Prebble v Nolen for Diamond ride

LEADING Hong Kong-based jockey Brett Prebble has thrown his hat into the ring to ride high-class two-year-old Thermal Current in Saturday's $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield - giving trainer Peter Moody an interesting decision.

Prebble has made it known that he considers Moody's colt to be the horse to beat in Victoria's most important two-year-old race. But to achieve the ride he must prise stable jockey Luke Nolen from the mount.

Just 24 hours after sharing one their finest moments as a trainer-jockey partnership with the record-setting win of the all-conquering Black Caviar on Saturday, the lobbying from one of the finest Australian jockeys to ride in Hong Kong in recent years continued over the weekend.

Prebble has enjoyed great success in recent times with his lightning visits home, which have netted the former Ballarat apprentice a Golden Slipper victory and just last year he achieved his ultimate riding accolade by winning the Melbourne Cup on Green Moon.

Thermal Current is on the fourth line of betting at $9 after drifting from $7 following the recent winning performance of race favourite Guelph. However, bookmakers bet as much as $34 in early betting about Thermal Current.

Prebble will fly into Melbourne later this week to be aboard the Cup winner in the group 1 Futurity Stakes and will return next month to partner the import in the Australian Cup.

Green Moon's owner Lloyd Williams recently praised Prebble on how his riding skills had blossomed since the jockey took out a contract to ride in Hong Kong, the most competitive racing operation in the world.

Moody will have no shortage of influence over the Blue Diamond Stakes as he will have four runners in the race.

Connections will pay a $55,000 late entry fee for Dissident on Monday morning, with Thermal Current, Kona Breeze and Quest for Peace Moody's other runners.

Moody said Thermal Current had spent eight or nine days on the water walker since he last raced, and a gallop at Caulfield on Saturday convinced him the horse was ''as well as ever''.

Despite South Australian filly Miracles Of Life having being deposed as the Blue Diamond Stakes favourite by the Darley-prepared Guelph, trainer Daniel Clarken said the unbeaten two-year-old had thrived since her last-start Caulfield win. ''She's great. We will give her a final gallop on Tuesday morning and then we will put her on the float on Thursday night and bring her across. But I have got to say that the barrier draw for the Blue Diamond will be crucial to her chances.''

While the Melbourne Racing Club will be financially elated at the number of runners having to pay the $55,000 late entry fee into the Blue Diamond, it will also pleased at the now confirmed duel between Green Moon and Australia's best three-year-old All Too Hard in the group 1 Futurity Stakes.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has confirmed All Too Hard will take his place in the Futurity field.

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