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Hayes settles on Blue Diamond trio
Mathew Toogood
18:56 AEST Fri Feb 15 2013

The man who has trained more Blue Diamond winners than any other has settled on his team for this year's renewal.

But he could be prepared to reconsider if either of his runners in Saturday's Talindert Stakes impress him enough.

David Hayes said I Am Titanium, Gregers and Fast `N' Rocking would definitely run in Saturday week's $1 million Group One Blue Diamond.

He will be represented by Blue Palace and debutant Great Esteem in the Talindert but said it was "highly unlikely" either would back up in the Blue Diamond.

"Great Esteem is an interesting runner but I'm looking at him as a Champagne Stakes and Sires' Produce Stakes horse," Hayes said.

"He's beautifully bred and has got a bit of class."

Great Esteem is a full brother to the Peter Moody-trained three-year-old High Esteem who will take aim in the Group Three CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on the same program named after the trainer's late father.

Hayes was disappointed with the performance of Blue Palace at Caulfield last Saturday in the Blue Diamond fillies Prelude when she finished sixth.

As a result she will wear winkers in Saturday's race.

"She ran well below her best last week," Hayes said.

Hayes had 10 of the 49 juveniles left in the Blue Diamond at the third declaration stage in his bid to win Victoria's premier juvenile race for the sixth time.

On three consecutive occasions from 2006 to 2008, Hayes combined with jockey Dwayne Dunn for Blue Diamond success and Dunn will ride Gregers this year.

Gregers was a debut winner at Moonee Valley and the form from that 1000m race will be put to the test on Saturday.

The four horses that finished second to fifth in the Moonee Valley race are all entered for the Talindert.

Hayes said Chad Schofield would ride I Am Titanium in the Blue Diamond with the colt to wear blinkers for the first time, while Steven Arnold rides Fast `N' Rocking.


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