Joe Pride has confirmed that Diamond Oasis will travel to Queensland to contest the 2015 Bribie Handicap at the Sunshine Coast this weekend and the leading trainer is confident that the Listed event is a very winnable race for the speedy sprinter.
Diamond Oasis started his autumn campaign with a dominant front-running victory in the Barlens Camarena Handicap (1000m) at Canberra on March 8 and he was far from disgraced when he finished third behind talented mares Platelet and Gregers in the Jeep 55 Second Challenge Heat (955m) at Moonee Valley on March 27.
Pride told Sky Racing HQ that the 1000 metres of the Bribie Handicap will suit Diamond Oasis down to the ground and he believes that the Lonhro gelding can record a maiden win at black type level this weekend.
“Damian Browne is going to take over the ride there,” Pride said.
“He is in terrific form and he never runs a bad race.
“He loves the short course and he finds himself in a very suitable 1000 metre race, which to me doesn’t look that strong.”
Pride has a big team of horses heading towards races like the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and Group 2 QTC Cup (1350m), but the Warwick Farm-based trainer said that Diamond Oasis would not join his stablemates in the feature sprints during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Diamond Oasis has not raced at a distance greater than 1050 metres since he joined the Pride stable at the end of the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and Pride said that he will continue to place the four-year-old in short course sprints right around the country.
“He is a horse that I just try to pick off the short course races with and he is a great traveler,” Pride said.
“He has been to Brisbane before, he has been to Melbourne on multiple occasions and he always seems to race well.
“I am happy to travel him whenever I need to, if there is a suitable race in Melbourne in the winter I will travel him there and I can keep him up for a long time.
“He is restricted by the distances that he can run and I haven’t even stretched him out to 1100 metres yet.
“He was by his previous trainer, but I have just left him at either 1000 or just over 1000 and he just seems to thrive on that kind of preparation.”
Diamond Oasis will carry 57 kilograms in the Bribie Handicap, while Tom Bourke-trained Rocky King is set to carry the top weight of 59 kilograms.