Diamond All Set To Shine At Newcastle

Gosford trainer Adam Duggan is hoping further rain pushes the Newcastle track into the heavy range ahead of Diamond Diesel strutting his stuff in the $250,000 De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target Stakes on Saturday.

The meeting has been switched from Gosford due to the threat of further rain on an already Heavy 10 track there possibly knocking the meeting out altogether.

Diamond Diesel (Zac Wadick) in winning touch at Gosford. Image by Bradley Photographers

Newcastle was rated a Soft 7 on Friday afternoon but with a forecast for overnight rain heading into the big stand-alone Saturday card that also features the $500,000 The Coast and $300,000 Buterin L’Estrange Gosford Gold Cup.

Diamond Diesel, rated a $10 chance with TAB, is a wet-track specialist that likes it more the heavier it gets.

He hasn’t won on soft tracks, but has placed second three times and third twice in such conditions. But on heavy tracks he has had three starts for two wins and a fourth.

“I would imagine if there’s more rain it will get into the heavy range,” Duggan said. “And I’d much prefer it to be a Heavy 10 on Saturday.

“I entered him for the race with the likelihood of a really wet track at Gosford thinking he’ll be suited on his home track on a really testing surface.

“Now it’s at Newcastle I’d still like the rain to come for sure and that would enhance his chances.

“He’d be better than most horses on a heavy track. If it was a good track I may not have run him, but the likelihood of a really wet track was appealing.

“He’s a really fit horse so I’m hoping it’s a testing surface at Newcastle.”

Diamond Diesel loves racing at Gosford, where he has had five starts for two wins and two placings. But he also has a terrific record at Newcastle, where he has had two starts for a win and a second.

And his win there was on a Heavy 8 track over 1200m, back in August, 2022. A last-start winner at Rosehill, Diamond Diesel is still racing with plenty of enthusiasm as a seven-year-old.

The Takeover Target is a significant step up in class for him, but Duggan believes the horse deserves his chance and can be competitive with the track conditions to suit.

“It’s probably not the strongest Takeover Target I’ve ever seen, but it’s still a bit of a jump,” he said. “But he won in Saturday grade in the city at his last start so it’s sort of a natural progression when there’s not many races around to suit.

“It doesn’t matter where you take him, he races well on any track. And we’ve got Rachel King to ride after her original mount in the race was scratched. That’s a bonus.

“The owners have had a really good association with Rachel on other horses of theirs and it’s great that we could get her.

“From barrier seven we’ll definitely be positive, hopefully one off and about three back, something like that, and then we’ll see what he can do.”

– Racing NSW

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