Horses To Follow » Dinkum Diamond

Dinkum Diamond

Dinkum Diamond put up a good performance to win the National Stakes at Sandown on Thursday evening, a race that has been won in the past by Monsieur Chevalier and Excellent Art. Drawn in stall one, furthest from the far rail and probably the worst box on Sandown’s sprint track even on fast ground, he was up in the van throughout, doing plenty up on the outside of his fellow pace-setters, Scarlet Rocks and Foghorn Leghorn. He travelled nicely for Dane O’Neill, and he picked up well fully a furlong and a half out when his rider asked him, but the most impressive aspect of his performance was the way that he stuck on all the way up the hill to the line to keep Chilworth Lad and Cape To Rio at bay. Sandown’s five furlongs is a stiff five furlongs, especially for juveniles, and Dinkum Diamond raced up with a decent pace throughout. It is not insignificant that the two horses who ultimately followed him home raced behind the pace through the early stages of the race.

It is difficult to tell with so little evidence, but it is probable that this was a decent juveniles’ race, as it usually is. Cape To Rio, winner of his only two races and representing the prolific Richard Hannon yard that had won the previous three renewals of the race and four of the previous eight, while the runner-up Chilworth Lad had stayed on well to win a decent maiden at Ascot on his previous run, and Dinkum Diamond beat them with more in hand than the one-length winning margin.

This was just the Henry Candy-trained colt’s second ever run. He had looked good on his debut at Salisbury, beating Foghorn Leghorn, who had had the benefit of a run, and he looked even better here. He is hugely progressive, he should progress again for this, he is all speed and pace, and his trainer says that he will keep him to five furlongs, which makes a lot of sense. As such, it is the Norfolk Stakes that will probably be his Royal Ascot target, not the Coventry, and he has to be on your shortlist for that. He is small but he is powerful, he is a natural sprinter, he may be only a two-year-old, he may not have that much scope for progression later in his career, but he is a mighty good two-year-old and he is one that should be kept on side until we learn differently.

27th May 2010