Having made the decision to bypass the Karaka Million, the Lindsay Park team has the Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes firmly in its sights with exciting colt Long Leaf (2c Fastnet Rock x Frustrating, by Stravinsky), who kept his record at a perfect three for three in the Listed MRC Blue Diamond Preview at Caulfield on Saturday.
Long Leaf carries the navy-blue silks of Coolmore and is by the same sire as last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy.
Following a narrow victory at Morphettville at his career debut back on October 28, Long Leaf improved to capture the Listed MRC Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown on November 18.
The powerfully made bay improved again here. He was scrubbed along early by Damien Oliver to stay in touch with the speed set by Invincible Lad.
He did not shirk his task in the closing stages hitting the line strongly to win the 1000 metre dash by half a length
“He’s got a great attitude and is a real talent too,” said winning rider Damien Oliver.
“He’s lovely to ride, very professional and has all the makings of a quality two-year-old.”
Co-trainer Ben Hayes said Long Leaf is likely to go to the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes without another run.
“He’s very professional, I was thrilled the way he paraded today,” Hayes said.
“He’s a very exciting, an undefeated Fastnet Rock who won two races before Christmas, he’s a real stallion prospect now.
“On the line, he was full of running and we think he will be better over 1200 metres and we might go straight to the Blue Diamond now.”
Foaled and raised at Coolmore, Long Leaf was purchased by BBA Ireland for $750,000 out of the Curraghmore draft at the NZB Premier Yearling Sale.
He is the first winner for the winning Stravinsky (USA) mare Frustrating, a daughter of blue hen Parfore, the dam of Group I winners Terravista and Tiger Tees, as well as Group II winner Ball of Muscle, Singapore Horse of the Year and sire Super Easy and the multiple Listed Stakes winner Our Lukas.
Coolmore will offer the full sister to Long Leaf at Inglis Easter this year as Lot 144.
Fastnet Rock posted a juvenile stakes double on Saturday with his unbeaten filly Avantage taking out the Karaka Million in New Zealand.