The connections of Dimaggio are hoping their gelding is in for a big spring following his gritty win in the Hastings – Heart Of Hawke’s Bay Premier (1600m) on Saturday.
Jumping well under jockey Kozzi Asano, the son of Almanzor went straight to the front and was shortly joined on his outside by local chance Gohugo.
The pair went toe-to-toe for the remainder of the journey and Dimaggio was able to dig deep in the closing stages to see off his rival to win by a long neck, with a further three-quarters of a length back to Infer in third.
“It wasn’t our pre-race plan to land in front, but he has jumped well and surprisingly there wasn’t that much tempo in this race,” trainer Tony Pike said.
“It was a really good ride by Kozzi, he summed it up mid-race and got some cheap sectionals.
“He is still a bit green off the bridle, but he has come back a stronger horse and hopefully he progresses through the grades.”
Asano was also pleased with the win and said he was confident he had plenty of horse underneath him when turning for home.
“That horse just outside of me (Gohugo) was pulling a little bit down the back straight but my horse was relaxing pretty well, so I knew my horse would finish off better,” he said.
“He loves the track here. It was really good to get the win today.”
Pike has always thought highly of Dimaggio and is looking forward to returning to the Hawke’s Spring Carnival with his gelding.
“He has always shown us a tonne of ability all the way through and he obviously ran in the Derby last season,” Pike said.
“He is a horse that still doesn’t really know his trade. He is a promising and progressive horse.
“He will probably stay in this grade after that win, so we will probably look at coming back here in three weeks."