Group 1 Feast

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Master trainer Chris Waller chases racing history at Warwick Farm. Image courtesy of:

On a day which features four Group 1s, two-year-olds hold the spotlight with the running of the $1m Blue Diamond (1200m) at Caulfield.

Having won the last three Diamonds, fillies look set to continue their domination with the unbeaten Fontiton a clear favourite. In fact, Pride Of Dubai is the only other runner at single-figure odds.

If you follow jockeys, Dwayne Dunn has an outstanding record in this event (8: 4-0-2). He’s on Team Hawkes runner Lake Geneva .

Dissident appears to have a mortgage on the Futurity Stakes (1400m) following his spectacular return to form in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes over this course and distance. Peter Moody’s son of Sebring just needs a little luck from barrier 8 and another heady ride from Ben Melham. Entirely Platinum and Driefontein  look hardest to beat.

Twelve months ago, Earthquake strolled home in the Blue Diamond, and on Saturday, she’s one of the favourites in a wide open Oakleigh Plate (1100m). John O’Shea’s filly has missed a place just once in nine outings, and has won all three starts at Caulfield. The daughter of Exceed And Excel has trialled impressivley leading into this race and is two from three first up.

In Sydney, the Group 1 feature is the $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes over 1600m at Warwick Farm. Following his super first up victory in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), former UK galloper Contributer is all the rage, and deservedly so. The lightly raced Godolphin import is all class. Quality mare Lucia Valentina will relish the step up to a mile and is a definite danger.

Leading trainer Chris Waller is looking for a piece of turf history in this feature he's won for the past four years. If one of his eight runners (Forteller , Boban , He's You Man , Hawkspur , Junoob , Weary , Who Shot Thebarman and Opinion ) crosses the line first, he'll have a neat handful of consecutive Chipping Nortons and become the first trainer to win the same Group 1 event five years in a row!   

For those who love facts and figures, Tatts Stats has uncovered more interesting details on the Chipping Norton Stakes. 




Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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