Blue Diamond Shines Bright for Dunn Again

Dwayne Dunn completed a rare three-peat in a major with his grand ride on Sleek Chassis in the $1 million (Australian funds) Blue Diamond Stakes, (Aus-1) on Feb 24.

This victory also provided the filly’s trainer, David Hayes, with his second straight 1-2 result in the second richest race for 2-year-olds nationally.

Hayes has prepared four Diamond winners to surpass the record he had shared with his late father, Colin.

One of five runners from the Hayes’ barn in a field of 14, Sleek Chassis won by 1 1/4 lengths from her stablemate Zizou (11-1).

Dunn positioned the winner in sixth place with the filly improving to fifth and on the move rounding the turn.

Zizou made a bold bid to supply Fusaichi Pegasus   with his first grade I success in Australia, the colt from his third southern crop.

Sleek Chassis (7-1) is by Flying Spur, a first generation Danehill son who won grade I races at 2 and 3 before entering the powerful Arrowfield Stud.

Flying Spur ran second in the 1995 BD edition before winning the richer Golden Slipper (Aus-I). His conqueror, Principality, has had a less successful stallion career, but that day provided David Hayes with his first BD success.

Dunn last year thwarted Arrowfield when the Sheikh Hamdan-owned Nadeem defeated its darling, Miss Finland. The first of the 33-year-old former Adelaide rider’s BD wins came on Undoubtedly. All three are by Redoute’s Choice, Arrowfield’s marquee sire surprisingly not represented in the 62nd edition.

Sleek Chassis is raced by her Melbourne breeders Bob and Rosemary Scarborough of Wood Nook Farm. Her dam is Tigereye, a New Zealand bred daughter of former high class 2 and 3-year-old, Kaapstad, a Sir Tristram colt owned by the late Robert Sangster.

Tigereye managed just two wins from 17 starts, her value resting mainly on the family as a sibling of the grade I winning miler Marble Halls. He also raced for the Scarboroughs until his death in a track fall in the 1999 Toorak, a race he won a year earlier.

Such is the effect of higher stakes juvenile racing, in that the $615,000 earned by Slick Chassis takes her career earnings to $741,900 after three wins from four starts. Her ill-fated half brother toiled far longer and harder to amass $958K in 37 starts.

She ran the regulation 1,200 meters in 1:09.83, the race record of 1:08.40 surviving for its 13th year rather easily because of overnight rain.

Shrewd Rhythm (7-1) returned in a grand run for third after becoming uncharacteristically lost in the early stages. The effort of the Danehill Dancer colt to finish two lengths from the winner gained him many admirers.

The same applied to the fourth-placed Camarilla, a well bred first crop daughter of Elusive Quality  , from grade I winner Camarena, by Danehill. She came from last mid-race and should excel over more ground.

Cecconi, Press the Button and Chinamora, the other three Hayes’ barn entries, filled the next three placings to all finish in the first half of the field.

Dunn’s other grade I wins have been in Hong Kong and in the AJC Metropolitan and the Caulfield Cup on Tawqeet last spring.

Tawqeet will determine whether Dunn is free to partner Sleek Chassis in the $4 million Golden Slipper in Sydney on Mar 31. Owner Sheikh Hamdan will run the Kingmambo son in the $5 million (US funds) Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I, 2,400 meters) on the same day, with Dunn the expected rider.

The Sheikh directed Hayes to withdraw Tawqeet from the St. George Stakes (Aus-II) at Caulfield on Feb 24, so the Nad Al Sheba undercard race to the Dubai World Cup will be his third run in this campaign.

The 6-year-old is to next appear in the $1 million Australian Cup (Aus-I) on March 10, also the target for the St. George placegetters, Pompeii Ruler, Marasco and Aqua d’Amore.

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