Fresh Mal makes Diamond appeal

Import Hoo Ya Mal tackles the 1800-metres of the Five Diamonds off an unconventional preparation.


Gai Waterhouse has achieved more than most in racing, but it will be some training performance if she can produce Hoo Ya Mal to win the $2 million Five Diamonds at Rosehill. 

After some handy lead-up form over middle-distances in Sydney, Hoo Ya Mal travelled to Melbourne for the Caulfield Cup but struggled to see out the 2400-metre journey. 

Convinced the horse still had something to offer in the right race, Waterhouse and co-trainer Adrian Bott decided to change tack and not only bring him back to Sydney, but bring him back significantly in distance to the 1800-metres of the Five Diamonds. 

"Gai and Adrian just think that he didn't get the 2400 metres," Tulloch Lodge stable representative Neil Paine said in reference to the horse's Caulfield Cup performance. 

"He ran a big race over 1900 metres up here and he went down there over 2400 metres and was so-so. Mind you, it was a Caulfield Cup so I can't be too mean. 

"But back to the 1800 on Saturday should suit him perfectly and they've freshened him up." 

Paine reported Hoo Ya Mal arrived back in Sydney two days after the Caulfield Cup and had been swimming and doing beach work to keep him physically and mentally sharp. 

He is a $14 chance after drawing gate 15 in the Five Diamonds, where he will be one of three Tulloch Lodge runners along with Converge (barrier one) and Zoumon (four), who have both been marked at $16. 

Converge needs to lift on his recent form but connections are hoping getting back out in trip will help him find his comfort zone in the run. 

"He has been disappointing, but we know when he wants to put in, he can do it," Paine said. 

Stayer Zoumon knocked up late when resuming in the Prelude but he has won three of his four second-up runs and is expected to be competitive as he edges closer to his main goal. 

"He's on a mission to get to the Perth Cup so it will be a nice stepping stone," Paine said.