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Slipper & Diamond Entries Skyrocket
Early entries for both the $3.5 million Longines Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes and $1.5 million Ladbrokes Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes have hit new highs, reports racing.com. February 23rd's Blue Diamond has received 1,688 entries while March 23rd's Slipper has garnered 2,452 rising 2YOs pitching a claim to the richest prize in world juvenile racing. But wait, there's more. Blue Diamond entrants can vie for the $350,000 Blue Sapphire Stakes while Slipper entrants have an early seat in the $1 million Golden Rose. The Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) announced a rise from 1,472 in 2017 (up 13%). Stables with the highest juvenile squadrons for Melbourne include Hayes/Dabernig with 143, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott (106), Godolphin (100), Tony McEvoy (89) and Mick Price (79). MRC chief executive Josh Blanksby enthused, "The total number of entries received represents an increase of over 200 nominations on last year's tally and sets a new all-time benchmark for Victoria's richest-juvenile race." He added, "This confirms the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes' standing as one of the most popular races on the calendar, which continues to attract Australia's best two-year-old horses." Flashing light early entries include full-sisters to both Catchy (Hayes/Dabernig) and Sunlight (McEvoy).