Group 1 winner Diademe has been charged with carrying a race-high 59kgs in Saturday’s Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Scone but will be perfectly-suited to the conditions of the race, according to trainer Bjorn Baker.
Saddled by Baker’s father Murray when based in her native New Zealand, Diademe posted seven wins and eight minors through 26 career starts; capped by an impressive performance for success despite being caught wide in the Group 1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) on April 4th this year.
Diademe gives all 13 of her 2015 Dark Jewel Classic rivals 5kgs in the weights but Baker believes she is still treated unbelievably well and is confident she is capable of returning to the winner’s circle.
“She’s rated 106 and the next horse (Fine Bubbles) is a 93-rater,” Baker told The Daily Telegraph.
“We should be giving her 6.5kgs but instead we only give 5kgs.
“And it only gets better. If you go right down the bottom, Shanina should be getting 18kgs off us but is only getting 5kgs as well.
“I thought she’d get 61kgs and even though at the weight she’s still not badly, it’s a lot of weight for a mare to carry and sometimes you’ve got to throw the maths out the winder and focus on what’s right for your horse.
“But she can handle 59kgs and when I heard that’s what she would be getting, I rang a few contacts and asked them what they thought and the same response came back; you’ve got to run.”
Diademe was unable handle the late pace and heavy conditions of the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships in what was her Australian debut but Baker is thrilled with the condition of the six-year-old ahead of the 2015 Dark Jewel Classic.
“That’s the best mares’ race in this country and she was far from disgraced,” Baker said of the Queen Of The Turf.
“We’ve given her a little freshen-up and her work has been good plus we’ve got Blake Shinn on, who’s coming off riding five winners at Doomben last Saturday.
“She’s a high quality mare back home, although she hasn’t quite proven herself over here yet but now she’s in the hands of a slightly better train, that’ll be rectified,” he added with a laugh.
Diademe will leave from the central barrier 8 on Saturday and is currently available at 2015 Dark Jewel Classic odds of $7 for success with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.