An all Kiwi Team combined with smart colt Tagaloa to win the 2020 Group 1 $1.5m Ned Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield today.
A battle-scared Michael Walker combined with Cranbourne based Kiwi trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young to win Melbourne’s glamour two year old race in dramatic style.
Walker, who hasn’t been back in the saddle long following a hip operation, had Tagaloa ($26) racing on the pace outside of A Beautiful Night ($61) and Letzbeglam ($5.50).
Walker let Tagalao slide to the front at the 200m and the colt fought hard to the line to hold off the challenge the $2.60 favourite Hanseatic.
Jockey Tim Clark had Hanseatic planted on the leading division’s heels coming to the home turn and was able to ease over their heels in the early part of the straight, but was unable to get past the winner.
The David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Personal ($26) was one of the only ones to make up ground in the straight and switched back to the inside to finish third.
Today’s Blue Diamond Stakes win was the first Group 1 that Busuttin and Young have won since they transferred their stable from New Zealand to Cranbourne several years ago.
“It is unbelievable. This was the target for this horse,” Young said.
“To train a Group 1 since we have been living here in Australia has been eluding us for while and to get one with a two year old is unbelievable.”
“It was the right Group 1 to win,” Busuttin added.
“He did it the tough way, three deep on the speed. When he kicked and the favourite came off out back, I said oh f***, but he toughed it out.”
“He was going to go past him, but then he stuck his neck out.”
“We knew he had plenty of improvement in him first up to second up. It is very exciting.”