COLAC galloper Diamonds At Noon proved too good for his rivals in the Mortlake Cup on Saturday, despite trainer Bill Cerchi declaring the seven-year-old had the toughest run in the $15,000 race.
Diamonds At Noon showed his usual trait of being slow out from the barriers.
He was caught three wide down the back straight before being five wide on the home turn. Xavier and Mister Cool filled the minor placings in the feature race over 2000 metres at the once-a-year race meeting.
Cerchi said he would now attempt to win the $25,000 Dunkeld Cup on November 16 with the horse.
“He was not entitled to win today. He had a tough run but was just too good for his rivals,” he said.
“It’s just a shame that he always walks out of the barriers.
“Diamonds At Noon has won seven races but, to be quite honest with you, he should have about 12 wins to his credit. We’ll enter him for next Sunday’s Ararat Cup, but I think his next run will be in the Dunkeld Cup on November 16.
“Today is his second run in a fortnight. I would prefer to give him the week off before going to Dunkeld.”
Cerchi said the victory made up for Diamonds At Noon’s unlucky third place in the St Arnaud Cup the previous week.
“I just thought we were the unlucky runner in the St Arnaud Cup,” he said.
“I think with an ounce of luck we could have won, but it was not to be.
“The form from the St Arnaud Cup stood up because the second placegetter, Highland Rogue, won at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
“I was pretty confident before today’s race that we were the horse to beat, especially after the win of Highland Rogue at the Valley.”
Cerchi praised the Mortlake Racing Club committee for putting on a great event for the public.
“The track was sensational,” he said.
“The people here do a great job. They should be given an accolade for their efforts in having the track and surrounds in tip-top shape.
“It’s just a pleasure to go to the smaller country meetings and see all the hard work which has been done by volunteers is rewarded by good crowd numbers.”
Diamonds At Noon has nearly $120,000 prizemoney to his credit from 50 starts.