Miracles of Life – photo by Atkins Daily Telegraph
The Melbourne Autumn racing carnival really takes off this coming Saturday with Blue Diamond Stakes day at Caulfield. It has a stellar racing card with three fascinating Group One competitions and a selection of equally interesting Group Two races as well.
The stars will be out in force, not Black Caviar, who won’t be racing again until 22 March in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, who will only be having a few starts this season, will be racing in the Group One Futurity Stakes (1400 metres) against star three year old All Too Hard and a good field of weight for age stalwarts like King Mufhasa, Niwot, Shanghai Warrior and Lights of Heaven. All Too Hard has a very good chance of winning this, thus making a family affair of Group One victories on alternate weekends.
The Group One Oakleigh Plate ( 1100 metres) has the exciting West Australian sprinter Barakey having his first run in the East. He is unbeaten with 11 wins from as many runs. Can he keep his winning streak intact, in this his hardest assignment to date? He’s up against super sprinting mare Ortensia, back from winning a couple of races in the UK, recent winners Sea Lord and Adebisi and the very talented filly Shamal Wind.who with her light weight could surprise, despite only having three starts, which she won stylishly, hence her presence in this race.
The feature race is of course the Blue Diamond Stakes, a race over 1200 metres for two year olds. There are equal numbers of fillies and colts contending for the prize, with several fillies having the edge, most notably the South Australian filly Miracles of Life. She will ridden by her regular rider *Lauren Stojakovic, who retained the ride over more experienced jockeys, the filly’s owners having faith in her affinity with the filly. Miracles of Life is nicknamed ‘Barbie”, so called because of her long blonde mane and tail and girly behaviour around the stable. She has won her only three starts in sensational fashion and has a remarkable turn of foot. She has drawn Barrier 1, which could be a blessing or a curse, but if Lauren, despite her inexperience, can position her well, I think she’ll thrash the rest of the field. Her main rivals are fellow fillies Guelph and Metastasio who both have good wins under their belts, Guelph winning the Blue Diamond Prelude and Metastasio beating the boys in the Chairman’s Stakes. Dissident and Crack A Roadie are the best of the colts. Whatever, it will be a good race to watch.
Of the Group Two races, the Peter Young Stakes (1800 metres) looks the most interesting. Mr Moet, another talented West Australian, who ran a ripping race in the Orr Stakes coming from near last to win third place, will be hard to beat this time round. His major threats appear to be Mawingo who came second in the Orr Stakes, and in form South Australian Eclair Surprise who has won his last four starts.
In Sydney at Warwick Farm, old favourite Shoot Out will be starting his autumn campaign in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes. He won the Group One George Main Stakes first up last spring and could well win the Apollo Stakes first up this time. He ran second in this race last year to the classy Rain Affair, before winning the Chipping Norton. Gai Waterhouse runners, Glencadam Gold and Lazer Hawk represent his main threats. Good old Danleigh, Shoot Out’s stable mate could run a place.
I am attending the meeting on Saturday at Caulfield and am looking forward to seeing Miracles of Life in the flesh, as well as Barakey Mr Moet, All Too Hard, Ortensia and Green Moon.
*Check out Lauren Stojakovic’s blog on the Racing Victoria website – it’s a simple and quite engaging view of her chances on Miracles of Life in the Blue Diamond.