Chris Diplock (left) celebrates another Valley winner
It’s easy to see why Chris Diplock says The Valley is his favourite racetrack. The 35-year-old’s two city triumphs have both come at the track and last Friday night produced another memorable moment when Cilauro took out the $50,000 Moonee Valley Park Handicap (1200m).
Friday night was a culmination of five years of planning and while odds of $31 may have shocked the punters, it didn’t surprise his trainer. Bred by Diplock and partners, the gelding hails from an unraced mare and by little fanfare stallion Master of Design.
“Mum broke down and I had a cheap nomination for Master of Design and was hoping being a sprinter it might put some speed into the Pentire line,” Diplock explained.
The plan worked. Cilauro is now a three-time winner with Friday’s 1200 metre win the longest of his career. Sharing the same name as Australian comedian, Santo Cilauro, the five-year-old is showing he’s no laughing matter after the Pakenham homebred defeated More Sundays - one of John Singleton’s and Australian’s true bluebloods by Fastent Rock and from champion race mare More Joyous.
“He’s just so honest and only finished out of the top five once in his 14 starts,” Diplock outlined.
“He tends to go shin sore a lot, so we space his runs and give him plenty of time on the water walker… he’s just such a gentleman, he’s the nicest horse and everyone falls in love with him”.
And the question on everyone’s mind, did he back it at 30/1?
“Yes I did and suggested the owners do the same – you don’t have to have much on at those odds to make a lot,” Diplock professed.
With eight to ten horses in work at Pakenham, Diplock relies on pre-trainers and breakers to fund his boutique training operation. His experience spreads far and wide, from show riding to polo cross. Growing up in Darwin with his Dad a racehorse owner, Diplock caught the bug and worked with the likes of Time Thief, Romneya and Wilander at his time at Denniston Park.
One thing you can count on is Diplock returning to The Valley.
“I love it there, it’s been so good to me and unsurprisingly my favourite track”.
Cilauro will return on Saturday November 30 and contest a Benchmark 78 event.