Laing looking towards Blue Diamond
Trainer Robbie Laing believes he has two of the leading chances for the Blue Diamond Stakes in stakes winner Spectrolite and Saturday’s impressive Sandown winner Grand Britannia.
Laing has raced only three of the seven two-year-olds on his books so far this season.
Stratum filly Spectrolite won the Listed AGL Solar Power Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day before an unlucky length fifth to Arctic Command in the Group Three Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at the same track four days later.
Dash For Cash colt Grand Britannia won Saturday’s Radio Sport 927 Plate (1000m) while stablemate Heaven’s Riches, a Danerich colt, was last of the nine runners on the heavy track.
Grand Britannia was purchased for $26,000 by Laing at the Autumn yearling sale in Melbourne, while Spectrolite was a Gold Coast Magic Millions buy, also for $26,000.
Laing joined David Hayes as equal leading trainer of two-year-olds in Melbourne so far this season, Hayes having won the Debutant Stakes with Stratum filly Eramor and the Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) with Mossman filly Dinner Date.
Grand Britannia, who had won barrier trials impressively at Cranbourne and Werribee, wore blinkers but was still pretty wayward.
“I’m glad he’d had a couple of trials because without them he may have been even greener than he was,” Laing said.
“He bombed the start and he was getting tightened for room on the corner.
“I thought he was going to run a nice fourth but he surged through. He’s a tough little fella and it was a good win.
Grand Britannia is out of Danehill mare Sketches, a winner of two country races and a half-sister to Group winner Hockney.
“He’s got quite a bit of potential,” Laing said of Grand Britannia.
“A few weeks ago just prior to Melbourne Cup day he put down a little bit of work with Spectrolite and there was nothing much between them.
“So from that day on we put him in cotton wool and tried to improve him and he’s come through well.”
Grand Britannia was the first leg of a winning treble for Lisa Cropp who has a big opinion of the colt.
“He’s a gorgeous mover, a real daisy cutter,” she said.
“It was a super effort, he got held up at vital stages and came between two horses so it was a good effort for a two-year-old to do that.”
“He’s levelled out beautifully which he also did in his trials. It’s onwards and upwards for this horse.”
The $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) is at Caulfield on February 26.