Blue Diamond Stakes

The Blue Diamond Stakes is a $1m Group 1 set weights race for two year olds. It is run over 1200m at Caulfield every February.

It is Melbourne’s premier juvenile event and is considered the Melbourne equivalent of the Golden Slipper.

It was first run in 1971, when it was won by Tolerance. Since then, the race has uncovered some genuine top-liners. Among the notable winners are John’s Hope (1972), Lord Dudley (1975), Manikato (1978), Rancher (1982), Bounding Away (1986), Zeditave (1988), Courtza (1989), Hurricane Sky (1994), Redoute’s Choice (1999), Bel Esprit (2002), Alinghi (2004) and Star Witness (2010).

In 2011, Sepoy maintained his unbeaten record by romping home, defeating Hallowell Belle and Masthead, while 2012 saw Samaready win from No Looking Back and Armed for Action.

The race has not been without controversy. In 2003, first past the post Roedean was disqualified four months after the race after returning a positive swab, with Kusi awarded the race.

One of the more prominent efforts in recent years has been that of jockey Dwayne Dunn, who rode four winners in a row between 2005 and 2008. He steered Undoubtedly, Nadeem, Sleek Chassis and Reaan to success.

The typical route to the Blue Diamond is through the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m), usually held on Australia Day, and the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m). Both races are split into two divisions – one for colts and geldings, the other for fillies.

In the last ten years, only Star Witness and Sleek Chassis did not run in a Preview or Prelude, both coming through the Listed Talindert Stakes (1000m). Kusi also didn’t run in a Preview or Prelude, instead coming through Sydney races.

From here, the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) in Sydney is a logical target. However, the record of Blue Diamond Stakes winners in the Golden Slipper is not overly good. Only five horses – John’s Hope (1982), Manikato (1978), Bounding Away (1986), Courtza (1989) and Sepoy (2011) – have done the double.