20/2/2020 Hanseatic aiming to give Godolphin a repeat G1 Blue Diamond win
The prospect of a second consecutive Godolphin success in Victoria’s premier juvenile remains on track following the barrier draw for Saturday’s $1.5 million G1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield and the continued improvement of the unbeaten colt Hanseatic.
Sam Freedman, assistant to his father, trainer Anthony Freedman, declared Hanseatic to have progressed from his win in the Blue Diamond Prelude and ready to repeat the stable’s victory in the same race last year with the filly Lyre.
“He worked super on Tuesday morning, he’s held his condition well, he’s showing that he’s maintaining his form,” Freedman said.
Like Lyre, Hanseatic will be having his fourth start on Saturday, but he goes into the race with the slightly better three-from-three record.
While Freedman agreed that comparisons with the star filly were inevitable, he said Hanseatic probably possessed even better credentials.
“Lyre was a filly that got better with every run. Hanseatic has been brilliant right from day one and has kept on improving as well,” he said.
Hanseatic drew the inside gate at the 1,200m, a barrier that on paper raises a question mark over a colt who has shown an appreciation for the open spaces, coming from near last at his past two starts.
But Freedman said he didn’t believe those tactics were essential.
“He’s got good gate speed. Even though he ended up coming from the back last start, he could have taken up a forward position,” he said.
“We’ll leave all that up to his rider. I can see him settling mid-field or slightly better.
“At his last start he had everything go wrong that could possibly go wrong, but he still won.”
Freedman also anticipates more speed in the Blue Diamond than Hanseatic has experienced in his three starts to date, a factor that should help him produce his customary, withering finish.
Jockey Luke Currie, who has been aboard Hanseatic in each of his three wins, agreed the colt was more adaptable than his form might suggest.
“We actually jumped into a forward position last start and only went back to be sure of getting a clear run when we needed to. He can take up a forward spot without taking anything away from his big finish,” Currie said.
Victory by Hanseatic would be the fourth in the Blue Diamond for Godolphin and Sheikh Mohammed who won the race in 2011 with the subsequent champion sprinter and now Darley sire Sepoy and in 2014 with the filly Earthquake, as well as Lyre.
Among Hanseatic’s most dangerous opponents is the colt Rulership who finished second to him in the Prelude on Saturday, 8 February, and the fillies Letzbeglam and Muntaseera.