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79 Left In Blue Diamond Contention
79 juveniles remain in contention for the 2017 Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 25 February following the closure of the third round of acceptances yesterday. Lindsay Park top the third acceptance leader board with 13 entries ahead of global giant Godolphin and Mick Price, the trainer of last year’s Blue Diamond winner, with 8. The Lindsay Park team appear to hold a particularly strong hand in this year’s edition with eight of their thirteen acceptors having already won races, including top chances Catchy, Tulip and Formality. Catchy shares joint-favouritism in Ladbrokes’ all-in market with Snowden Racing’s Pariah at $8, while Ciaron Maher’s Jukebox ($13) and Tony McEvoy’s Azazel ($15) have also accepted for the $1.5 million Gr1 event. This year’s 79 third acceptances present a rise from last year’s total of 71 and fall just short of 2015’s record tally of 84. Entered horses now have until 9am, Tuesday 21 February, before final declarations are due. Snitzel is this year’s leading sire among third acceptors, with ten of his sons and daughters still in Blue Diamond contention. Other leading stallions include Exceed and Excel and Sebring with seven entries each. The Blue Diamond Preview races (Gr2 over 1100m for fillies & Gr3 for colts and geldings) are scheduled to run at Caulfield on 11 February ahead of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes on 25 February.