Jarrod McLean’s recent Ballarat Cup winner King Diamond’s next assignment has been scheduled for New Year’s Day with the Bagot Handicap 2013 at Victoria’s premier racecourse, Flemington, on the agenda.
The Danewin six-year-old, formerly with Mark Kavangh for their opening 14 career starts which included a in the Listed Roy Higgins Handicap (2600m) at Flemington last March, spent the first nine months of this year with Peter Moody but was unable to make an impact.
Connections then sent them to McLean at Yangery near Warrnambool and the horse has thrived in two country cups assignments since.
After an unplaced run in in a stakes race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day McLean sent them to Ballarat for the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) on November 25 which they narrowly won.
They backed up last Sunday at in the Listed Werribee Cup (2600m) and only just missed out on back-to-back wins when defeated by only a short half-head when second to former Grade 1 winning American import Unusual Suspect.
“We’ve only had him for the three runs and he’s racing at the top of his game,” McLean said.
Their next assignment has now been penciled in as the $120,000 Listed Bagot Handicap where they will step up to 2800m and return to Flemington on January 1, 2013, both the distance and track to suit the genuine stayer according to McLean.
“He will be really suited by the 2800m in the Bagot,” he said.
“His record at Flemington is very strong, which is a big bonus.”
The trainer also sees not winning the Werribee Cup as a bonus as the horse won’t be penalised heading into their next race.
“The best thing about not winning the Werribee Cup is he will not be penalised going into the Bagot,” he said.
While the $100,000 bonus on offer to the winning trainer of the Hobart – Launceston Cups double in Tassie this summer, McLean said there were no plans to take King Diamond across the Tasman and that they would be saved for the $200,000 Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) in May.
“The horse will be having a break by then as we’ve got the Warrnambool Cup in May mind as our main goal,” he said.
King Diamond’s stablemate Youbolt is also eyeing off the rich summer features in Melbourne this season, the Exceed And Excel gelding to target the sprint races.
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