Unable to make much of an impact in his competitive debut partway through the 2014 Spring Carnival, trainer Mick Price has been thrilled with the form and class displayed by colt Stylish Assassin since his return to work this time and has confirmed he will return to racing in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude C&G (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14th.
Jumping from the gates well in a Sandown barrier trial on Tuesday, Stylish Assassin was immediately led towards the fore of the field by jockey Damien Oliver, tracking the trial’s early leaders and displaying a good turn of foot late to hit the line second behind the Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka.
Confident he is capable of maiden race and black type success this season, Price told Racing Victoria it’s all systems go for Stylish Assassin, who will definitely take his position in the 2015 Blue Diamond Prelude event for colts and geldings.
“His was a significantly quicker trial and he is a colt and a bit of a thinker,” Price said.
“I’ve always had a good opinion of him but he was just niggled over the last 100 metres hands and heels as the horse of Ciaron Maher’s was just way too quick.
“He’ll trial again on Tuesday next week and the run in the colts and geldings Blue Diamond Prelude and that will tell us whether he’s a real Blue Diamond chance.”
Unlucky to be allocated the wide and awkward barrier 11 for his racing debut; the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) on October 11th, Stylish Assassin was immediately forced to settle at the tail of the field of 12, striking interference several times over the back straight.
Appearing to settle into a reasonable rhythm, the Exceed And Excel colt was unable to find a clear line upon reaching the final straight and finished a disappointing 10th; around six lengths off the pace of winner Of The Brave.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2015 Blue Diamond Prelude C&G is due to be completed and released by midday, February 11th while the running list for the Blue Diamond Stakes is set to be confirmed on the 25th of the same month.
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