Collett puts polish on Diamond

Untamed Diamond is vying for back-to-back wins in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo credit: Trish Dunell

An impost of 60kg is tempering Pukekohe trainer Richard Collett’s confidence that his talented mare Untamed Diamond can make it back-to-back wins in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Snitzel six-year-old Untamed Diamond carried 57kg to win the sprint last year under Trudy Thornton and while Collett was pleased with her preparation for this year’s race, he felt the extra weight was the biggest obstacle to defending her crown.

“Her preparation has been good. She won this race last year on one run back, whereas she’s had two runs back this time,” Collett said.

“She’s fully fit but doesn’t come into the race anywhere near as good under the weight conditions as she did last year. She’s ended up being topweight and she’s not a big mare so that’s my biggest concern.

“But she’s in really good order and I expect her to go a big race. It would help if the track has a bit of give and I have looked at the forecast and there’s a front closing in so there’s a good chance we will get some rain.”

A winner of seven of her 26 starts, Untamed Diamond drew barrier one in last year’s Legacy Lodge Sprint, trailed in running and made her winning run one off the fence.

Collett would like to get a similarly economical run on Saturday under jockey Andrew Calder.

“It will be a tactical race with just the small field and she’s drawn (barrier) five. She didn’t clear properly at Rotorua last time and she ended up one spot further back than she should have,” he said.

“That probably cost her running third. We’ll press forward on Saturday and hopefully end up just behind the speed. She’s going to be close up if things go her way but she might just be a length off them with the extra weight. Because of that I’m not as confident as I was going into the race last year.”

While Collett and his fellow co-owners discussed stud options for Untamed Diamond heading into the spring, they have opted to concentrate on her racing this season, with the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day a potential target should she win on Saturday or in the Listed Counties Bowl (1100m) at Pukekohe on November 24.

“She was sore in behind last summer and she missed a fair bit of racing so we wanted to give her the best opportunity. She’ll probably race in Brisbane next autumn and winter and then go to the Broodmare sale over there. She’s probably easier to place in her races over there too.”

Untamed Diamond has already performed admirably in Australia, winning three races in Sydney and finishing second in the Listed Bright Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Doomben last May.

An early drifter in betting with TAB bookmakers, Untamed Diamond shares $4.20 second favouritism for Saturday’s race with Indecision behind the firming favourite Santa Monica at $4.