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Cluden Park
Diva Earns Her Chance for Cups Test

Diva Earns Her Chance for Cups Test

20th July 2022 | By Tony Wode

Wulguru trainer Tony Comerford admits a bid to win a golden ticket into the Townsville Cup with the improving Deadly Diva at Cluden Park tomorrow is an ambitious roll of the dice.

The little sister to 2020 Cleveland Bay Hcp winner Deadly Choices, is one of nine runners chasing a guaranteed start in the Cup on August 6 with a win in the Hygain Winter Cup (2000m).

Comerford decided to give Deadly Diva her carnival chance after she returned from a stint in the west with an impressive last start win over a mile at Cluden in Benchmark 65 grade.

Deadly Diva has chalked up three of her four wins at Cluden from 1200m to 1609m, but is ready for her first attempt at 2000m according to Comerford.

“It’s an open race and they’re all in the same boat really. It’s pretty even and it’s just going to come down to how the race is run,” Comerford said.

“You wouldn’t think she’d have any trouble with the trip after the way she won last start even though it was in easier class.

“She can be a handful and out west she didn’t really handle the dirt. 

“Since she’s been back here she’s settled down into her old routine and I’m very happy with her.

“In most of her runs here last year in three-year-old class she got to the line good and indicated she’d get further.

“She was very strong over the mile when she won last start and tomorrow’s race is not as strong as a Townsville Cup or Mackay Cup so it’s good race to see where we go with her.

“It’s hit and hope I suppose, but she’s a horse on the way up and seems to be improving and deserves her chance.”

Deadly Diva is the third winner from the prolific producing mare Magic Idol for western graziers Lloyd and Wendy Hick and Lindsay Miller.

She’s following in the footsteps of her illustrious brother Deadly Choices who won the 2019 Country Cups Challenge at Doomben before his Cleveland Bay win under the care of Comerford the following year.

While the Winter Cup will determine carnival paths for Deadly Diva and fellow lightweight Boona Boy, the race will also be an important lead-up for last year’s Townsville Cup placegetters Play Me Now and Bering Sea.

Tough stayer Play Me Now will have to shoulder the top weight of 59kg but showed his campaign was on track with a solid fourth to Macquereau in the NQ Cup at Cluden on July 5.

Meanwhile, the sprinters will continue to tune up for the carnival in the Mitavite Open Hcp (1000m) on tomorrow’s huge 10-event card.

Townsville trainer Joanna Hassett has taken a bold step to tackle the crack field with promising restricted class galloper Bakuhatsu.

The lightly-raced Spirit Of Boom gelding has won his only two Cluden starts impressively and faces a steep class rise, but will drop in weight from 61kg to just 51kg with apprentice Cody Collis’ 3kg claim.

In contrast, crack three-year-old Palencia will lump 61kg, after apprentice Rachel Shred’s 2kg claim, in the Laurie Quinlan Memorial 3YO Hcp (1300m).

Pictured: Deadly Diva storms to victory with Graham Kliese in the saddle. She will rise in distance and class to tackle the Hygain Winter Cup.

See the racing calendar for upcoming race day