Day At The Track

Inter-Dominion winner turns 30

08:38 AM 26 Sep 2016 NZDT
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A 30th birthday celebration is planned for Diamond Field, winner of the 1994 Interdominion Trotters’ Final and Rowe Cup.

Diamond Field has been in the care of Michelle Blackie at Makarewa, near Invercargill, since he was retired from racing 18 years ago. He officially turned 30 on August 1, which applies to all standardbred and thoroughbred horses, but he was born in October.

“He will be 30 on October 13 and I would  like to mark the occasion,’’ said Michelle. “He is booked to lead out the field for the feature  race for trotters at the Riverton meeting on October 29 but we will just have to play it be ear to see if he is up to the task.”

Allan Beck, who trained Diamond Field initially at Winton  (Southland), will try  the gelding in a cart to make an assessment. “Allan had him in a cart and paraded him about a decade ago,’’ said Michelle.

Diamond Field, raced by the Southland Standardbreds No 2 syndicate, won eight races when trained by Beck. He won his first race in March, 1990 as a 3-year-old at Winton and won every season until he was 11. He ran second, beaten a nose by  Maggie Blue  at the 1990 Riverton meeting.

Diamond Field was bred at North Makarewa by Grant Sim from a mating of Yankee Jolter and Robyn Evander. “Grant came and saw him recently. He had not seen him for 18 years,” said Michelle.

Diamond Field was transferred  from the Beck stable to Roy and Barry Purdon at Clevedon (Auckland) to give him more opportunities and they prepared him for his wins in the Interdominion Final at Harold Park and Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park. He was driven each time by Tony Herlihy. Diamond Field shifted to the stable of Mark Purdon as a 9-year-old and won two heats of the Interdominion at Moonee Valley  and a City Of Sails Free-For-All in Auckland in 1996.

He was in the South Australian stable of Neil Cavallaro when he won first up as a 10-year-old at Globe Derby Park. He had another four minor wins in Australia before returning  to New Zealand. Diamond Field ended his racing career with Ashburton trainer Patrick O’Reilly, his final win from a 40m handicap at Addington in January, 1998 as an 11-year-old. He won 33 races, gained 29 seconds and 20 thirds on 150 starts for $536,607 in stakes.

“He (Diamond Field) was retired due to arthritis and there was a draw among the syndicate members to give him a home. Dad (Robert) was in the syndicate,’’ recalled Michelle.

“I was only a kid who had ponies but I wanted to give him (Diamond Field) a life after racing, he had been such a successful horse.”

“I have never done a lot with him in the way of riding but I have had him over some wee jumps. He is just my big baby.”


Taylor Strong

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