Not so dicey hope for cup
By TONY WHITE
DURING a recent visit to the Westlawn Finance offices in Grafton, trainer David Campbell's wife Tracey stood to admire the trophies on offer for the John Carlton Cup.
She even picked up the Cup and nuzzled it.
"I had a look at the trophy and thought to myself 'gee, wouldn't that be nice to have'," Tracey Campbell said.
Tracey and David Campbell are owners of five-year-old Diamond And Ice, nicknamed Dicey Riley, after a Brisbane Hotel.
Diamond And Ice, with Scott Thurlow in the saddle, is scheduled to line up and fly the local flag in Thursday's $12,000 John Carlton Cup (1200m) on the opening day of the $780,000 July Racing Carnival in Grafton.
And while Tracey covets the John Carlton Cup, the prizemoney and prestige will also be put to good use.
"It would be wonderful for David and besides, I need Diamonds And Ice to win to pay for a new back verandah," she said.
Diamond And Ice's pet stable name came following a trip to Brisbane last year.
"We were in Brisbane on holidays and had dinner and drinks at a pub called Dicey Riley's. One day we called him (Diamond and Ice) Dicey Riley and the name has sort of stuck," Tracey said.
Tracey describes Diamond And Ice as 'a great bread and butter for us'.
"I think he's special. His personality is so much like Sunburnt Boy," she said.
"You've got to know the horse. I'm not saying he's as good as Sunburnt Boy, but his traits and everything he does reminds me of him."
Sunburnt Boy, who died late last year and was raced by Gerry Seccombe, was Campbell's best ever galloper. The son of External Kingdom won eight from 23 starts, including several wins at Eagle Farm and in excess of $100,000 prizemoney. His best win was a record-breaking effort in the Coffs Harbour Sprint, when he beat top Sydney sprinter Mistress Ann.
Seccombe now races six-year-old Buzz Bandit with Campbell, a full-brother to Sunburnt Boy.
Buzz Bandit is entered for the Class 1, 1200m Hcp on Thursday.
"We'll have two last start winners on the opening day of the carnival," Tracey said proudly.
A $2000 last start winners' bonus is also on offer on Thursday.
Diamond And Ice has not risen to the heights of Sunburnt Boy at this stage of his career but the gelding, purchased by Campbell as a tried horse in Melbourne, is a very slick sprinter and has already notched seven wins.
At last year's carnival Diamond And Ice came to the fore winning a Class 4 Hcp secondup then finishing third in a Class 5 one week later.
Campbell is hopeful Diamond And Ice can win the John Carlton Cup and then be exempt from ballot and penalty for the $125,000 Qantaslink Ramornie Hcp (1200m) on Wednesday week. This campaign Diamond and Ice, who possesses a powerful finishing burst, again scored second up impressively winning over 1000m at Grafton on June 10.
David Campbell, also a noted horse breaker, farrier and 'jack of many trades', Tracey laughed, has done a great job to get Diamond And Ice right after the gelding suffered a severe colic attack late last month.
Last year locally-trained Sir Dan won the John Carlton Cup, before going on to run a gallant third to Takeover Target and Devil in the Ramornie.