Reaan Overpowers Aussie Juveniles
Photo: Mark Gatt
Reaan emerges from the pack to take the Blue Diamond Stakes.
The AUS$1 million Arrowfield Blue Diamond Stakes (Aus-I) at Caulfield on Feb. 23, the first of three mega juvenile races in Australia over the next four weeks, was taken out by a familar combination in jockey Dwayne Dunn along with trainer David Hayes.

The group I feature has become the race that has defined Dunn.

He has had four rides in the six-furlong dash for the babies during his stoic riding career and he has won the race each time.

Dunn was on board Reaan, the Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Estate owned colt who emerged from the race as a magnificent sire prospect. He's by the greatly in form Hussonet from the former Australian group II winner Ribe (by Danehill). And his paralyzing finishing burst should ensure he is a popular stallion when he retires.

The jockey had him out the back early as this year's rendition of the Blue Diamond boasted an enormous amount of pure speed juveniles.

And they all tried to out duel one another, even though the overall time on the rain effected track was a slow 1.11.44.

This allowed Reaan, who drew off the track, to settle worse than midfield in the early charge. In fact he had just four behind him in the field of 13 coming to the home turn.

But Dunn hooked him out and Reaan sprouted wings to snatch a narrow but clearly decisive win on the line from the previously unbeaten colt All American (Red Ransom-Milva) and the much hyped filly Burgeis (Catbird-Grand Performance), who also stormed home from near last on the home turn.

Hayes also trained the runner-up.  This was his fifth Blue Diamond win.

"He is now a priceless colt, and we must pay tribute to Sheikh Hamdan. We've won this race for him three times now with only a small batch of horses," Hayes said.

It was the third win from four starts for Reaan, and Hayes, with his customary wide grin, said simply: "I am taking both of them to Sydney for the Golden Slipper now and I think this year, because the colts have not been knocked around, that both are ideal Slipper horses."

The AAMI Golden Slipper (Aus-I) is run at Rosehill Gardens in late March and is worth AUS$3.5 million.

Gutsy filly Believe'n'Succeed who had to cross the flying field from her extreme outside barrier, turned in a glorious effort finishing fourth after spending all her fuel early in the race. She kicked on the bend and kept fighting.

The race favorite, previously undefeated Wilander, showed his customary speed to sit second until straightening but was a spent force by the home turn and paddled down the straight to run second-last.

Hayes paid tribute to both riders of his quinella saying that both were great rides and labelling Dunn's winning ride "outstanding".

The win took Reaan's purse earnings to AUS$741,000.

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