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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

What a star! In-form Too Many Diamonds caps sparkling week

Winning machine: Too Many Diamonds after his victory at Market Rasen in May
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Too Many Diamonds has managed to squeeze in nearly as much as Solomon Grundy managed in a week, with the Dan Skelton-trained six-year-old completing a rapid-fire four-timer at Market Rasen on Sunday.

The Sunday before Too Many Diamonds had made his debut for the yard at Plumpton off a mark of 72, having been claimed out of a Taunton seller, and on what was his 42nd career start he won for the first time.

He then went to Sedgefield two days later, repeating the feat, before managing to make it three on the bounce at Bangor on Saturday.

Despite a 21lb penalty for those efforts, Too Many Diamonds still had too much for his Market Rasen rivals, winning the 2m½f handicap hurdle by two and a quarter lengths, completing a stunning sequence.

Skelton's assistant, ex-jump jockey Tom Messenger, can appreciate toughness more than most, and said: "Obviously he was well handicapped when we got him, but you could only do this with one horse in a thousand because of his attitude.

"This horse is unbelievable. He's so easy at home and is so willing to please. We've run him plenty this week but we wouldn't have done it if he wasn't right."

The handicapper will be itching to get hold of Too Many Diamonds, who was previously trained by Clare Ellam, having started out with County Dublin trainer Damian English, and a hefty rise is inevitable, but there could still be means for him to gain more wins quickly as he has several entries, including over fences at Hexham on Tuesday.

A congratulatory tweet from Skelton suggests a well-deserved rest could be on the cards, but should connections look to go chasing he will be back down to a mark of 72. 

Failing that, Too Many Diamonds has a Flat rating of 42, which also looks exploitable given his new-found winning habit.

Racing Post historian John Randall said: "Too Many Diamonds' feat is rare nowadays but was not unusual in Victorian times, when races were much less competitive. For instance, The Wild Huntsman won five races in three days at Stirling in October 1854 – and none of them was a walkover."

Prolific Prescott . . .

A trainer synonymous with horses running up a sequence before the handicapper gets to grips with them is Sir Mark Prescott, but while impressive even these do not match up to Too Many Diamonds! 

Alcaeus: in 2013 won four on the spin from May 20 to June 13, and another on July 27

Cartwright: won four races last year between August 9 and September 29, with one defeat in the middle

Don't Be: went five from five between November 24, 2014 and February 2, 2015  

You could only do this with one horse in a thousand because of his attitude
E.W. Terms
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