Diamond Oasis fought off Champollion to record an impressive victory in a barrier trial for three-year-olds over 800 metres at Warwick Farm this morning.
Both Diamond Oasis and Champollion were asked for an effort in the final stages of the race with Diamond Oasis proving too strong to record a comfortable win in a time of 47.3.
Twilight Royale was ridden forward early but was kept under a heavy hold in the straight while Right On Cue and Vilanova were both given very quiet trials.
John O’Shea-trained Diamond Oasis has not been seen the races since finishing third behind Le Val in the Listed Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in May.
The son of Lonhro hasn’t won since his victory in a maiden on debut at Gosford but was competitive in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) with O’Shea hopeful that the three-year-old can quality for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in the spring.
Darley-owned Champollion has also been included in the nominations for the Caulfield Guineas and trainer Peter Snowden will be hoping the Exceed And Excel colt can be more consistent than he was during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival.
Champollion scored an upset victory in the Group 3 The Schweppervescence (1400m) at Rosehill but failed to fire in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
The three-year-old is one of ten Darley-owned horses that have been entered for the Caulfield Guineas with their leading chance Sidestep set to begin his spring campaign in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.