Jumping future beckons Jericho Cup winner

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  • December 04, 2023
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By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

A return to compete in front of Warrnambool’s boisterous crowd could be on the cards for Nassak Diamond following her dominant win in Sunday’s Jericho Cup (4600m).

Bred by The Oaks Stud, the five-year-old mare is by their resident stallion Roc De Cambes, and she showed her supreme staying prowess when running out a seven-length victor, with jockey Campbell Rawiller struggling to pull her up following the marathon trip.

The Oaks Stud General Manager Rick Williams was trackside on Sunday and said it was a memorable moment in his time at the Cambridge farm.

“It was a fantastic race. It was something I will never forget. We have won more prestigious races over the years, but this was something different – it was a great atmosphere,” Williams said.

“The Warrnambool community support it. There were heaps of people there, just like their Grand Annual meeting in May.

“It’s an absolutely unique raceday because of the history and the man behind it all, Bill Gibbons, who came up with the concept and has supported it all the way through. It was a tremendous race to win.

“She has got unlimited stamina. Campbell Rawiller said afterwards that he had to go right around the backstraight before he pulled up, she was quite happy to do another lap.”

Williams and trainers Shaune Ritchie and Colm Murray are now contemplating Nassak Diamond’s future, with a career over jumps a possibility.

“I am not sure what we will do with her now. She is probably not quick enough to win a two-mile race on top of the ground,” Williams said.

“I have thought about that (jumping). Shaune said he has only ever put her over a few pony hurdles and she seemed tidy enough.

“We will give her a good break and have a think about life.”

Williams is also weighing up the option of retiring the now four-win mare to stud.

“She has earned a place in the broodmare band for us,” Williams said.

“She is out of a mare called Kadesa, who left Scapolo that Kevin Myers trained, and he won a Coupland’s Mile (Gr.2, 1600m), was Group One placed and won nearly $1 million in prizemoney in New Zealand.

“Kadesa is by Zabeel, and she (Nassak Diamond) is by Roc de Cambes, so she has got stamina galore.

“It is a family we have had a lot of luck with and yesterday was a highlight for us.”

Roc de Cambes stands at The Oaks Stud for a fee of $3,000 but Williams said he hasn’t been well patronised in recent years, with the Cambridge farm being his biggest backer.

“We have got a few home-breds by him, but we seem to be the only one who uses him now. He is not a commercial horse anymore, but he has done a good job for us,” he said.

“Fasionista, another daughter of Roc de Cambes, won over 2000m at Te Rapa a few weeks back, we have given her a short spell and she is heading towards the Royal Stakes (Gr.2 Sir Patrick Hogan Stakes, 2050m).”

Meanwhile, Williams was pleased to see Vera Rose win on debut for The Oaks Stud and trainer Tony Pike at Te Rapa last Saturday.

“Vera Rose was really good. We were going to trial her again and they were a bit worried about the Te Awamutu track would be a bit firm on Tuesday, so we thought we might as well run her,” Williams said.

“We thought she would need the run and then we would run her over Christmas, but she defied all expectations – it was a very good effort. She got a good draw and an inch-perfect ride, and it got her home.

“We will have a think about her. She is by a Melbourne Cup winner (Fiorente) out of Powerful Story, so she could have a future as a three-year-old stayer.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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