A nice break certainly did a power of good to Bristol Diamond who came off a nippy pace to win the $35,000 Maiden race over 1000m on Friday night.
The athletic Sakhee’s Secret four-year-old did show a glimpse of some potential at his first two runs, but he went by the wayside at his third run in September before trainer James Peters decided to give him more time to come together.
It turned out to be a judicious decision as Bristol Diamond (Danny Beasley) turned it right on first-up, taking the perfect trail behind favourite Grey Falcon (Manoel Nunes) before launching at the 300m.
After setting a rather brisk pace to the race, Nunes, who was at his first 2017 appearance after serving a long ban for careless riding, went for broke as the winning post loomed, but the three-time Singapore champion jockey will have to wait for another race to open his account, as Bristol Diamond ($28) mowed Grey Falcon down steadfastly inside the last 100m to eventually gain the upper hand by three parts of a length on the line.
Big roughie and standby starter Herecomesmymoney (Koh Teck Huat) let down with a surprisingly powerful surge to grab third place another 1 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 59.66 seconds for the 1000m on the Polytrack.
Both Peters and Beasley put down the much better run from the Lim’s & Mark’s Stable-owned galloper to the three-month freshen-up.
“Horses always improve after they come back from a first prep and this one is no different,” said Peters.
“He’s had a nice build-up to this race tonight and he will derive a lot of improvement from tonight’s run.
“He will get out further as well. He needed every yard of that 1000m to win tonight.
“We can go forward with this horse now.”
One man who looks odds-on to be part of that journey ahead is Beasley.
“He’s a classic case of a horse who has improved out of sight after a break,” said the Australian hoop.
“He’s a slow-maturing sort and he certainly appreciated the break during the Christmas period. That was why he didn’t show much at his first prep.
“I gave him a soft trial the other day (January 10) and that was just nice for him. He’s really matured a lot during the break.”