Loving Gaby Has Vet’ Check after soreness scare


Loving Gaby has been displaced as favourite for the Blue Diamond Stakes despite being given the all-clear to run in the Caulfield Group 1.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained filly underwent a second inspection by Racing Victoria vets on Friday after showing signs of lameness in her right foreleg a day earlier.

Fellow Blue Diamond contender Shotmaker has also been passed fit to run after showing signs of lameness on Thursday.

As a precaution both two-year-olds will again be examined on arrival at Caulfield.

Damien Thornton has been booked to ride the Tony McEvoy-trained Game Keeper after Barend Vorster was unable to make the trip from Singapore because of visa issues.

Beau Mertens is hopeful the opportunity to reunite with Brooklyn Hustle in the Blue Diamond can deliver him a first win at racing’s elite level.

Mertens rode Brooklyn Hustle to an impressive win when the two-year-old filly made her debut at The Valley on December 1. Mertens, 21, will be having his 20th ride in a Group One race and has finished second three times, all at Caulfield.

“This horse is probably one of the best chances I’ve ever ridden in a Group One,” Mertens said.

Trainer James Cummings has a host of feature race chances at Caulfield including Athiri who he believes can deliver him a first major two-year-old win in the Blue Diamond.

The Godolphin stable also has favourite Alizee and stablemates Hartnell and Best Of Days in Saturday’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes and Encryption in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate.

Avilius is favourite to make it two from two this campaign in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes while in-form Tin Hat will clash with exciting Chris Waller-trained colt Zousain in the Group Three Zeditave Stakes.


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