Glyn Schofield wins in Sydney on Blue Diamond Stakes fancy Athiri. Picture: Getty Images
Glyn Schofield wins in Sydney on Blue Diamond Stakes fancy Athiri. Picture: Getty Images

Diamond favourites set tough task

LEADING $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes fancies Loving Gaby and Athiri have been condemned to wide gates after a barrier draw that threatens to throw race markets into turmoil.

Ciaron Maher and David Eustace's unbeaten Loving Gaby (TAB $4.50 favourite pre-draw, and the same price with Ladbrokes after the draw) will jump from barrier 12, while James Cummings' Athiri ($6.50 with Ladbrokes) has drawn 13.

Tony McEvoy's Game Keeper drew the coveted inside alley, and Mick Price's Shotmaker has the outside 14 gate.

Maher and Eustace will hope a recent trend of success for outside gates continues at Caulfield on Saturday.

Last year's winner Written By jumped from barrier 15.

Maher was delighted with Loving Gaby's work on Tuesday  morning.

"(Loving) Gaby worked really well, she worked with an older horse on the course proper and is spot-on," Maher said.

Maher was also impressed by stablemate Bella Rosa, who drew barrier 10.

"(Bella Rosa) worked quite well. She didn't do as much, she is a more athletic type, (but) she is in great order," he said.

"(She) has done bugger all wrong. She makes her own luck and sat on the speed the other day and was still chasing Loving Gaby with a few extra kilos."

Mick Price remains optimistic Shotmaker can overcome his wide gate.

"He is not as explosive as some of the (star two-year-olds) we have had in the past," Price said. "But he is still a very good horse.

"I think he has improved (since his second to I Am Immortal in the Prelude). He will be competitive."

GROUP 1 BLUE DIAMOND STAKES (1200m) - FINAL FIELD AND BARRIERS

CAULFIELD - Saturday, 4.10pm

1. I Am Immortal (Anthony Freedman, Ben Melham) - BARRIER 9

2. Hawker Hurricane (Michael Moroney, Mark Zahra) - BARRIER 2

3. Free Of Debt (Chris Bieg, Michael Walker) - BARRIER 6

4. Shotmaker (Mick Price, Hugh Bowman) - BARRIER 14

5. Game Keeper (Tony McEvoy, Barend Vorster) - BARRIER 1

6. Catch Me (Peter and Paul Snowden, Dwayne Dunn) - BARRIER 8

7. Lyre (Anthony Freedman, Luke Currie) - 54.5kg - BARRIER 5

8. Vinicunca (G Waterhouse, Adrian Bott, Stephen Baster) - BARRIER 4

9. Bella Rosa (C Maher and D Eustace, Linda Meech) - BARRIER 10

10. Loving Gaby (C Maher and D Eustace, Damian Lane) - BARRIER 12

11. Athiri (James Cummings, Craig Williams) - BARRIER 13

12. Lankan Star (D and B Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Damien Oliver) - BARRIER 7

13. Brooklyn Hustle (Jason Warren, Beau Mertens) - BARRIER 11

14. Andrassy Avenue (D and B Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Luke Nolen) - BARRIER 3

News Corp Australia

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