Blue Diamond Stakes Litmus Test for Youngsters
Caulfield’s 1200m Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes boasts Australia’s richest prize money for two-year-olds, $1.5-million, so it always attracts a strong field of the year’s top debutants. It’s often a great race at which to find a few future champions, although there has been the odd flash in the pan, too.
Here’s a list of three Blue Diamond Stakes winners who definitely were the real thing, and went on to prove it:
Foaled in 1975, Manikato turned into a legend of Australian racing. He started as he meant to go on, winning the Blue Diamond Stakes-Golden Slipper Stakes double in his debut year. A record-breaking time in his win in the Ascot Vale Stakes the following year meant that he had won three Group 1 races from three starts.
The gelding continued racing till the age of six, racking up a record of 47: 29-8-5 and winning more than $1.1-million in (1970s) prize money. He won several of Australia’s top races, some multiple times – such as four Futurity Stakes victories and five in the William Reid Stakes.
– Redoute’s Choice
Now one of Australia’s most prolific and successful stud stallions, Redoute’s Choice was foaled in 1996, and won his debut race as a two-year-old, the Listed Veuve Clicquot Stakes over 1100m. He followed that with a win over 1200m in the 1999 Blue Diamond Stakes, and then took his first race as a three-year-old the following spring, in the 1200m Manikato Stakes – ironically, matching the three-stakes-wins-from-three-starts record set by Manikato, the champion after whom the Moonee Valley sprint was named.
After racing for three years, in which he amassed more than $1.5-million in prize money and a record of 10: 5-1-2, including his Caulfield Guineas win in 2000, he was retired to stud. Since then, he has become known as a sire of both champions and champion sires.
Foaled in 2001, Alinghi also started her career winning the Blue Diamond in 2004 and the Ascot Vale the following year, and then became one of the few mares to win the Newmarket Handicap as a three-year-old. She also racked up $1.5-million in prize money in a career that lasted barely two years, finishing on a brilliant record of 18: 11-2-3.
After the first unplaced finish of her career in 2005, she was retired to stud. She died as a result of complications while giving birth last year.
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