Peter Snowden and Gerald Ryan may have vastly different numbers heading into February’s $1 million Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), but even at this early stage they appear to have two of the leading chances, reports Racing Victoria.

Following second declarations, Snowden has 11 runners remaining in the February 22 feature headed by boom filly Earthquake, while Ryan has only nominated the unraced Rubick.  

An impressive debut winner over subsequent Clockwise Classic winner Sheer Style over 1000m at Randwick in November, Snowden said Earthquake will resume in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield on February 8.

“She’s coming along nicely,” Snowden told RSN. “She’ll have either a jumpout or a trial in the last week of January and her first run will be on February 8 at Caulfield.

“We’ve worked her a few times here in Sydney in the opposite direction and she’s been fine with that. Her first trial will be a good guide as to how she’s going to handle the other way of going but I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.

“She’s quite tractable, she does everything right and she’s a very relaxed filly that handles most things that you put in front of her well.”

Snowden, who won the 2011 Blue Diamond with star colt Sepoy, said Earthquakes was performing similarly on the track to multiple Group 1 winner Guelph was going at the same stage last year.

“She does work well on the track, very similar to what Guelph did at the same time,” he said. “She’s not quite as big as Guelph but she’s very athletic.

“The little freshen up has done her the world of good. She’s thickened up and strengthened and is a real athlete which will no doubt take her a long way.

“I’m a great believer that the proof is in the pudding. They can do a lot at home and in trials but it’s raceday that counts. She’s had one start and won nicely but I want to see her do it again.”

Snowden said Breeders Plate (1000m) runner-up Mohave would also be aimed towards the Blue Diamond and would resume in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield on January 26.

Gerald Ryan is another trainer who knows a good two-year-old when he sees one having prepared Snitzerland to finish runner-up behind Pierro in the 2012 Golden Slipper (1200m).

That’s why it is worth taking notice when Ryan says the unraced Rubick is the best colt he has trained since 2006 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) winner Snitzel.  

By Encosta De Lago out of Sliding Clube, a half-sister to Redoute’s Choice, should Rubick go on to Group 1 glory then his potential value as a stallion would be phenomenal.

Set to kick off his racing career in Sydney on January 25, Ryan said Rubick would then run at Caulfield on February 8 in the colts and geldings Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) before hopefully progressing to the Blue Diamond two weeks later.

 “He runs better times than Snitzerland on his ear and he’s the best colt I’ve had since Snitzel by a long way,” Ryan said.

“He’s got the right attitude, athleticism, balance and he has a terrific stallion’s pedigree.

“He’s a very good horse and you like to see them do it on race day but on what he has shown at home and what he has done on the training track I never thought I get another horse so soon as good as Snitzerland.”

181 two year-olds remain entered for the Blue Diamond Stakes after second declarations were taken by the Melbourne Racing Club today.

Click here to view the full list of Blue Diamond Stakes second declarations