Sydney’s Joe Pride is confident a trip to Melbourne this weekend with Diamond Oasis can see the sprinter break a notable drought with Sandown’s 2015 Doveton Stakes looking an ideal race for the son of Lonhro.
A winner of six of his 24 starts to date, five-year-old Diamond Oasis hasn’t enjoyed a win since Pride took him to Canberra back in early March where Hugh Bowman guided him to a smart one and three quarter length victory over The Monstar in a 1000m clash.
He has had three runs this time in with form in both Sydney and Melbourne, but he failed to impress on a Heavy (9) Rosehill track last start when dead last and beaten over 10 lengths by Howmuchdoyouloveme over 1100m on November 14.
The Con Karakatsanis-trained Howmuchdoyouloveme franked that form when running a brave third last weekend back at the track beaten only 1.3 lengths by Dublin Lass in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m).
This weekend Pride plans to take the horse back to Melbourne, where he was last seen running a close second to Tawteen over 955m at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day in October, for his maiden Sandown Hillside run.
The sole black-type in Victoria on Saturday, the $120,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) has attracted 20 nominations including Pride’s hopeful.
He may not have form at the track but the Group 2 performer and multiple stakes placegetter has a strong record over the distance with five wins, two seconds and a third from 11 pervious 1000m runs.
Diamond Oasis will be back in Listed company for the first time since mid-May when he ran seventh beaten only two lengths by Falino in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Before that the noted traveller’s other most recent stakes assignment was a fifth to Kencella at Rosehill in March last year in the Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m).
“It looks like an ideal race for him,” Pride told AAP this week.
Pride is also planning out his Sydney runners on Saturday including the in-form Gamblestown who is likely to run in an $85,000 Benchmark 93 Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick instead of being saved for the $250,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1200m) back at the track on December 12.
The four-year-old Darci Brahma five-year-old comes off back-to-back Rosehill wins over 1350m and 1400m respectively but is yet to win from six starts at Randwick Racecourse.
Saturday’s distance looks spot-on however with Gambleston having won three and placed second in another two of his runs over the distance, and Pride is confident his horse is a livewire hope in a likely small field.
“As the race is at the moment it looks too tempting,” Pride said.
“I’ll look at what happens in the morning but I don’t think I can knock back the opportunity and he is most likely to go to the races on Saturday.
“The Villiers was also an option but he can’t do both.”
The race attracted only nine early entries, nominations extended until 11am (AEST) on Tuesday morning, and should Gamblestown run Sam Clipperton will retain the ride.
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