Monday, January 27, 2020

Back at the Track – Blue Diamond Previews

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Hanseatic on his way to winning the Colts & Geldings Blue Diamond Preview

With the CF Orr Stakes, the first Group 1 of the 2020 Autumn Racing Carnival, a little less than a fortnight hence,  it was pleasant to resume my Saturday afternoons at the races.

Though not a particularly riveting meeting, I always take an interest in the early build up races to the Blue Diamond Stakes, and at Caulfield last Saturday the two Blue Diamond Previews were the must see events.

My racing photographer friends Rebecca and George, also had the same idea, so it was pleasant to catch up with them again.

Despite the transport disruptions with trains to Caulfield being replaced by buses, it didn’t take me all that long to get there, an express bus from Flinders Street reaching Caulfield in a mere 20 minutes.

So I was at the track in plenty of time to see the first of the Previews and even had time to cruise through the stalls area first.

Hanseatic was highly fancied for the boys Preview and he was being accoutred  in his stall as I passed.

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Hanseatic in his stall

Also in her stall was the eventual winner of the fillies Preview, A Beautiful Night, though she looked a trifle peeved to be there.

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A Beautiful Night in her stall

It being early in the autumn racing season, there wasn’t much of a crowd, so it was easy to get a spot on the fence to photograph the races. I had of course taken along my step, doubly handy as the rail was out by 6 metres.

Hanseatic was most impressive winning the Colts Blue Diamond Preview, racing wide for most of the race then taking off shortly after the turn into the straight to blitz the field and win by 2½ lengths from Glenfiddich with Fixated running third a further 2 lengths in arrears.

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Hanseatic whizzes past Glenfiddich in the straight

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Glenfiddich running second

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Fixated on his way to the barriers

Fresh was the warm favourite for the fillies Blue Diamond Preview, but she was outrun by A Beautiful Night who led from the start to win narrowly from the fast finishing Fresh. Unstoppabelle finished third two lengths behind.

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A Beautiful Night in full flight down the straight

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Fresh on her way to the barriers

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Unstoppabelle on her way to the barriers

I only stayed for one more race, the 1400 metre the Lamaro’s Hotel Sth Melbourne Handicap and it resulted in a wall of horses hitting the post at the same time.  Zero Doubt got the nod from Wedgetail and race favourite Wilmont Pass.

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Race 5 finish – Zero Doubt is on the rail, Wedgetail is outside and Wilmont Pass is the centre

The afternoon was warm and sunny, quite a change from my last race outing on Mackinnon Stakes Day last Spring where it was somewhat inclement.

It was worth attending for the two Diamond Previews, though next week promises to be more interesting as the better performed runners start emerging to begin their Autumn campaigns. Looking at the nominations, I hope to see the likes of Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth and others such as Loving Gaby, I Am Immortal, and Sunlight’s little sister Sisstar.

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