De­ter­mi­na­tion Di­ademe’s strength

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

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.

Photo: TR­ISH DUNELL

Di­ademe came home first in the Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thor­ough­bred Breed­ers’ Stakes at Te Aroha on Satur­day.

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