Losing Diamonds has made me stronger says former trainer
The former trainer of Too Many Diamonds regrets running the horse in a seller and says she has learned a hard lesson after he went on to win four races in eight days for new trainer Dan Skelton.
Clare Ellam trained Too Many Diamonds until April this year after he joined her small yard in Market Drayton, Shropshire from Ireland, where he had run 33 times on the Flat and over hurdles for Damian English.
Ellam, a qualified equine thermographer, specialises in rehabilitating injured racehorses and was confident Too Many Diamonds, who was returning from an injury when contesting the Taunton seller out of which he was claimed by Skelton, would have won for her.
On his first three runs for Ellam his best finish was seventh in a novice handicap hurdle at Uttoxeter under David England, who also rides for Skelton, and next time he fell at Bangor.
"After he arrived here it took us a long time to nurture him to health," Ellam said.
"He had a few runs over hurdles when he wasn't ridden to instructions, then after his fall I ran him at Wolverhampton on the Flat to get his confidence back and he strained all the ligaments in his left knee. That's why he was off the track for six months.
"I got him right again. We tried a different jockey in David Crosse, who gave him a nice ride at Taunton. I thought it would be a good starting point. I was going to run him at Bangor two weeks later over two miles on good ground, but we didn't get there."
Too Many Diamonds was claimed for £6,000 by Skelton and returned to action a month later at Plumpton, where he won ridden by England.
"I shouldn't have put the horse in a seller but with his form I didn't think anyone would ever be interested in him because he'd never won a race and been off the track for six months," Ellam said.
"I've learned from it and it won't happen again. It's made me stronger. I'm happy for the horse because he deserves it. I knew he had some wins in him, and we've just been unlucky."
Too Many Diamonds, who started his run with a hurdles rating of 72, has been raised to 103 by the handicapper.
Not quite the record
While remarkable, Too Many Diamonds' feat is not unique. On the Flat, Sir Mark Prescott achieved four victories in seven days with Fall In Line, a sequence he repeated with Masafi. Fall In Line won six races in 12 days and Masafi seven in 17 days during 2004.
English, who is based in Naul, Co Dublin, said: "He hasn't surprised me at all. I ran him in a Grade 3 hurdle and a Leopardstown maiden won by War Command. He was just big and backwards.
"He banged his joint and we had to give him time off, he came back and the joint got sore again and we ran out of time. A friend of my dad's offered to buy him and take him to England and I wanted to concentrate on Flat horses. I'd say Clare has done him the world of good. It's great to see him reach his potential."
Ellam treated Jadanli before he won the 2012 Thyestes Chase aged 11 after recovering from a second tendon injury.
She said: "I'm known for getting horses right, MOT-ing them and not leaving a stone unturned. I know Too Many Diamonds went to Dan in absolutely tip-top shape.
"Robert Clarke, who owned the horse, is a very loyal owner of mine. I'm probably more upset for him. I'm not annoyed with Dan, he's done what he had to do. I'll move forward."