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Late fees needed for Blue Diamond chances

Connections of Blue Diamond Preview winners Limestone and Property will need to pay $55,000 late entry fees to run the juveniles in Melbourne’s premier two-year-old race at Caulfield.

The pair joined Tulip, runner-up in the fillies Preview, as $9 equal favourites for next month’s $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield after their victories on Thursday.

In defeating Tulip, Limestone ran 0.06 seconds faster than Property did in winning the 1000m colts and geldings division.

Leading trainer Darren Weir enters uncharted waters with Limestone who has now won two of her three starts.

Weir has never had a runner in a Blue Diamond and is unsure whether Limestone will back up into the fillies Blue Diamond Prelude on February 11.

“I’ve never had a two-year-old like this before so I’ll have to put a bit of thought into it,” Weir said.

“She’s tough. I think she will benefit from a run but I’ll have to have a chat to the owners and see what they want to do.

“If we decided not to give her a run she’ll probably have a trial.”

Limestone is owned by former Racing Victoria chairman David Moodie who Weir said was likely to pay the late fee into the Diamond.

Craig Williams was far from disappointed with the performance of runner-up Tulip who was beaten a short-half-head by Limestone.

“She had to be ridden in a more vulnerable position today,” Williams said.

“She will derive improvement from the run and it will toughen her up.”

A $130,000 yearling, Property is raced by Hong Kong-based Price Bloodstock and was also an acceptor for a two-year-old race at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

David Price buys stock to sell to Hong Kong clients but Property failed a veterinary inspection and will stay in Melbourne with trainer Robert Smerdon.

Jockey Craig Williams, a long-time friend of Price, said Property had put his hand up for a Blue Diamond start.

Property chased home Catchy on his debut at Caulfield earlier in the month and the jockey said there was still improvement to come.

“He would have dominated that race tomorrow night,” Williams said.

“I spoke to Pricey who already had his mind made up and he asked my take on it and I said ‘if you weren’t scared on taking on Catchy then you have to run here’.

“He’s put his hand up now and if he gets through the race healthy and well and then if they pay the money he’s going to be a serious contender.”

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