Second time around for Ramornie hopeful
By TONY WHITE
THE David Campbell-trained Diamond And Ice resumes at Grafton tomorrow with the local trainer hopeful the gelding can figure over the Grafton July carnival.
After a couple of wins this time last year Diamond And Ice emerged into open company and Campbell was planning a possible assault on the Listed Ramornie Hcp.
But after finishing 6th to Umatrick in the John Carlton Cup, Campbell elected to bypass the Ramornie and look for easier pickings.
Just after the carnival, however, the gelding got away from his handlers and escaped onto a public road.
Campbell didn't know it at the time, but Diamond And Ice suffered a hip injury, which eventually led to the gelding having a long spell.
"He had three runs after the carnival but he just wasn't right," Campbell said. "The hip was worse then we thought.
"Alan Giles (vet) worked on him trying to get him back but we decided the best way to try and fix the injury was let him have a long spell and fully recover."
Diamond And Ice spent six months in a paddock and was brought back into work by Campbell around 11 weeks back.
Since he last raced Diamond And Ice is now fully-owned by Campbell.
"The previous owners had other commitments and I though he was too good to let go so I bought him outright," Campbell said.
Since returning to full work Campbell has been pleased with Diamond And Ice's progress.
"He's still a bit big but he's right on track," he said. "I've been happy with his progress.
"Tomorrow's race should help tighten him up coming into the carnival. The injury seems good but you never know until they race.
"Depending on how he comes up, the Ramornie or possibly the Kirby are in the back of my mind."
The $125,000 Black Toyota Ramornie (1200m) is run on Wednesday, July 12 and the $25,000 Sir James Kirby (1000m) on Grafton Cup day, Thursday, July 13.
Diamond And Ice has drawn the outside barrier (12) in the Volvo Trucks Open Hcp (1000m) and will be ridden by Nigel Seymour today.
Campbell said he hadn't trialled the gelding, who has not raced for 272 days, and he was also concerned the difficulty he faces with the false rail out 4m from the 1600m to 1100m and 1m from the 1100m to winning post.
The John Shelton-trained Lord Nediym and Phil McLeod's In Under There also resume in the same race.