They could be headed back.
Canterbury couple Terry and Glenys Chmiel has another richly talented three-year-old filly in their stable and the Brisbane winter carnival is getting serious attention.
Dibaba, named after the Ethiopian middle and long distance runner Genezbe Dibaba who won gold at the 2016 Beijing Olympics, scored her own feature event yesterday (Sunday) when successful in the Gr.2 $45,000 Nevele R Stud/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final at Invercargill.
The Shadow Play filly started favourite and dominated the 2700m feature after working to the lead before scoring comfortably by three lengths defeating Tres Vite and Betterthanbrie.
Her winning time was 2:03.3 while covering her final half in 55.8 – 27.4 seconds.
“It’s something that we’re certainly looking at because we know what to expect; we had a great time and met some wonderful people. Plus, it’s much warmer over there than what it is at that time of the year.” Co-trainer and regular driver Terry Chmiel said.
Only two years ago, Team Chmiel enjoyed outstanding success with their star filly Nek Time who captured both Oaks features (Queensland & Gold Coast).
And Nek Time was also a winner of the Southland Oaks feature on her way to Sunshine State glory.
Unraced as a two-year-old, Dibaba has matured nicely winning 5 of her 16 starts while being placed on another 4 occasions.
The classy filly has been placed at her past 6 starts while winning her past 3 starts with the promise of more to come.
But the road will get harder given that connections will test her against the very best in her country in the coming weeks.
The Gr.1 $140,000 Nevele R Fillies Final on May 11 followed by the Gr.1 $150,000 New Zealand Oaks a week later are the immediate targets.
Both events will be staged at Addington.
“We’re going to give her a chance against the best fillies and aim at the New Zealand Oaks; she’s earned that chance given her performance in the Southland Oaks.
“Obviously it’s going to be her biggest challenge to date but it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to with her. Her form shows that she’s improving each and every time she steps out, getting stronger and faster.
“We’ll know a lot more about Brisbane after we get through her next couple of starts; it’s a big trip from Canterbury to Brisbane. The fact we’ve been to Brisbane before is a big plus sorting out the logistics of the trip.”
Dibaba ranks as a half-sister to talented types Opulent and Idealindiamonds.
The filly was bred by Aidan Johnstone and is owned by Ray Seebeck and Colin Tennett.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | April 30 | Photo by Bruce Stewart