26th January 2017

Anyone who has been following the frustrating fortunes of Price Bloodstock’s Rugby Diamond and I’m A Witness in Hong Kong this season got a happy surprise on Wednesday night at Happy Valley when both scored at surprisingly long odds.

Rugby Diamond opened the scoring in the first race at the unlikely odds of more than 20-1 after being one of the favourites in most runs lately and later it was I’m A Witness breaking through at 34-1 and his trainer Tony Cruz said it for everyone.

“It’s hard to believe how unlucky this horse has been this season. He had a lot of bad draws and then when he drew a good barrier last time he got badly blocked on the inside rail and checked – he ran last but I think he should have been in the finish,” said Cruz. “Tonight he was back to a wide barrier and I wasn’t too excited about that but this time it worked for him, he stayed out of trouble and he deserved that win.”

Jockey Zac Purton paved the way for Rugby Diamond’s win after riding him over 1,200m at his previous start and recommended to trainer Chris So that he drop him back to 1,000m.

“Zac tried to rate him in the lead last time and the horse just fought him the whole way,” So explained. “So we dropped him back to 1000m and just let him use his speed. The horses just races too hard if you do that over 1,200m and he doesn’t finish but over 1,000m he can handle it. Even then, he didn’t need the race to go any further or he would have been run down tonight as well. The way he’s racing at the moment, 1,000m looks like the right distance.”