Determination Diademe’s strength
Quality mare Diademe raised a record breaking effort at Te Aroha on Saturday to chase down a coveted Group One title.
The 6- year- old isn’t the soundest of mares, but she is one of the most determined and the daughter of Savabeel wasn’t to be denied in the Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes.
It was a dream result for her owner Scott Richardson and very nearly the perfect one for trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and Waikato Stud.
Diademe set a new 1600 metre mark of 1.33.46 to defeat her stablemate Sports Illustrated with both horses bred by the Matamata farm, whose colours are carried by the runner-up.
‘‘It’s well deserved for her,. A lot of very good mares end up going to stud without a Group One, and Scott has been a great supporter of the stable,’’ Forsman said.
‘‘She had been flying in track- work, but I thought the track may have been a touch firm as she’s been feeling her joints. It speaks volumes for her and just how tough she is.
‘‘Jonathan rode her a treat and when he was caught wide he let her roll along.’’
Riddell was posted three runners out early in the race before he allowed Diademe to stride up outside the leader and he went for gold early in the run home.
‘‘I had to do a
little work, but she was travelling a treat around the bend,’’ he said.
Diademe shot clear and she had enough in reserve to hold Sports Illustrated at bay by a neck ahead of Abidewithme and Atacama.
Next home was the sentimental favourite Pondarosa Miss and her game fifth placing brought the curtain down on the illustrious 45 year career of New Zealand riding great Noel Harris.
‘‘ I’ve had wonderful support from all the owners, trainers and the public,’’ Harris said. ‘‘ I couldn’t have asked for a better career, it’s a wonderful game and I’ve been blessed.’’
Harris, 60, retires with 2163 New Zealand winners to his credit, 34 domestic Group One wins as well as eight in Australia with the highlight the 1988 Cox Plate aboard Poetic Prince. He will take up a riding master and mentoring role with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR).
– NZ Racing Desk.
Diademe came home first in the Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha on Saturday.