Hanseatic homes in on Blue Diamond
ANTHONY Freedman's grip on a second consecutive Blue Diamond Stakes firmed after his spectacular finishing burst of the undefeated colt Hanseatic to win the Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m).
After Hanseatic ran down boom Sydney colt Rulership, who looked to have the race in his keeping, Ladbrokes reacted by firming the unbeaten Freedman colt to $2.60 for the $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes on February 22.
From his inside draw, Hanseatic jumped well but his jockey, Luke Currie, took hold of him and continually eased him away from the fence.
Hanseatic had drifted back to third last and was spotting Rulership four lengths on straightening.
Even with 100m to go, Hanseatic ($2.30 fav) was still a length off Rulership ($2.90), but managed to grab him on the line to win by a quarter of a length with Rathlin ($17) third.
Assistant trainer Sam Freedman admitted he had thought Hanseatic was going to finish an eye-catching second to Rulership, but took note of the colt's brilliant turn of foot.
"He had to be very good to win from where he was and run down a horse of the quality of Rulership," Freedman said.
Freedman said Hanseatic could unleash an instant sprint compared to last year's Blue Diamond winner, Lyre, and as a result was more brilliant.
He said Hanseatic had the ability to get himself out of tricky positions due to his ability to sprint quickly.
Freedman said the other pleasing aspect of the win was the improvement in Hanseatic's pre-race behaviour, which he said was 10 times better than his previous start.
Jockey Luke Currie said the win was that of a brilliant colt.
Rulership's trainer, Peter Snowden, said he wasn't disappointed by the run and was confident his colt could turn the tables in the Blue Diamond Stakes.
"He's having his second start and his first at Caulfield and he's beaten a head by the best colt down here. He'll take benefit and we'll also ride him a touch quieter," he said.
Hanseatic run 1.03.08 min for the 1100m, which was slower than Letzebglam's win in the fillies' division of the Prelude.
Earlier, co-trainers Natalie Young and Trent Busuttin won the fillies division with Letzbeglam.
A couple of year ago Young and Busuttin decided if they were going to make it in Australia they needed to focus not only on training stayers but also on two-year-olds.
This realignment has led them to having two starters in the Blue Diamond Stakes with filly Letzbeglam joining Tagaloa, who finished fourth behind Hanseatic in the colts prelude.
Young admitted she was taken aback with how Letzbeglam won after sitting three wide outside the leader and then kicking clear for an easy win.
Young said their confidence took a dent when Letzebglam drew the outside barrier 12 as she thought she'd have to settle back in the run.
"(Jockey) Brett (Prebble) did the right thing having three deep with cover outside the leader," she said.
Prebble said Letzbeglam still had a lot to learn and was more of a Thousand Guineas filly than a Blue Diamond but she deserved her chance in the feature sprint after making it two starts for two wins.
Letzbeglam ($31) defeated Muntaseera ($3.30) by 2¼ lengths with Geist ($14) third.