Abela's All Star Set For Pink Diamond

TRAINER Paul Abela has described Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) newly created Pink Diamond series both “ridiculous and insane”.

Adam Dobbin

10 June 2021

TRAINER Paul Abela has described Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) newly created Pink Diamond series both “ridiculous and insane”.

In a good way, that is.

With over $830,000 in prizemoney up for grabs over the three-week carnival which comprises 12 events, Abela is lavish in his praise for the innovative concept which is exclusively for Victorian bred greyhounds.

“The money and opportunity on offer really is ridiculous – a great incentive for Victorian bred greyhounds,” Abela said.

“At first I thought this was a one off but what I’m hearing is that it’s now an annual thing. It’s insane really – you can’t afford not to have Victorian bred greyhounds in your kennel if that’s the case.”

FIELDS AND FORM GEELONG FRIDAY NIGHT

On Friday night, Abela ventures to Geelong with his exciting young stayer Five Star to contest a qualifier of the Pink Diamond Champion Distance Series (680m).

Heats of the $139,250 series are also being staged at Warragul, Shepparton and Bendigo, with first and second from each qualifier racing their way into the $75,000-to-the-winner finale at Bendigo over 660 metres on June 18.

“Prizemoney like that for a provincial staying series really is unbelievable,” Abela said.

“I was initially going to the Shepparton heat with Five Star but when I saw they were low on nominations at Geelong I decided to head that way instead. He’s raced and trialled well at Geelong in the past and has come up with box one so I’m more than happy to be there.”

Five Star, a last start winner of the Group 3 Lizrene Speed Star (715m) at Sandown Park in a cracking 41.50, will embark on a Queensland winter carnival campaign once his Pink Diamond commitments are over.

“I’m really keen to get an invite into the Group 3 Super Stayers at Albion Park on June 24,” Abela said.

“And after that the focus will be the Group 1 Queensland Cup with him.”

Winner at seven of his 24 starts, Abela has always been confident Five Star would furnish into a more than handy stayer.

“He’s still only 27 months so he’s still got it all ahead of him,” Abela said.

“Early on I had to hold him back from stepping him up because he was just too young but he’s always shown me that down the track he’d make a stayer and we’re seeing that now.

“I remember one day I gave him a post-to-post at Sandown and he ran home in 10.12 which is sensational. Early days he kept drawing wide and didn’t have a lot of luck in his races but all that experience has been good for him.”

If Five Star is to win through and prevail in the Pink Diamond Champion Distance, accompanying the $75,000 first prize will be a $11,250 breeders’ bonus.

“Dean Baker bred him  – I’ve been training dogs for the family for about four years now,” Abela said.

“They do an amazing job and don’t cut any corners. Stardom was going to be anything for them before he broke down; hopefully Five Star can fill that void in some of the bigger Group races.

“He’s got an exciting future ahead.”