The Blue Diamond Stakes Prelude is actually two races, one for fillies and another for colts and geldings. The Prelude for the colts and geldings is a Group 3 race. This article will focus on the fillies’ race.
A group 2 sprint of 1100 metres for fillies of two years of age is run under set weight conditions at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne as part of the autumn racing season.
The prizemoney on offer is $200,000.
History of the Blue Diamond Prelude (fillies)
The race is watched intently as it could supply some guide for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes that is held later in the month of February.
Juvenile races tend to be quite popular, as they provide punters for a chance to evaluate a crop of Thoroughbreds and see which ones have good careers as older horses or which ones turn out to be but brief flashes.
As for betting on a juvenile race, it is a task for those who enjoy suffering, because there is seldom anything by way of good form to be known and younger horses are notorious for being inconsistent.;
The Blue Diamond Prelude Fillies was first run in 1982, so it is a newer race by comparison to many of the races run at Caulfield from when the course first opened in the 1850s.
It was classified as a Listed race for the first four years, and then was made Group 3 quality in 1986, where it remained through the 2014 edition.
From 2015, it was granted Group 2 status.
The year 1996 was the only year the race trip was changed. It was 1150 metres that year and it was the only time the Blue Diamond Prelude Fillies was held at Sandown while Caulfield was having a redo.
Caufield Racecourse is a long walkabout from the CBD or Melbourne – about 13 kilometres. There is reliable train service and calling on ride share to get there is a good way to go as well.
Caulfield is planning to close its training facilities in 2023. The neighbours were complaining about the smell.
Actually, we don’t know that. What we do know is the land value this close to the Melbourne CBD is much too valuable to use for horses. Where 10 horses can live and train, several thousand, possibly more Melbourners can be housed in fancy condos.
Racing will still be held at the track, now and for the foreseeable future, but Caufield based trainers will have to find a new locale for prepping their gallopers.
As for the track itself, it is a true jewel in terms of metropolitan racecourses and it is worth a visit even for those who have something other than Thoroughbred racing in mind.
Racing History of the Blue Diamond Prelude Fillies
As an age restricted race, naturally there are not multiple winners of the Group 2 Blue diamond Prelude Fillies.
The list of winners is short and the list of significant winners shorter.
As a lead up to the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes, the Blue Diamond Prelude Fillies has seldom been the prelude to a win in the Blue Diamond Stakes proper.
Of all the names under the list of winners, the only truly noteworthy winners were Alinghi in 2004 and Lyre in 2019.
The 2020 winner Letzbeglam can be seen winning the race here, but it is just the last 400 metres of the race.
Here is Lyre winning in 2019.
She won with an exceptional burst at the end and won by 3/4s length and she would go on to win the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes a couple of weeks later.
Shew works for Godolphin, which is to say she is raced. The Prelude was her first major win. She ran very well in the Blue Diamond Stakes, beating Lankan Star and Free Of Debt and like the Prelude, was well back in 12th at the 400-metre mark. After that, she was third in the Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill to Kiamichi and Microphone, although she beat good horses in Loving Gaby, Yes Yes Yes and the favourite Tenley.
She has not won since winning the Blue diamond Stakes. She ran well in South Australia, managing a second in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes and third in The Goodwood, both in Morphettville, and she also had a second at Flemington in the Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes.
The other notable winner, Alinghi from 2004, also won the Blue Diamond Stakes after winning the Prelude.
She was quite the racer, Alinghi was, and she won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap in 2005 and retired as a four-time winner at Group 1 level.
Love A Show, the winner in 1983, the second year the race was run, was another Blue Diamond Stakes winner. Those were her only two wins, though.
The next filly to notch the Blue Diamond Prelude – Blue Diamond Stakes double was Courtza in 1989. She won five and placed in three from 14 jumps, winning over $1.8 million in the process.
Then, the Diamond Double was filled by Lady Jakeo in 1993. Like Courtza, Lady Jakeo won five races, but only earned about a third as much prizemoney as the Lady did.
Samaready (2012), Earthquake (2014), and Catchy (2017) represent the final three on our list of Diamond Doubles.
Samaready would win one more Group 1, the 2013 A J Moir Stakes, and ran well in some other major races, but only made 13 jumps. After the A J Moir victory, she basically fell off the map.
Likewise, Earthquake was no worse than second in her first five starts. She was moved from Peter Snowden to John O’Shea after running second in the 2014 Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes, but won only a Group 3 at Caulfield after changing stables.
The Prelude winner from 2017, Catchy, burst onto the scene winning her first four, the last two of those four being the Prelude and the Stakes. She won the Group 2 Danehill Stakes later that same year, place third in her next two races, and then baffle everyone by running 18th of 20 in the Coolmore Stud Stake at Flemington with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Given that there is generally a large crop of two-year-olds every year, it would seem a wise move to run the Blue Diamond Stakes Preludes in two races sorted by gender.
The race has grown in stature since it first began and today, it is still a feature that receives a lot of attention. The big race for the meeting is still the Group 1 C F Orr Stakes; the Blue Diamond Preview Fillies is worth a hard look.
|Year||Blue Diamond Stakes Fillies Winners|
|2011||One Last Dance|
|1997||Rose Of Danehill|
|1994||My Flashing Star|
|1991||Raise A Rhythm|
|1983||Love A Show|