Protest hands Diametric maiden Aussie win at Randwick

IMPORTED stayer Diametric had to win his first Australian race in the stewards room at Randwick yesterday but it’s highly likely it won’t be his last.
And jockey Blake Shinn’s decision to miss the Magic Millions meeting paid dividends as he seized the lead in the jockeys premiership from Hugh Bowman with a winning treble and is now 1.5 wins clear.

It was a contentious protest that the Chris Waller stable was always going to win as Shinn, on Diametric, fired in an objection against stablemate The Alfonso, ridden by Tye Angland, for interference in the last 200m.

Chief steward Ray Murrihy homed in on a section between the 100m and the 50m, where Diametric was impeded by The Alfonso and with a margin of a half head it was enough to overturn the result.

Waller’s foreman Peter Muscutt had the unusual task of representing the connections of both horses but let the jockeys do the talking, saying only that it was clear The Alfonso had shifted in down the straight.

Shinn argued he wasn’t able to test Diametric until about 75m from home and made up a length in the run to the line.

The stewards agreed, much to the despair of punters who sent The Alfonso out a $1.90 favourite.

It was clear Diametric ($6.50) was unlucky not to have won the race outright but it wasn’t clear, to some, whether it was entirely The Alfonso’s doing.

Sense Of Occasion ($11) ran a much improved race backing up from a failure last week to finish third.

Muscutt predicted big things for Diametric who was resuming since contesting three Group 3 races during last year’s autumn carnival.

‘’He is a top class racehorse, if he can just do things a bit more correctly there are many wins in store,’’ Muscutt said.

‘’His pre-race manners were much improved and he settled in the race a lot better.’’

As for Shinn, he’d been overshadowed in the past couple of weeks byBowman going on a winning streak.

He moved to 46.5 wins to lead what promises to be an interesting premiership race later in the season.

Diametric is the latest in a long line of imported horses brought to Australia by the Waller stable and Muscutt’s bullish comments make it clear the opinion the stable has of the lightly raced six-year-old.

The fact he was able to win the Declaration of War Plate over a mile first-up augurs well for his future, which will include a return to stakes company.

‘’There are big things to come,’’ Muscutt said.

‘’It’s a huge period of adaptation they have to go through when they first get here. Everything is very foreign to them.’’

Waller is sitting on 98 wins in Australia this season, his 70th in the Sydney metro area, with the 98th winner, Sadhika at Newcastle, guided home by Daniel Muscutt – a UK based rider who happens to be Peter Muscutt’s son.