AARON Purcell pulled the right reign in not running up and coming jumper Double Bluff on a heavy 10 rated track in the $100,000 Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool on Sunday.
The Warrnambool-based trained decided to bypass the Lafferty, preferring to save Double Bluff for the $100,000 Drechsler Hurdle at Pakenham on July 21 before targeting the $250,000 Grand National Hurdle at Sandown on August 4.
Double Bluff has won his last two hurdle races, including the South Australian Grand National Hurdle last start. "I was always worried it would be too wet in the Lafferty for Double Bluff," Purcell said. "He doesn't like it really heavy. He can handle it soft but not the really heavy tracks that Warrnambool can have in July.
"I thought it was better going down the Drechsler path towards the Grand National Hurdle.
"Double Bluff is a good stayer who jumps well and I think he may develop into a top jumper. I didn't want to risk his campaign by running him on a bottomless track."
The eight-year-old has won two of his four jumping starts.
KOROIT jumper Hornets' Nest has been retired after finishing fourth in the $100,000 Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool on Sunday.
Hornets' Nest won three of his 12 jumps starts, including the 2017 Lafferty Hurdle, for his trainer James McNamara.
"He's been a great horse for us and his connections,"McNamara said.
"We'll just take him home and put him in the back paddock for the rest of his days. He's got nothing left to prove to us. He was brave again today, but he's not up to that class anymore.
"I only got him late in his career and we had a lot of fun with him. I just wish I had trained him when he was a young horse.
"I reckon we would have had lots more fun. He was a quirky sort of horse, but on his day he had lots of ability."
Hornets' Nest won more then $280,000 in stakemoney for his connections.
WARRNAMBOOL trainer Peter Chow is normally as cool as a cucumber, but after the maiden hurdle win of Robbie's Star he admitted that he was a nervous wreck before the jumps run at his home track on Sunday.
Robbie's Star beat the Patrick Payne-trained Michelin by four lengths, with Elvison four lengths back in third place.
"I've never been as toey before going into a race," Chow said.
"We've done a lot of schooling over the jumps with Robbie's Star, but all that counted for nothing.
"My nerves have been shot for the last two days.
"From the first time we schooled him over the hurdles I knew he went all right.
"He won well here today. I'm not sure where we'll got with him for his next start, but it will be in a jumps race.
"I'm just hoping my nerves will be a bit better next time."
Robbie's Star took his stake earnings to more than $190,000 with his maiden hurdle victory.
JOCKEYS Jason Maskiell and Lewis German pleaded guilty to careless riding charges at Bendigo on Friday.
Maskiell was outed after his ride on Rock The Bowler.
His suspension commences at midnight on July 9 and ends midnight July 19.
Stewards deemed the incident to be in the mid range and took into account his guilty plea, record and forthright evidence.
German was suspended after his ride on Ben Hercules.
The apprentice jockey started his suspension at midnight on July 7 and expires midnight July 15.
INTEREST in Victoria's premier juvenile race is at an all-time high, with a record 1767 yearlings nominated for the 2020 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
Among them are bloodlines linked to some greats of the turf. The figure shatters last year's record total of 1688 nominations, setting a new benchmark for next year's Group 1 showpiece, to be run at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday, February 22.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace top the list of Blue Diamond nominators for the first time, the duo entering 132 yearlings in their pursuit of a maiden Blue Diamond Stakes title.
The pair edge out the Lindsay Park team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, who entered 126 yearlings, with Peter and Paul Snowden third (101).
Warrnambool trainer Symon Wilde has nominated seven horses for the Blue Diamond, while former Crossley trainer Mitch Freedman, who now trains at Ballarat, has one horse nominated.
Reigning Blue Diamond champions Godolphin nominated 85 yearlings of their own, including blueblood colt Namazu and filly Jadida, both of whom will look to emulate the deeds of their Blue Diamond-winning mothers Earthquake and Miracles Of Life.
Sydney's premier trainer Chris Waller also unveiled his next generation of equine stars, among his 84 nominations a half-sister to his champion mare Winx, named Covent Garden, a half-brother to retired superstar Shoals (Medaglia D'Oro/The Broken Shore) and a regally-bred colt by Deep Impact out of champion filly Miss Finland.
Boom sire I Am Invincible leads the way as the best represented stallion among those nominated, with no less than 98 of his progeny in Blue Diamond contention.
First declarations for the 2020 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes close at 12pm on Tuesday, November, 19.