Damien Oliver

Jockey Damien Oliver (Image: Racing Photos)

Oliver explains Blue Diamond call

It was a tough decision for Damien Oliver choosing between the pair of Godolphin colts to ride in Saturday’s $1.5m G1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) but Anamoe has proven the pick for the champion rider.

Oliver waited until Wednesday to lock in the son of Street Boss over stablemate Ingratiating, who he also rode to victory last weekend in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington.

“I’m going to ride Anamoe, but they’re both very good colts and not a lot between them,” Oliver said.

“I galloped him on Tuesday and I was really pleased with his work.

“I probably just felt that Anamoe has been looking for the 1200m all the way through and it probably just swayed me a little bit that way.

“It wouldn’t shock me if Ingratiating beat him home, either way I think they’re both going to run great races.

“I don’t think the barriers hindered or helped their chances in any way, Ingratiating has drawn well he can take a good position, Anamoe probably the outside gate doesn’t hinder him as much because he’s probably going to be in the second half of the field.”

Ingratiating’s last start win had made the decision even harder for the champion hoop, after the son of Frosted went to another level when blinkers were applied for the first time.

Anamoe will have the blinkers on for the first time in Saturday’s premier 2YO feature but Oliver says after working him in them on Tuesday he doesn’t expect as strong of an impact as was seen in his stablemate.

“They probably haven’t made as big a difference to him as they did to Ingratiating but I still do think they will help him switch on a little bit as well.”

Jockey Willie Pike has since been booked for Ingratiating, his first Blue Diamond ride.

With Craig Williams out suspended Oliver has also picked up the ride on Dual group 1-winner Behemoth for the hotly contested Futurity Stakes (1400m).

“Fantastic pick up, he’s a really good horse and he’s shown he’s come back in good form and he loves the track and distance so I’m really excited to be riding Behemoth.