Racing: Diademe deservedly favourite


Diademe is one of those horses that suddenly grabs the headlines from off the radar.

The talented Cambridge mare has been to the races just eight times and here she is favourite for the group two $85,000 Windsor Park Stud Japan Trophy at Tauranga tomorrow. And that's a deserved position.

Most started to take notice when Diademe went into the set-weights Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa as a hugely inexperienced horse and was beaten just a long head by Shez Sinsational.

"She was a three-win horse at that point and that was when most people had their attention grabbed," said co-trainer Andrew Forsman.

Diademe's impressive record is four wins, three seconds and a third from those eight starts.

She came out of the Cal Isuzu to finish a handy third to Miss Perlear in the Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie then, after a break, toppled high-class mares Final Touch and Fleur de Lune in the Westbury Classic last start, albeit receiving 4kg and 3kg respectively.

From No3 barrier, she will get her chance tomorrow.

"When they go such a huge run fresh from a break it can take the edge off them, that's the only niggle doubt about her this time. Everything else is perfect - she looks improved from that Westbury run."

There are plenty of options for Diademe if her form holds - the Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha, Ellerslie's Easter, Sydney's Doncaster or the Brisbane winter carnival.

Fleur de Lune is such an honest and brave mare that even with 59kg topweight she has to rate a winning chance.

Her slightly luckless fifth to Final Touch in the group one Waikato Draught was admirable and there was nothing wrong with her third behind Diademe and Final Touch at Ellerslie last time. Even with her weight, she will give a great sight.

Maximum Height is the opposite type of horse to Diademe. Diademe jumped into the bridle from her first time to the races - Maximum Height spent more than two years convincing everyone he wasn't worth continuing with.

He won his first start in August 2010, then did not post a 1-2-3 finish in his next 14 starts.

His second victory came in November 2011, then, after finishing last on September 1 last year, he won five in a row. He is attempting to make it six straight this time. Even though he raised the bar each time in that run of victories, this is by far the toughest of the races.

Maximum Height is trained on this course and has won there, so has to be accorded at least some chance.

Victory would be one of the great romance stories.

Viadana was no chance in Diademe's race at Ellerslie last start. She was back and wide and did remarkably well to finish as close as sixth. She hasn't always had the best of luck this preparation and a win here would surprise no one.

If there is an upset it could be from Postmans Daughter. Her recent form is way below her best, but she is talented when in form.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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