Lord Ardmore to target The Big Dance or The Five Diamonds

The introduction of the new The Big Dance and The Five Diamonds races to be held in November this year has piqued the interest of champion trainer Chris Waller. His New Zealand import Lord Ardmore ($2.45F) got the job done at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and Waller could target either race with his promising rising five-year-old.

The Reliable Man gelding was too strong for stablemate Francesco Guardi ($4.40) by two lengths on the line, with the other Waller runner Mubariz ($17) filling the trifecta four lengths back.

A new initiative by Racing NSW, the $2 million The Big Dance will be contested at Royal Randwick on November 1, which coincides with Melbourne Cup day. Qualification races have already been held at country venues such as Wellington and Grafton with the top two placegetters earning their ticket to the lucrative final. Further events are scheduled at tracks such as Forbes, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lismore and Port Macquarie in the coming months.

The Five Diamonds which is also worth $2 million is restricted to five-year-olds, and will be held at Rosehill Gardens on November 5.

After taking his mount straight to the lead on Saturday, hoop Hugh Bowman led them a merry dance and was too strong at the end of a dour 1800m on a Heavy 8 surface.

The former Kiwi galloper has done a fantastic job for connections since arriving on our shores, with three wins and four placings from just nine local outings.

“He had a great prep last time in and he’s had a long spell, so we’ve taken our time with him and he really does have a bright future,” Waller said.

“I’m sure he’ll feature in some of the new races, The Big Dance or The Five Diamonds, massive races that everyone’s talking about.

“He’ll have a couple more (starts) and then we’ll back off until something like that.”

Bowman was equally effusive about his mount’s ability and believes there are better things in store.

“He’s obviously a horse that has a very consistent record and his run was hard to miss first-up over 1300m,” Bowman said.

“He did work to the line well and he was only second-up and there’s more improvement to come.

“He’ll be one to follow in the early part of the spring.”

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