First Australian Stakes Winner for Dawn Approach
Mark Smith - Saturday June 1

Mark Newnham said he had to pinch himself after his two-year-old Dawn Approach (IRE) gelding Diamond Thunder overpowered the erratic favourite California Zimbol in Saturday's Listed Authentic Security Oxlade Stakes (1200m) at Doomben.

It was the affable trainers third two-year-old winner in the space of 40 minutes after the Pierro gelding Shadow Hero opened his winning account in the Listed Oxdale Stakes while down at Rosehill the Snitzel colt Splintex bravely carried his topweight to victory in what may well prove to be an exceptional form race.

Making his fifth trip to the races, Diamond Thunder won successive races at Hawkesbury and Warwick Farm before finishing a meritorious third at Rosehill last start.

With Blake Shinn in the saddle, Diamond Thunder finished strongly to defeat the talented but headstrong filly California Zimbol (I Am Invincible) by a half-length with a further two and a half lengths back to Niedorp (Not A Single Doubt) in third.

Newnham said Diamond Thunder had done enough for the preparation.

"We'll tip him out now but will probably bring him back for the three-year-old series in Summer because he's Magic Millions horse and has a trip away under his belt," Newnham said.

"He showed he was versatile today he's jumped and led in his other wins, so it's nice to see he has another string to his bow."

"We may not necessarily race him that way in the future, but it suited today's race perfectly with the tempo they clapped on.

"Another great ride from Blake we didn't plan to race like that, but that's why you put quality jockeys on.

"It looked tricky at the 300 when he was behind a wall of them, but he got him out in plenty of time.

"That's my third two-year-old winner in forty-minutes after Splintex got up in Sydney, I'm pinching myself."

Shinn said that Diamond Thunder appreciated being ridden more conservatively.

"Mark left it up to me how to ride him, I knew he was very fast and could potentially lead but when they shot up underneath me I took him back," Shinn said.

"You never really know how two-year-olds are going to react to a new style of racing, but he adapted and showed his class.

"I know Mark has had a good forty minutes, so have I two winners to start Oaks day!"

Purchased by PL Bloodstock for $135,000 out of the Oaklands Stud draft at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Diamond Thunder is the first foal of the Lonhro mare Kwinana who was sold by Darley for $42,000 at the 2014 Inglis August Thoroughbred Sale after she failed to win four starts although she placed twice and finished fourth in the Listed AJC Gimcrack Stakes.

Her dam Unswerving (Commands) is a twice winning half-sister to Group III winner Firm (Night Shift) the dam of Group III winner and multiple Group II placed Trim (Lonhro).

Diamond Thunder's win is timely as his Hallowed Crown half-sister is in the Oaklands Stud draft at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale.

Kwinana's colt foal by Hallowed Crown died after birth last spring and she was bred back to Astern.

Diamond Thunder becomes the first Australian stakes-winner and the sixth overall for Dawn Approach (IRE) who sadly does not feature in Darley's plans for 2019.

Dawn Approach in upcoming sales:
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