Day At The Track

Dibaba wins gold on Diamonds Day

10:00 PM 29 Apr 2018 NZST
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Dibaba,Harness racing
Dibaba winning the 2018 Southland Oaks
Photo Bruce Stewart

Shadow Play filly Dibaba, named after the Ethiopian middle and long distance runner Genezbe Dibaba who won gold at the 2016 Beijing Olympic; won her own gold at Ascot Park today in the Nevele R/ Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final.

From an outside second line draw driver and co-trainer Terry Chmiel had designs on the lead. He took up the running with two laps to run in the 2700 metre Group Two fillies feature. 

Dibaba was not seriously challenged from that point and won easily by three lengths. 

"I got away with some cheap quarters but she won it pretty easy and is a really nice filly. After her trip to Nelson she's just got better and better and coming down here helped. She's improved all season and she's grown a lot. Whether she's as good as the good ones we'll see but we'll give it a go" said Chmiel, who trains the filly in partnership with wife Glenys.

When Dibaba returned to the birdcage she was in very high spirits and wouldn't stand still for the customary photo but Chmiel said that's fairly typical of her.


Winning connections and sponsors                          - Photo Bruce Stewart.

"She's a bit of an old madam at home but that's just the way she is." 

Dibaba, which was bred by Aidan Johnstone is owned by Ray Seebeck and Colin Tennett both of Canterbury.

"It's the first horse I've had for them. I drove a horse they owned called Beat The Monarch that was trained by Coaster Howe."

It was the second time that Chmiel has driven the winner of this time honoured race. He drove the Coaster Howe trained Suvarno Hanover to win in 2007. Suvarno Hanover is the dam of Betterthanbrie which finished an unlucky third in today's feature.


Returning to the birdcage                             - Photo Bruce Stewart

The Chmiels also trained the 2016 winner of the Southland Oaks Nek Time.

Glenys's father Bryce Buchanan trained the 1995 Southland Oaks winner Lovers Wish. 

The Southland Oaks was started in 1983 and of the 35 finals held, Southland trained horses have won 16. The last Southland winner was the Gordon and Colin Lee trained Royal Counsel which won in 2014.

The race was initiated by the inaugural Southland Oaks committee which included officials from each Southland club. That committee was Lew Stone (Winton), Allan Nicolson (Wairio), Murray Campbell (Riverton), Daryl McLellan (Wyndham), Lane Bakker (the initial sponsor), Jack Botting (Wyndham), Ian McPherson (Gore), Wattie Muir (Invercargill), Len Orr (Northern Southland) and Norman Pierce (Invercargill).


Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness Racing

 

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