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Qafila Is Diamond Dark Horse

Friday, 23rd February 2018

Co-trainer David Hayes concedes that exciting filly Qafila is going to have to produce something special to win tomorrow's Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield. Qafila has been given an unorthodox preparation for the $1.5 million juvenile feature and goes into the race as the only horse not to have had a lead-up run. This makes her somewhat of an unknown quantity and the dark horse of the race. The daughter of Not A Single Doubt, who is raced by long-time Lindsay Park client Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Shadwell Stud, hasn't raced since scoring a most impressive win in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield in October. Hayes is confident that Qafila has the ability to win the race, but says she will have to have luck on her side after drawing poorly in barrier 16. "Qafila will be at good odds because she hasn't run recently," Hayes told racenet. "Until the barrier draw, I was sure she was going to be right in the race because if I ran her in a lead-up, she would have won." Hayes added: "She is going well but is going to need a D Dunn [Dwayne Dunn] classic ride." Shadwell Stud has had nine runners in the Blue Diamond Stakes for three winners, namely Mahaasin (1990), Nadeem (2006) and Reaan (2008).

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