Diddums has led from start to finish to record a smart win in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Diddums jumped from the barriers well and will allowed to stride forward by Hong Kong-based hoop Sam Clipperton; immediately taking up the pace and setting a reasonable tempo alongside the likes of Modern Wonder, Conchita and Prompt Response.
Hugging the rails and receiving a carefree run in transit, the daughter of Snitzel kicked clear as the field straightened and kept finding; savaging the line to record her maiden black type win ahead of Prompt Response and a fast-finishing Smart Amelia.
Trainer Gerald Ryan was pleased with Diddums’ performance to be crowned the PJ Bell Stakes winner, but revealed after the race that he was always confident that she’d be right in the finish.
“She’s a filly who has kept improvement and is as honest as they come,” Ryan said after the race.
“Before she raced we thought that she might win a country maiden, but when I whacked the blinkers on her, she improved out of sight.
“She won easy in a good form race at Warwick Farm and I said to the owners then, we’ll give this thing a month off and aim her at the PJ Bell.
“They were a bit sceptical of her being good enough but after she worked on Monday morning, well she was going to be good enough.
“She was picked out of the yard as looking the best and it’s just good when a plan comes off. It’s good for her, because she’s a filly that has come from basically nowhere to winning a stakes race. I’m rapt for her.”
Diddums returned to racing this year for sixth in a Randwick minor over 1100m on February 15th, before running a handy second behind I Thought So in the Casino Prince @ Vinery BM67 (1200m) on March 8th, in what was her only other start prior to the PJ Bell Stakes.
Prompt Response was also prominent throughout the PJ Bell Stakes and was gallant in finishing second, while the James Cummings-trained Smart Amelia appears as though she will relish a step up in distance at her next start.