South African trainer Tony Rivalland is looking forward to some black-type over the Christmas – New Year break with his More Than Ready miler Diamond King.
The five year-old gelding produced a fantastic turn of foot to win the Summer Challenge Final (1600m) at Greyville last Friday night after giving the leaders at least six lengths on the home turn.
Rivalland will monitor his progress in the next week or two before deciding whether to target the G3 Christmas Handicap (1600m) at Greyville or the LR Michael Roberts Hcp (1750m) at Scottsville.
Diamond King (5g More Than Ready – Salsa by O’Reilly) looked set for big things as a younger horse and owner Mary Liley knocked back some sizeable offers after his victory in the Listed KZN Guineas Trial.
Besides being a fantastic looking specimen, he has always had a tremendous presence and is one of Liley’s favourites. Unfortunately, he went amiss last year but benefitted from an extended rest and has found consistency this season.
Bred at Cambridge Stud by Sir Patrick Hogan, Diamond King was a $250,000 buy at the 2012 NZB Karaka Premier yearling sale. His dam Salsa was a Listed winner of the 2005 Winter Championship at Flemington and her other winning foals include Zabeel Glory (Zabeel), Spring Violet (Encosta de Lago) and Corporal Lincoln (Fastnet Rock).
Salsa has a Commands colt catalogued as Lot 53 at the NZB Premier yearling sale on Monday, January 25.
Vinery champion More Than Ready sired his latest Group 1 winner with Perfect Reflection in the Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) in Perth on Saturday and he has 18 yearlings catalogued for the Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale next month including 7 on account of Vinery.