Plague Stone tests Diamond prospects at Caulfield

Mike Hedge

Important steps in the lead up to the autumn’s juvenile features will be taken in both Melbourne and Sydney on Saturday, 10 February with the appearance of the Godolphin youngsters La Parva, Plague Stone and Osorno.

In Melbourne La Parva, a winner on debut last month, has her second start in the G2 Blue Diamond Prelude for fillies at Caulfield, while Plague Stone, who finished second at his only start, goes in the colts’ and geldings’ division.

Both are potential runners in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes, also at Caulfield, on Saturday, 24 February.

To trainer James Cummings, Plague Stone (Kerrin McEvoy) is among his best juveniles and is expected have benefited from his second placing at his only start to date.

“He’s a fascinating horse, you’d swear he was a five-year-old gelding the way he’s so relaxed around the stable,” Cummings said.

“But when the gates open he switches straight on.” 

Cummings said that even though it is almost three months since Plague Stone’s only race start, the colt will be fit enough to stake a solid Blue Diamond claim.

“He’s retained plenty of residual fitness from his first run and he trialled nicely in Sydney last week,” he said.

La Parva (Dwayne Dunn) produced a perfect performance on debut at Ballarat a month ago, running out an easy winner of a juvenile maiden and stable reports are that the sister to Godolphin filly Ghisoni has improved since.

“She will have to step up a notch in this class, but she couldn’t have been much more impressive at Ballarat and she’s trained on nicely,” Cummings said.

At Warwick Farm in Sydney, Osorno (Glyn Schofield) is looking for a breakthrough victory in the Listed Lonhro Plate after showing improvement at each of his three runs to date.

At his latest outing the colt was a strong third at Rosehill two weeks ago and on debut last September was a handy fifth behind top G1 Golden Slipper Stakes hope Performer in the Listed Breeders’ Plate.