Diesel revs up for Civic Stakes assault

Diamond Diesel has entered what would usually be regarded as the twilight of his career, but the best might be yet to come for the rising eight-year-old.

The gelding arrives at Saturday's Civic Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in search of his maiden black-type success having lumped big weights to victory in benchmark grade at two of his past three starts.

Sandwiched in between was a tough performance in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) in which he finished fifth after enduring a wide run.

Trainer Adam Duggan is keen to give Diamond Diesel another crack at a feature sprint, particularly at Randwick where the horse is yet to miss a top-three finish in four runs.

"The thing I like is when he wins, he doesn't just win, he has won quite comfortably both times," Duggan said of Diamond Diesel's recent form.

"Hopefully he can be competitive in this grade. He went around in the Takeover Target and had no luck that day, he was three-wide, no cover and it was where you didn't want to be.

"It's a test for him, but he gets in with a light weight and on a track he looks like he has a real liking for."

Diamond Diesel started his career with Team Hawkes but was sold to Hong Kong interests after winning a barrier trial. He raced once overseas before fracturing a shoulder, prompting his return to Australia where he ended up with Duggan.

Having his first start for the Gosford trainer as a late four-year-old, Diamond Diesel scored a home track win and he has gone on to capture another six races for connections since then.

"He has been a terrific money-spinner and earner for the owners and the stable," Duggan said. "He keeps taking that next step, which is what you want — progressive horses — but usually they are horses that are three turning four, not seven turning eight.

"He still has plenty of tread on the tyres and that's why we are reaping the rewards with him now."

Andrew Adkins will partner Diamond Diesel from barrier eight and Duggan is hoping the gelding can continue the stable's solid recent run. Nine of Duggan's last 50 runners have been winners, a record the trainer is focused on maintaining with his boutique team.

"We only have a small stable… I haven't got a lot of ammunition so when I do, I like to have them ready to go and placed to advantage. It's something I've always tried to do, to keep that strike-rate up.

"If he gets a nice run, he's got to be in the mix somewhere."