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  • Provincial Racing NSW


Updated: Jun 28

CENTRAL COAST trainers Kristen Buchanan and Adam Duggan both clinched career milestones at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

Wyong’s Buchanan racked up her 300th winner when talented two-year-old Winning Proposal broke through in town, and Gosford’s Duggan won his first black type race when Diamond Diesel continued his brilliant form in the Listed Civic Stakes (1400m).

Only days after fellow Wyong trainer Damien Lane hit the 300 mark at Scone last Sunday when Sparkingly won, Buchanan joined him courtesy of Winning Proposal’s tough victory in the 2YO Handicap (1100m) against her own sex.

Her rivals had no excuses. She drew the outside barrier and, with Nash Rawiller aboard, carried 59kg topweight and conceded runner-up Vanessi ($4) a tidy 3.5kg.

A $50,000 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling purchase last year for Vardy Thoroughbreds, the Shalaa filly has now two won of her four starts, and also was an excellent fourth to Fully

Lit in the $2m Inglis Millennium (1000m) at Royal Randwick in February after a debut 900m victory at Newcastle a fortnight earlier.

“She is a little greyhound, and still learning,” a delighted Buchanan said afterwards.

“I’ll see how Winning Proposal pulls up, but there’s every chance she will go to the paddock.

“I’m sure she will be a really nice three-year-old next season.”

Buchanan, who did her schooling at Erina on the Central Coast, has come a long way since scoring with her third starter Tingling Sensation at Bunbury (WA) in April, 2005.

She had picked the Bold Rancher filly out at the sales, and Buchanan’s mother wrote out a cheque for $400 to buy her.

Her dream was to go to Europe, become a top-class equestrian and represent Australia at the Olympics, and joked her German riding instructor told her to either get a good job earning lots of money or marry well.

Buchanan chose the former, successfully completed a Human Biology and Exercise Physiology degree at University, and started working for one of Perth’s leading trainers Neville Parnham to “earn a bit of money”.

She worked for him for four years and started her own pre-training and breaking-in business.

“I trained only my own horses,” Buchanan said. “I didn’t want to inflict myself on anyone else.

“I didn’t know anything then about programming and ran Tingling Sensation in a Class 6 at Belmont, which she won at double figure odds in November 2005, only 10 days after being runner-up in a Class 1 at Bunbury.”

Keen to further her career, Buchanan moved back to NSW but didn’t start training straight away.

She worked for Iskander Racing as a marketing and bloodstock assistant, and said the experience was invaluable.

When she began training again, her first winner at Cessnock in October 2009 was Strong Gain (Luke Cumberland), a horse who had gone amiss in Hong Kong and was going to be put down, but saved by owner Suman Hedge.

Strong Gain (Jay Ford) was also her first city winner at Canterbury in September the following year.

Ironically, another horse who went amiss in Hong Kong also gave Adam Duggan his first Listed success in the Civic Handicap (1400m), originally to have been run at last Saturday’s washed out Royal Randwick meeting.

Duggan has done a fantastic job with rising eight-year-old Diamond Diesel ($7.50), who has won eight races in his care; three from his last four starts.

Ridden by Andrew Adkins, Diamond Diesel, after being held up for clear room for quite some distance after straightening, powered home once clear to defeat $3.50 favorite Estadio Mestalla and Essonne ($21) to lift his earnings to just over $542,000.

Like his Wyong counterpart, Duggan has come a long way too.

His first winner was Mr Blue Sky ($21 had been bet) in an 1100m Maiden on his home track at Gosford in May, 2007.

He was ridden by Andrew Gibbons, who influenced friends to buy him for $7500 at Scone as a yearling so Duggan could train him.

Diamond Diesel, a gelded son of accomplished wet track sire Mossman, was a $65,000 Inglis Classic yearling purchase in 2018, but suffered a stress fracture to a shoulder at his only start at Sha Tin in June 2021 and was returned to Australia.

Mark Newnham, now training in Hong Kong, recommended to owners TCR Racing (Derek Tam and Peter Coffey) that Duggan train for them – and the rest is history.

He has won a stack of races for TCR with a number of Hong Kong rejects, but nothing more important that Diamond Diesel.

Duggan is now looking at the Big Dance Eligibility South Grafton Cup (1600m) on July 14 as the gelding’s next assignment.

. HOOFNOTE: When Diamond Diesel arrived at the barrier, it was noted he had sustained a superficial abrasion to his off hind leg. He underwent a veterinary examination and was passed suitable to race.

Story John Curtis, June 26, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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