Feb 09, 2018
What a great record Diamond Grace is building, the talented five-year-old with her Moonee Valley success on Friday evening taking her tally to three wins (and four placings) from just nine starts.
Always well regarded by the stable, the daughter of Montjeu's Epsom Derby winner Authorized was sent out favourite in the 2500m BM78 contest having been such a game second after racing keenly first up over that same trip.
Getting plenty of cover, Diamond Grace travelled nicely for stable apprentice Stephanie Thornton and just needed luck coming to the turn - race caller Terry Bailey noting that she was "bolting."
Fortunately the splits came in plenty of time and Diamond Grace was gallant chasing down Raindrops On Roses, drawing clear late to salute by an impressive 1 1/4 lengths.
"It was a huge run first up," Thornton said. "She was very keen that night but she relaxed much better today. She tucked in on the fence and I was able to pinch ground - it was just a waiting game coming to the turn and when the gaps came she was really strong to the line."
It was a particularly satisfying win for Thornton who has done plenty of work on the bay.
"I know her really well and it is always nice to win on a horse you have a bit of background with."
Whilst Diamond Grace did need luck in running, Mick Kent admitted that he was "never really worried."
"They were all gone in front of her, it was just a matter of them dropping off. My only concern was if they had gone hard enough as she is not a sit and sprint mare. But it was a beautiful ride and she is going really well this time in."
The race was heat for a staying final to be conducted at the track in three weeks time and that is where Diamond Grace now heads with a possible crack at the Adelaide Cup also on the cards.
A bargain purchase at the 2014 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale, Diamond Grace is a half-sister to the unbeaten three-year-old Keen out of the unraced Quest For Fame mare Fain. Served last spring by Epaulette having produced a Teofilo colt in mid-October, she is a half-sister to the Group placed Paulini from the family of stakes winners Flaming, Fiery Boy and Eastern Prince.