Reward For Effort can join Redoute’s Choice in an exclusive club of Blue Diamond Stakes winners when the next edition of Victoria’s premier juvenile race is run next month.
The Chatswood Stud sire has a live chance for the $1 million event with Take Pride who maintained her unbeaten record in the New Year Plate (1000m) at Flemington on Thursday.
Take Pride (2f Reward For Effort – Shabtis by Elusive Quality) had won at Seymour on debut and shared the lead down the straight second-up before lengthening like a top-class filly. “She’s very, very good,” trainer Murray Johnson said. “She’s always done everything better than most horses.”
Winning jockey Cory Parish said Take Pride felt like she was waiting for the others to catch up in the final furlong. “I couldn’t go any slower she was travelling that well. I just steered – she’s a magnificent filly.”
Johnson said she will run in the G3 Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Sandown on Australia Day before going straight into the G1 Blue Diamond on February 28.
Owner Peter Murray paid $94,000 for Take Pride at the 2014 Melbourne Premier – she was the top-priced yearling by Reward For Effort at the majors last year. He has another 29 yearlings catalogued for the 2015 Melbourne Premier starting on March 1.
Take Pride is the first foal from Shabtis who is a sister to the dam of boom filly Ottoman. Shabtis is also a half-sister to Mummify.
Redoute’s Choice is the only stallion to win a Blue Diamond and then sire a Blue Diamond winner since the race was first run in 1971. He’s done it twice with Undoubtedly and Nadeem.
Reward For Effort (Exceed and Excel) stands at Chatswood Stud for an $11,000 (inc gst) service fee.