Enthaar tightens grip on Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper after Caulfield win

Enthaar reinforced her credentials as the leading Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper contender with an emphatic victory at Caulfield on Saturday.

Star jockey Mark Zahra sat quietly on the boom Written Tycoon filly who put a space on Godolphin colt Ingratiating and Fortunate Kiss in the $160,000 Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m).

The blistering performance, which seared a smile on the dial of co-trainer Ciaron Maher, gives the powerful stable its best chance at the elusive Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).

WOW. Easy win for Enthaar. 🤤

She could be very [email protected] @MelbRacingClub pic.twitter.com/rY9cqMvfMi

The Maher-David Eustace partnership has saddled up Away Game (4th, 2020) and Loving Gaby (6th, 2019) the past two years, while the fancied Jukebox was scratched on race morning in 2017.

“It’s a race that has been eluding us,” Maher said.

“Jukebox was the one. I’ll get over that one day.

“God, all those horses, I suppose the natural precocity of her at such a young age is probably the most obvious and exciting thing and she has such a big frame and can obviously use it.”

Enthaar was a class above her rivals in the Chairman’s Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Enthaar led out of the machine and quickened sharply to have rivals chasing before the straight. Ingratiating stuck on under hard riding while third-placed Fortunate Kiss peaked on a nice run.

“She was very impressive,” Maher said. “It looked like she did it pretty easy heading into what is one of her targets, the Blue Diamond.

“She only had the one jump out and she’s going to come on in leaps and bounds.

“I couldn’t have been happier to the eye.”

Enthaar firmed $3.50 to $2.10 with TAB to win the Blue Diamond and $6 to $4.50 in the Golden Slipper.

Enthaar has tightened her grip on the Blue Diamond Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Zahra was thrilled with the performance, which drew comparisons to Diamond-Slipper-winner Sepoy. Zahra rode the Darley-owned colt leading into the 2011 Blue Diamond before Kerrin McEvoy replaced him for the “grand final”.

“Sepoy, he had a really good turn of foot and I think this filly has more speed, I reckon,” Zahra said. “They’re both very good horses and at least this one I’ll be able to stay on for grand final day.”

Despite not being fully tested, Zahra expects filly to stretch out to 1200m.

“I said to Ollie pulling up that I had harder work pulling her up than I did in the race,” he said. “I didn't know if she could have gone much quicker than I was riding her out.

“She does her best without much encouragement, but I definitely think there was a bit there.

“The grand final is in a couple of weeks … as long as she can behave like she did today, I think she’ll get the 1200 metres.”

Originally published asToo easy: Enthaar tightens grip on Blue Diamond

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