Form student, RIC CHAPMAN, details the hopes of every runner in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes on Saturday, with horse racing tips for the first four. Read on to see how he maps and assesses the race. Good luck, punters!

1. I AM IMMORTAL (9) 11

T: Anthony Freedman / J: BenMelham (56.5kg)

Genuine superstar young sprinter who will attempt to lead. Has not been headed in either of his two starts to date, the latest when running fast time and leading all way to win the boy’s division of the Blue Diamond Prelude over 1100m. Keeps beating his rivals with sheer pace but the last 100m will test his resolve.


T: Mike Moroney / J: Mark Zahra (56.5kg)

Smart horse this. Sat a mile off the frantic pace in the 1100m Prelude but railed and rallied late for eye-catching 3rd to I Am Immortal. Was pulling ground off the winner every stride over the final 100m. Surely is suited to this trip. Weaving his way home between runners is the biggest issue but is very talented.

3. FREE OF DEBT (6) 11

T: Chris Bieg / J: Michael Walker (56.5kg)

Is an interesting runner from South Australia. Interesting because he too is undefeated and he too likes to run from the front. So a hectic speed battle looks assured suiting the backmarkers. In his favour is the fact he has led and won at this trip. Has drawn to find the front and will be there for a good while.

4. SHOTMAKER (14) 2

T: Mick Price / J: Hugh Bowman (56.5kg)

What a superb looking young horse. Just oozes talent and from one start only. That was when 2nd to I Am Immortal in the Prelude. Loomed to win but just seemed to lose his way and not know what to do. Is trained at this track and although badly drawn has Hughie on top to help him find his way. Should come late and come hard.

5. GAME KEEPER (1) 441

T: Tony McEvoy / J: Barend Vorster (56.5kg)

Good quality juvenile who won a much easier race last start by grinding home strongly. Trip is not an issue but the class may test him. Will be back in about 5th to the bend on the fence but may struggle late and has a jock new to Aussie racing.

6. CATCH ME (8) 1×10

T: Team Snowden / J: Dwayne Dunn (54.5kg)

Nice filly, well was before last start failure in the girl’s Prelude behind Lyre. Prior to that was unbeaten and looked the likely Diamond favourite. Needs to lift on last start. But if you put it down to 2nd up syndrome and go on her previous form, then she could sit in the one, one and finish hard.

7. LYRE (5) 511

T: Anthony Freedman / J: Luke Currie (54.5kg)

What a great filly. Has improved so much in her 3 starts to date. Was useful on debut when 5th, then improved 2 lengths to win her maiden out of town. Took another big leap forward when sitting 3-deep all way and powering over them to win the girl’s Prelude at huge odds. Perfectly drawn this time. Is on the rapid improvement curve, is owned by Godolphin who seem to win everything and should finish hard.

8. VINICUNCA (4) 1×2

T: Gai waterhouse & Adrian Bott / J: Stevey Baster (54.5kg)

Another terrific speed filly. Led all way to win at Flemington on debut then spelled before resuming and charging across from bad barrier to lead the girl’s Prelude until final few strides. Must strip fitter this time and has the perfect draw. The only problem is the pace around her. May get burnt off early but she will hold the fence which is an advantage.

9. BELLA ROSA (10) 1×2

T: Ciaron Maher & Davide Eustace / J: Linda Meech (54.5kg)

Is the second-stringer from the Ciaron Maher-David Eustace yard and as such looks behind at least one! Has speed and was up on pace all way when 2nd to that stablemate Loving Gaby last start when first up. Is fast and honest but will find it tough being posted deep most of the way here. This is her home track though.

10. LOVING GABY (12) 1

T: Ciaron Maher & Davide Eustace / J: Damian Lane (54.5kg)

Will probably start favourite for this on the strength of her powerhouse finishing burst to win a Gr 3 race over 1000m here a few weeks back. Different kettle of fish this time around. Drew gate 2 that day and had the run of the race. Drawn wide here and will be a mile back early. Does have stable confidence and has a powerful finishing burst so should be suited by the trip.

11. ATHIRI (13) 1×3

T: James Cummings / J: Chris Williams (54.5kg)

Another who was considered a major, major threat to win this before failing in the Prelude behind Lyre. Did sit 3-deep all the way and was resuming from a spell. So there were excuses. Is fitter now, and to be fair, did loom to win that race last start. The problem I have is, despite the fact I think she is probably the best horse in the race, she again has a terrible draw and just will not be able to get in anywhere. With this being a strong race, that may prove difficult for her.

12. LANKAN STAR (7) 2×14

T: Team Hayes & Dabernig / J: Damien Oliver (54.5kg)

Useful filly. Easily won a much easier juvenile race at the Valley then hit a flat spot as they turned before finishing hard for 4th to Lyre in the girl’s Prelude. Was beaten over 2 lengths that day and all 3 who beat her home should improve so not likely to test this mob.

13. BROOKLYN HUSTLE (11) 1×5

T: Jason Warren / J: Beau Mertens (54.5kg)

Is talented, probably very talented but was only 5th to Lyre in the Prelude. To be fair, she was wide all way, was near last all way, had to circle field late and was first up. Rattled home when straightened and was beaten 2.5 lengths. Extra trip should suit but will be near enough to last before the bend again.


T: Team Hayes & Dabernig / J: Luke Nolen (54.5kg)

Massive rise in grade here and off a very quick back up following a genuinely impressive win in easier grade just a few days ago. The quick back up isn’t a concern as time and time again very fit horses seem to actually love it. What I like about her is the fact she’s drawn to get a perfect trail behind what will be a very fast, frenetic pace. At worse, she will be one off the fence back in about 5th. Either way, she gets cover and at her last start, she showed extraordinary finishing power over 1000m. The extra 200m will be right up her alley. She was $19 during the week to win this and that to me, given how this race will be run, is tremendous value. Have in your numbers.

Tip: 1. ANDRASSY AVENUE, 2. Lyre, 3. Shotmaker, 4. Athiri