Eustace confident filly can overcome draw
David Eustace was initially deflated when Enthaar drew an outside barrier for the Blue Diamond Stakes but his disappointment didn’t last long.
The unbeaten filly will jump from barrier 14 in the Group One feature but Eustace has taken solace from watching a replay of Written By’s win in the 2018 renewal in which he started from barrier 15.
“We watched the replay of Written By and he got across quite comfortably,” Eustace said.
“You can sit three-deep at Caulfield as there’s one turn and kick right off it. We know she jumps well and strides forward so we know she can get across.”
TAB fixed odds price assessors reacted to Tuesday evening’s barrier draw by easing Enthaar from $2.10 to $2.30, while General Beau firmed from $11 into $6.50 after he drew three.
Eustace says the positive aspect to Enthaar’s wide draw is that it will allow her plenty of galloping room.
“I think she can overcome it. It’s not perfect but it is better than her being cluttered up,” Eustace said.
“It’s going to make it tougher. She’s a very good filly and we think she has the speed to get out of trouble.”
Enthaar’s two wins have been over 1000 metres and she rises to 1200 metres for the first time in the Blue Diamond.
Eustace wants to see the filly relax early to ensure she runs the trip out strongly and he expects the riding style of jockey Mark Zahra to ensure that happens.
“I suspect we will know her fate 400 metres into the race,” he sad.
Enthaar has had two starts for two easy victories in the Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick in October and the Chairman’s Stakes at Caulfield on January 30.
She sat wide without cover and still won on debut, although Eustace admitted there would be a new level of pressure in Saturday’s $1.5 million race.
“They are going to make her work to come across. There’s going to be a lot of pressure, moreso than normal,” Eustace said.
“I’m sure she can do it. We have the confidence in her.”
Eustace said Enthaar had derived a great deal of improvement from her first-up win in the Chairman’s Stakes having gone into the race “fairly soft”.
The Ciaron Maher and Eustace stable are striving for their first Blue Diamond Stakes win.