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22/02/02 Blue Diamond Facts and Trivia
The Group One AAMI Blue Diamond Stakes will be run over 1100 metres at Caulfield tomorrow with some of Australia's most promising two-year-olds set to clash in the $1,012,000 race.

Here is some trivia and facts about the feature sprinting event:

  • The race was first run in 1971 and was won by Tolerance.
  • Flemington was the venue for the race in 1996 when Paint started at 13/2 and won.
  • Lee Freedman is the only trainer to win in the race more than once in the past ten years. He won with Knowledge in 1997 and Danelagh in 1998. Pillaging is Lee's representative tomorrow.
  • The last two winners (Road to Success and True Jewels) have jumped from barrier two. This year Pillaging will jump from that position.
  • Previous winners of the race include Redoute's Choice, Hurricane Sky, Riva Diva, Courtza, Bounding Away, Rancher, Manikato, Blazing Saddles and John's Hope.
  • Last year the race was won by the $8.50 chance True Jewels. She was ridden to victory by Kerrin McEvoy for trainer Michael Moroney.
  • Seven of the last ten winners were victorious at the previous run. This year the last start winners are Bel Esprit, Delago Brom, Sparpower, Brief Embrace, Bardego and Took a Chance.
  • Only one of the last ten winners ran at an interstate venue at their final lead up run. That was last year's winner True Jewels who finished an unlucky runner-up in the Inglis Classic in Sydney. Pillaging finished second in the same race last start. The John Hawkes runners Takas and Gourmet Paradise are both down from Sydney while Tony McEvoy's runner Presumed Innocent was Group placed in Adelaide last start.
  • No favourite has won the race since the John Sadler trained Lady Jakeo triumphed in 1993. Riva Diva was also a winning favourite the previous year.
  • This year's trophy given to the winning connections is valued at $15,000.
  • Recent winners in the saddle include Greg Childs, Steven King, Rod Griffiths, Danny Nikolic, Jim Cassidy and Kerrin McEvoy.
  • Danny Nikolic, who is riding the last start winner Took a Chance tomorrow, has won two of the past six Diamonds. He rode both Paint and Redoute's Choice to victory.
  • Three horses have completed the Blue Diamond Stakes and VRC Sires' Produce Stakes double. They are Street Dafe (1984), Lord Dudley (1975), and the Diamond's inaugural winner Tolerance (1971).
  • Previous placegetters in the race include Testa Rossa, Sports, Umatilla, Keltrice, Triscay, Vitalic, Joy, Grosvenor, Fairy Walk, Century, Rancho Ruler, Canny Lad, Flavour and Tuscany Flyer.
  • The last filly to win the race was True Jewels last year. Previously the most recent female winner of the race was Danelagh in 1998. Before then it was Lady Jakeo in 1993.
  • Colts and geldings have the edge of the fillies in the race's history. The current head to head record sees the males lead the females 18 wins to 13.
  • This year's race is a leg of the recently announced Schillaci Silver Arrow Trophy. The horse which accumulated the most points in the series will be announced as the inaugural winner.
  • The last winner to jump from the inside barrier was the 1994 victor Hurricane Sky. This year Takas will jump from the inside alley.
  • Colts and geldings in the race are required to carry 55.5 kilograms as compared to the fillies with 53 kilos.
  • The race record is held by Hurricane Sky who covered the trip in 1994 in one minute and 8.1 seconds.
  • Four winners of the Blue Diamond Stakes have gone on to win the country's richest two-year-old race, the Golden Slipper Stakes in Sydney. They have been John's Hope (1972), Manikato (1978), Bounding Away (1986) and Courtza (1989).
  • The past seven winners of the Diamond have all started at 13/2 or longer. In that time both Road to Success and Knowledge jumped away as 20/1 outsiders before winning the rich event.

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