Racing: Snowden has strong quartet

Today's race will mark the 21st anniversary of Gai Waterhouse's first stakes winner.

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Trainer Peter Snowden is lining up a powerful arsenal to attack Victoria's premier two-year-old dash, the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes.

The latest to join the Darley assault is Saturday's Flemington debut winning $3.60 favourite Metastasio, who was totally professional in accounting for the field by 2 lengths.

Paul Snowden, representing the stable, told the Herald Sun the Diamond pecking order was Montsegur and Metastasio followed by Guelph in the fillies' division, with Kuroshio the sole colt.

"They are four top chances," he said of the Sheikh Mohammed-owned foursome.

Corporate bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au immediately installed Metastasio an $11 chance - equal second favourite with Montsegur behind Miracles Of Life ($7) - for the group one final over 1200m at Caulfield on February 23.

"Metastasio is very precocious and does everything right," Snowden said.

"She's very strong and she is up and running now so we will nominate her for the Blue Diamond Prelude [1100m at Caulfield on February 9].

"We'll take it from there. If all goes well, we will pay the late fee and head to the Diamond."

Montsegur, who was a 3-length winner over Calcutta on debut at Caulfield on Boxing Day, and Miracles Of Life, are both yet to be nominated.

Montsegur will run next Saturday at Caulfield in the fillies' division of the Diamond Preview over 1000m, while Kuroshio ($21 in the Diamond betting) will run in the male division.

Kuroshio won on debut in the listed Superracing Stakes at Flemington in October and then was third behind Villa Verde (reigning favourite for the Golden Slipper) in the Inglis Debutants Stakes later that month.

The third filly Guelph, also $21 for the Diamond, was runner-up at her only start in the listed Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick in October. She is likely to race in Sydney again before coming to Melbourne for the Diamond Prelude.

• Victorian trainer Anthony Freedman celebrated his return to Flemington with a win at his new home track that might have been better than he thought.

Freedman relocated last week from the Markdel training complex he and his brothers set up at Rye, south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, to the track where they began training in Melbourne in the early 1980s.

First Command's victory in the listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) was the first "official" winner he has sent out from the new stable.

"We had one at Sandown on Wednesday, but it went to the races from Markdel," Freedman told AAP.

The win also proved a homecoming for First Command who won the same race 12 months ago.

Last year's success led to a run in the group one Oakleigh Plate, but Freedman wasn't keen to commit to the same programme this season, until he spoke to winning rider Glen Boss. "He's seven years old now and he'd have to carry a bit of weight."

But having taken his racetrack earnings to some A$930,000, the trainer is keen to give the horse his chance to win A$1 million.

Boss told Freedman First Command felt far better than when he won on him at Caulfield two weeks ago and should be given his chance.

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