenty of incentive for Blue Diamond hopefuls on Wednesday with Patinack Farm this year putting up a $1 million bonus for any horse who can win a Blue Diamond Preview, Prelude – which will be run on the official opening of the Festival of the Racing, February 12 – and Group 1 Blue Diamond on February 26.
Unbeaten Fusaichi Pegasus filly Motifs is Patinack’s runner in the female Preview. She has easily won both starts in Adelaide, but faces a daunting task from the second-widest barrier (12) against a crack field.
One Last Dance (11) – another from the Moody yard – will be seen for the first time since strolling home at Moonee Valley on debut, while Listed winner Spectrolite (eight), debut city winner Jessica Rose (four) and talented Darley filly Graskop (seven) are also engaged.
The boys’ Preview is race three on the card, at 2.12pm, with the girls to follow at 2.48pm.
The other highlight on Wednesday’s card is the $100,000 Listed Sir John Dillon Stakes (1400m), which features former Mackinnon Stakes winner Scenic Shot and last-start Chester Manifold Stakes victor Dazylum.
Full fields for the Australia Day card are available by clicking on the link