The 2017 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) will be run at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday, February 25.
A set-weights race for two-year-olds, the Blue Diamond Stakes is held during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival and attracts some of the best juveniles.
Carrying $1.5 million in prizemoney, it is easy to see why some of the best young horses from the biggest stables target the Blue Diamond Stakes which is one of three Group 1 races held on the day.
Standing alongside the Blue Diamond is the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) which attracts a high-class field and the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) that often has a large number of runners competing.
Supporting the three Group 1 features are the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) for the three-year-olds, Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) for the three-year-old stayers, Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) for the stayers, Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) for the three-year-olds and Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) for the mares.
The best lead-up races to the Blue Diamond Stakes are the fillies and colts & geldings editions of the Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) held at the same course two weeks earlier.
David Hayes is the most successful trainer in the races’ history and has trained five winners – Mahaasin (1990), Canonise (1991), Nadeem (2006), Sleek Chassis (2007) and Reaan (2008).
Dwayne Dunn sits atop the Blue Diamond-winning jockey table with four wins that remarkably came across four consecutive years – Undoubtedly (2005), Nadeem (2006), Sleek Chassis (2007) and Reaan (2008).
Sprinters tackling this race may progress to Australia’s richest two-year-old sprint, the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) held at Rosehill Gardens three weeks later.
First run in 1971, the Blue Diamond was won by Tolerance when the race was run over six furlongs as a Principal race.
Two years after its inception, the race converted to the metric system, and so was recognised as a 1,200 metre event.
In 1980, the Blue Diamond Stakes found the ultimate recognition in progressing to its current Group 1 status.
The short but illustrious honour roll lists some very accomplished sprinters with the most recent winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes being Extreme Choice in 2016.
Other former winners of the Blue Diamond include Manikato (1978), Rancher (1982), Redoute’s Choice (1999), Bel Esprit (2002), Alinghi (2004), Sepoy (2011) and Samaready (2012).