Dibaba causes upset


A wind operation on the eve of the Cup meeting has transformed Dibaba, the upset winner of the Gr.2 $48,000 Premier Mares Championship at Addington on Friday night.

Co-trainer Terry Chmiel said the issue came to light when Dibaba resumed at Addington in early November.

Chmiel, who prepares the mare with wife, Glenys, said since the operation Dibaba has been like a new horse.

“She went pretty ordinary that night when I’d followed one being driven by John Dunn around and afterwards he said she hadn’t been breathing properly,” said Chmiel.

“So we had her scoped and discovered the entrapment. She’s come back and won two trials and went pretty good when third when resuming last week.

“Everything fell into place perfectly tonight when you’d have to say the three favourites were very ordinary.

“I was actually a bit disappointed in Dibaba towards the end of her last campaign and at the Jewels so maybe that wind issue started back then.”

Chmiel was referring to the collective failure of Dream About Me, Elle Mac and Dizzy Miss Lizzy.

They raced 1-2-3 on the pylons and after some cheap sectionals in front, most were expecting Elle Mac to dive up the passing lane and challenge her stablemate with Dizzy Miss Lizzy following them through.

Instead, it was the parked Mossdale Rose who headed off Dream About Me in the run home. Dibaba then came off her back for the win, while Step Up made ground well for third to also beat Dream About Me home.

“All I really know is that I’m rapt with how well our mare went.”

With Chmiel still sidelined after that horrific race accident on Show Day, Dibaba was handled by Stephen McNally.

He drove her once last year at Ascot Park when Chmiel had Patanjali in the same race.

Tim Williams drove Dibaba when she resumed last week but was always going to jump back on Dream About Me for this month’s features.

“I said to Stephen that Dibaba has high speed but to stay out of the early fireworks so you can use that speed at the end.

“Everything fell into place perfectly with her getting the run of the race in the one-one.

“I went for a clearance to drive during the week but the doctor wouldn’t give it to me.

“I’m going again on the 12th now so I should be back in time to drive at the Premier meeting in a fortnight.”

Pretty much the same field will line up for the Gr.1 NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes on February 15.

Chmiel picked up Dibaba after she had been passed in at the Premier Sale.

There were no bids for the daughter of Shadow Play and Imprint, the dam of Gr.1 winning filly Opulent along with Idealindiamonds and Imola.

So, Chmiel got in touch with her breeder, Aidan Johnstone.

“I rang Aidan (breeder Johnstone) afterwards and found out he wanted just 10k for her.

“Later I was at a school swimming comp with my daughter and Ray Seebeck was there with his granddaughter, so I hit him up.”

Seebeck now races Dibaba with Colin Tennant, who also had a win earlier in the night with promising three-year-old J B Mauney.

- NZ Harness News


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