Neals looking to sparkle at Cambridge tonight

By Michael Guerin

Trainers Andrew and Lyn Neal don’t have to wait long for their potential new stable star to return to the races.

Because just a week after their former headliner Nicholas Cage left their Cambridge stable, Northern Oaks placed filly Diamonds Are Forever returns on her home track tonight.

Nicholas Cage was fast enough to defeat Akuta and Copy That (no mean feat) in the Founders Cup at Alexandra Park on March 10, a display of speed than earned him a slot in The Race by Grins.

The four-year-old son of Art Major only had two starts back this campaign before it was decided his talents were better suited to the mobile mile racing of Menangle so he has headed to Belinda and Luke McCarthy’s stables there.

“Lyn took him over there last week and helped them get to know the horse and I am sure he will do a great job over there,” says Andrew Neal.

With Nicholas Cage gone for now the Neal stable’s next good horse could be the one that returns tonight as Diamonds Are Forever demonstrated real class early in her three-year-old career.

She was an incredible second to Millwood Nike in the Northern Oaks in March after an early gallop and while she didn’t win again in that campaign Neal says they are happy with how she wintered.

“She has come back really well and is ready to go, although she has only had one workout,” says Andrew.

“So she will improve but she is where she needs to be at this stage of her campaign.”

That campaign is aimed at another Oaks, this time the New Zealand classic, at Addington on December 10.

“We aren’t kidding ourselves, we know how tough that will be, but she deserves another shot if she is racing well.

“We have about five or six weeks so we will aim her at that and she can probably have two runs up here and maybe even one down there before the Oaks.”

Diamonds Are Forever meets another filly who has been chasing home the best in Wicked Wanda in race 7, the 2200m mobile tonight.

Wicked Wanda has a major fitness advantage over Diamonds Are Forever tonight in a tidy field that also sees the resumption of the talented Romeo Shard.

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