The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The John Sargent-trained Palmetto is off to the $2 million The Five Diamonds race on November 11 after earning a ballot exemption for that lucrative feature after hanging on in a three-way photo thriller to take out the 2023 Five Diamonds Prelude at Randwick.
In one of the closest three-way finishes at the track in many years, the $1 million Five Diamonds Prelude (1500m) winner was confirmed to be Sargent’s New Zealand-bred son of Ghibellines, Palmetto.
The gelding had had four previous runs at the track without a top three finish, but had an excellent 1500m record that he added to today.
Fourth-up and fit he enjoyed his fist victory since taking out the $500,000 The Coast (1600m) at Gosford back in early May, and was trained to perfection by Sargent to take out the million-dollar Sydney feature of the weekend on way to an even bigger payday next month.
“He’s been a great horse, he’s finally acclimatised,” Sargent told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.
Palmetto franked the form out the new $1.5 million Alan Brown Stakes (1400m) race at Rosehill improving on his close sixth to Cepheus in that event on October 7 when only 1.3 lengths beaten.
Kathy O’Hara continued her outstanding spring coming aboard for the victory today and gave the horse an absolute peach of a ride.
“Kerrin (McEvoy) had to go down and ride in the Caulfield Cup, I thought Kathy (O’Hara) would suit him, and she is riding on the crest of a wave,” Sargent said.
“I said to Kathy, you don’t need to worry about taking off, as long as you just hide him away he’s got a good finish, don’t get there too soon and she just timed it perfectly.
“It was a good effort. I just said to Kathy if you hold him up a bit it just might work.”
It was the consistent Bjorn Baker-trained Capitalist gelding Wategos leading the field around and he was still in front at the 250m.
Palmetto however was lengthening and giving chase after getting a beautiful ride in the box seat coming round the leaders, while Detonator Jack put himself right in the finish making up ground up the inside.
The eventual winner looked beaten but kept on fighting.
It was a three-way go right on the line with Palmetto ($21) putting his nose down just in time to come away with top prize and punch his ticket into The Five Diamonds field.
Second went to Detonator Jack ($8.50) on the inside for Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, while the Chris Waller-trained Waterford ($10) finished third on the outside after making up plenty of ground on the home stretch.
The margins were a nose by a nose.
Ellsberg (2022) last year became the first horse to win the inaugural editions of both the Five Diamonds Prelude and The Five Diamonds.
Palmetto is currently at $15 in the all-in 2023 The Five Diamonds odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to be the next.
Sargent is now on weather watch ahead of the horse’s grand final with the team hoping for a bit of late spring rain.
“He’s a horse who will be better out over further, 1800, and if it rains,” he said.
“He hasn’t had a wet track since he’s been in Australia and he loves the wet.”
2023 Five Diamonds Prelude Results & Finishing Order
|1||3||PALMETTO (NZ)||John Sargent||Ms Kathy O’Hara||3||57.5kg||$21|
|2||7||DETONATOR JACK (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jason Collett||0.02L||1||56kg||$8.50|
|3||6||WATERFORD (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||0.03L||6||56kg||$10|
|4||2||DEMOCRACY MANIFEST||Chris Waller||Tyler Schiller||0.59L||11||57.5kg||$5.50|
|5||8||FAWKNER PARK (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Chad Schofield||1.17L||9||56kg||$17|
|6||10||ST LAWRENCE (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Sam Clipperton||1.43L||2||56kg||$14|
|7||12||SUPER HELPFUL||Barbara Joseph, Paul & Matt Jones||Andrew Adkins||2.37L||5||56kg||$61|
|8||11||WATEGOS||Bjorn Baker||Dylan Gibbons (a)||3.01L||13||56kg||$21|
|9||9||MISSISSIPPI PRINCE||Brent Gray||Brett Prebble||3.17L||14||56kg||$61|
|10||5||COTEHELE (NZ)||John O’Shea||Tom Sherry||3.37L||4||56kg||$4.20F|
|11||4||ZOUMON||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King||5.36L||8||56kg||$12|
|12||1||CONVERGE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Regan Bayliss||7.43L||12||59.5kg||$11|
|13||15||NEW REPUBLIC||Mark Minervini||Jean Van Overmeire||14.14L||7||56kg||$201|
|14||14||ALTIVO (GB)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Zac Lloyd (a)||16.51L||10||56kg||$8|
|17e||GLOUNTHAUNE (IRE)||Bjorn Baker||0|
|16e||DREAMFLIGHT (GB)||Bjorn Baker||0|
|13||JOURNALISM||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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