The Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes is the feature race at Caulfield this Saturday and it remains one of the major highlights of the Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
The Blue Diamond Stakes has been won by a number of the most talented juveniles in the history of Australian racing and many have gone on to achieve great things, while a number of horses were never again able to climb to the top of the racing mountain.
We have taken a look back at the past 11 winners of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes and tracked their respective career trajectories.
2006 – Nadeem
Nadeem recorded an upset victory in the 2006 edition of the Blue Diamond Stakes and that was definitely the highlight of his racing career.
The Redoute’s Choice colt did not return to racing again until more than 12 months later in the Yallambee Classic in Adelaide and he was retired to stud following his flat effort in the 2007 edition of The Goodwood.
Nadeem has had moderate success as a stallion – his top progeny is Group 1 winner Sterling City – and he now stands at Little Avondale Stud in New Zealand for the service fee of $6500.
It is fair to say that the runner-up went on to produce much bigger things – Miss Finland captured the Golden Slipper Stakes and finished her career as a multiple Group 1 winner.
2007 – Sleek Chassis
Sleek Chassis is another horse that failed to win another race after triumphing in the Blue Diamond Stakes.
She failed to fire in the Golden Slipper and she went on to produce credible efforts in the Riesling Stakes and Thousand Guineas Prelude, but she was retired after she failed to fire in the Robert Sangster Stakes and The Goodwood.
She has had very little success as a broodmare before she passed away.
2008 – Reaan
Reaan delivered Dwayne Dunn and David Hayes yet another Blue Diamond Stakes victory and was easily the highlight of his career.
He failed to beat home a runner in both the Todman Stakes and the Golden Slipper before he was retired after finishing last in a handicap event at Moonee Valley in February of 2009.
He stood as a stallion at Touchstone Farm without a great deal of success and he has now been retired.
2009 – Reward For Effort
Reward For Effort was outstanding in the 2009 Blue Diamond Stakes and he looked like a star in the making when he started his 2010 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with wins in the Sir John Monash Stakes and Concorde Stakes.
He returned to Group 1 racing with a flat effort behind Hay List in the 2010 Manikato Stakes and he was retired to stud after failing to fire in the 2011 Oakleigh Plate.
Reward For Effort has made a very promising start to his stallion career at Chatswood Park and he was the Champion Victorian 1st & 2nd Season Sire.
2010 – Star Witness
Star Witness stormed home from the tail of the field to win the 2010 Blue Diamond Stakes in breathtaking fashion.
He proved that victory was no fluke when he recorded a dominant victory in the Coolmore Stud Stakes later that year and he went on to finish in the placings in both the King’s Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot before he was retired to stand at stud.
Star Witness stands at Widden Stud for a service fee of $16,500 and he has produced Group 1 winner Global Glamour as Fuhryk, Stellar Collision and Star Turn.
2011 – Sepoy
Sepoy may be the greatest Blue Diamond Stakes winner of the modern era.
He followed his victory in the Blue Diamond Stakes up with a shock loss to Smart Missile in the Todman Stakes, but he bounced back two weeks later to complete the Blue Diamond/Golden Slipper double.
Sepoy was flawless during the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival as he won the Vain Stakes, Danehill Stakes, Manikato Stakes, Caulfield Sprint and Coolmore Stud Stakes in succession, but he was retired in 2012 after a failed trip to England for the July Cup.
A great deal was expected of Sepoy at stud, but he has struggled thus far and he service fee was slashed at the star of the last breeding season.
2012 – Samaready
Samaready is another Blue Diamond Stakes winner that was able to win another Group 1 event as an older horse.
She went into the 2012 Golden Slipper as favourite, but was beaten by Pierro and it looked as though her career may have been over when she had just one race start during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival.
Samaready returned to racing 12 months later and she won at Caulfield before she stamped herself as a sprinting star with a dominant victory over Buffering in the Moir Stakes.
That would prove to be the highlight of her racing career and she was retired after she flopped in her only race start during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
2013 – Miracles Of Life
The Blue Diamond Stakes victory of Miracles Of Life remains one of the biggest fairytales in racing history.
Miracles Of Life delivered trainer Daniel Clarken and jockey Lauren Stojakovic the biggest win of their racing careers, but she looked as though she would be a one campaign wonder when she failed to win a race during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
The speedy mare showed signs of life when she won the Euclase Stakes in Adelaide and she got a second wind when she was transferred to the care of Team Snowden in the middle of 2014.
She won the Caulfield Sprint in her first start for her new trainers and during the 2015 Autumn Racing Carnival she took out both the Challenge Stakes in Sydney and the Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide.
2014 – Earthquake
Earthquake started her career with three straight wins – including the Blue Diamond Stakes – and she won the Reisling Stakes before she was only narrowly beaten by Mossfun in the Golden Slipper.
Plenty was expected of Earthquake as a three-year-old, but she was beaten by Winx and First Seal in the Furious Stakes and Tea Rose Stakes before she returned to winning form in the Thoroughbred Club Stakes.
Earthquake finished a credible fifth in the William Reid Stakes in 2015, but Godolphin still elected to retire her to the breeding barn.
2015 – Pride Of Dubai
Pride Of Dubai delivered Team Snowden their third win in the past five editions of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes with a very tough win back in 2015.
Pride Of Dubai backed up his Blue Diamond Stakes victory with a win in the Sires Produce Stakes, but he had just one run as a three-year-old in the Eskimo Prince Stakes and he was retired from racing after suffering a hind fetlock injury.
He now stands at Coolmore for the service fee of $55,000.
2016 – Extreme Choice
Extreme Choice is the only winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes that is still racing.
He flopped in the Golden Slipper, but he returned to the races as a three-year-old with a win over the older horses in the Moir Stakes.
Extreme Choice did not perform at his best in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, but he will have the chance to atone in the Oakleigh Plate this weekend.
2017 – Catchy
Catchy showed an incredible turn of foot to take out the 2017 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes ahead of the colt Pariah.
Her next start was in the Golden Slipper where she did not handle the wet track and finished dead last.
She made a successful return in the Spring as a 3 year old taking out the Group 2 Danehill second up and then ran third against the boys in the Caulfield Guineas.
She finished her Spring with a disappointing 18th of 20 when stepping back in distance in the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Catchy will be first up in the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day at Caulfield on Saturday.