KING DIAMOND may kick off his campaign to win back-to-back Ballarat Cups in an $80,000 open handicap over 1700 metres at Caulfield tomorrow.
Warrnambool trainer Jarrod McLean, who prepares King Diamond, said he would wait until tomorrow morning to decide if the seven-year-old took his place in the field. “It all depends on the track. We will not run if the track is heavy,” he said.
“I scratched him from a race at Ballarat last Sunday because of the heavy track.
“I don’t want him to have a gut-buster run on a heavy track first up.
“I think if he gets conditions to suit tomorrow he will be competitive, as he has been working well.
“But as I said, he needs the conditions to suit if he is going to run.”
King Diamond defeated Pelicano in a photo-finish to win last year’s Ballarat Cup in November.
McLean said the race looked to be a good one again this year for the horse.
“It’s just a shame that King Diamond has had various issues during his career,” he said.
“If he had been sound I would not have got him to train. He had wear and tear issues plus he was mentally trained off when I got him.
“He’s a lot better now.
“He’s been lightly raced for a seven-year-old. I think he might have a really good campaign over the next few months.”
Smarty Mac, trained by McLean, lines up in an $80,000 restricted race over 2000 metres, with his main aim the $60,000 Hamilton Cup on October 27.
“He’s had two runs back in from a spell and I’ve been happy with both of them. Smarty Mac is on track for the Hamilton Cup,” McLean said.
“We’ll probably give him one more run in town after tomorrow before the Hamilton Cup. I just think the Hamilton Cup will be an ideal race for him.” Smarty Mac has the services of former top apprentice jockey Jason Maskiell.