Coleman draws favourably in G1 Blue Diamond Stakes

Posted by RS NewsWire at 3:02pm on February 20th

Trainer Matt Laurie is counting down the sleeps to the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes after his colt secured a favourable barrier draw in the race at Caulfield.

Coleman has barrier seven in the 18-horse field that includes two emergencies and was the $4.60 favourite for Saturday’s 1200m dash after Tuesday’s draw.

Luck has fallen Laurie’s way in his preparation of Coleman after the trainer was forced into altering the colt’s program after an early set-back.

Firstly, a virus and then growing pains put Coleman on the back foot in the lead-up to his first-up autumn run which was a victory in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) on February 3.

Had Laurie waited another week his Blue Diamond dreams were potentially dashed when Coleman developed a foot abscess.

“It was a good hit-out for him first-up,” Laurie said.

“We were probably lucky as we had an abscess blow out the back of his heel the following Saturday, so I’m glad we ran him on that day, otherwise it would have jeopardised everything.

“His gallop at Mornington last Friday was very good and today I was very pleased.

“It was a worthwhile trip to bring him out here.”

Laurie said the past couple of weeks have been a lot less nerve racking once the foot abscess burst and cleared up.

The next part of the puzzle for Laurie will be how Coleman can adapt from racing seven opponents on his debut win and only four rivals in his Chairman’s Stakes victory to being against a capacity field of 16 on Saturday.

“That will be something new,” Laurie said.

“His races to date have been small fields and it’s going to take more than just being the best horse.

“The dynamics of the race have to suit, and you don’t want to be held up in traffic, but as far as ability goes, I love this horse and I can’t wait to see how he goes.”

Jockey Ben Melham, who has made a rushed recovery from hip surgery to ride Coleman in his autumn campaign, gave Laurie a glowing report after Tuesday’s gallop.

“Ben has a knack of coming into the stable at the right time,” Laurie said.

“And when he came in after riding him this morning, he said he would be winning.

“Hopefully he’s right.”

The $5 second favourite Bodyguard, victor in the Blue Diamond Prelude on February 10 drew alongside Coleman in gate six while the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Lady Camelot, the $6 third elect, is also drawn to advantage in gate four.

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