Supporters of Diamond Luke had some anxious moments before the giant seven-year-old posted an overdue win at Werribee today.
The son of Lucas Cranach who was a heavily backed $2.20 favourite needed luck when blocked behind a wall of horses on the home turn and it wasn’t until the last three strides of the race that he hit the lead to score in a photo finish.
Diamond Luke had not won since November 2020 and his victory in the TAB 0-58 Hcp (2000m) was his first since a tendon injury sustained after that campaign.
“It’s been a while since he’s won but he had not been beaten far in most of his last 14 starts,” trainer Jamie Edwards said.
Normally a backmarker, Diamond Luke was running home hard and often figuring in the finish, but a lot of luck was taken out of the equation with more aggressive riding tactics in the last month.
“He was making hard for himself getting back so far in his races but being ridden closer to the lead he has just lobbed along without having to do so much work at the end of his races.
“It took him a while to get there today but credit to “Froggy” (jockey Craig Newitt) who was able to get him out in the straight and punch him home under hands and heels riding.”
Atoning for his last start photo-finish defeat at Werribee on April 15, Diamond Luke beat Shesablinder ($10) in a photo, while Cernan ($6.50) was third, 1-1/4 lengths away.
Jamie said it was pleasing to get a result all the owners who have been patient with Diamond Luke who stands an imposing 17 hands high.
“He’s a real gentle giant,” Jamie said.
“Tendon injuries always take time and being able to gallop him in a straight line up the hill on our track at the farm has been invaluable for such a big horse like him.”
Managing owner John Booth and his wife Robyn bred Diamond Luke who they race with Elise Michelmore, Andrew Scannell, Mark Adams, Michael Robinson, Benjamin Salajan, Sara Melville, and Andrew and Shioban O’Callaghan.
“They have stuck by their horse despite the long journey back from injury, and to see him win again for them is very rewarding,” Jamie said.