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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Veteran Byford horseman Ian Gossage celebrated his first win at Gloucester Park for ten years when he prepared Just Makemine Diamonds for her victory in the Vale Renato De Basso Pace on Friday night.   

His succeeded as a breeder, owner and trainer when Back Alley Boy won on June 11, 2010, and his previous win was with Bank Vault in the WA Derby Consolation on April 21, 2006.

What was remarkable about the win of Just Makemine Diamonds was that it was never the intention of Gossage to race her. The six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare was purchased in March this year by Gossage son’s Luke, who was impressed with her breeding and aimed to put her in foal.

Luke Gossage outlaid $10,000 to buy Just Makemine Diamonds, and when he and his father visited Ross Olivieri’s stables to pick her up, Olivieri recommended that they should give her a few starts before sending her to stud.

“Ross said that we would pick up a mares’ race in town with her,” said Ian Gossage. “He sent the gear with her so I could set her up, and thanks to him we have a city winner.”

Just Makemine Diamonds is raced by Luke Gossage and his wife Jodie, and she has had seven starts for them for a win and a second placing for stakes of $17,270. The mare’s win on Friday night ended a losing sequence of 27, going back to her all-the-way victory over Braeview Bondi at Gloucester Park on November 22, 2019.

Just Makemine Diamonds, the $3 favourite from barrier six, was driven by Lindsay Harper, who dashed the mare forward to take up the running after 450m. She dashed over the final 400m in 28.1sec. and won by 2m from Blissfullabbey.

Just Makemine Diamonds is the only foal out of Art Shadow, who earned $114,488 from 12 wins and 21 placings from 55 starts in Victoria. She finished third behind Led Suitcase in the group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for two-year-old fillies at Melton in August 2009.

She is widely travelled, having raced in New Zealand, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. She is booked in to American Ideal in the coming stud season.   

Ian Gossage has had a lifetime involvement in harness racing. “I have been training since I was 17 and I’m now 71,” he said. He enjoys a sentimental attachment to the Byford training complex, which was originally a dairy farm owned his father-in-law Fred Thatcher.     

He has raced all his pacers in black and green diamonds, colours he took when Bob Atkins gave up his interest in harness racing. Atkins’s brother Terry has been a lifelong friend of Gossage, and he celebrated the win of Just Makemine Diamonds by preparing Another Snag for an all-the-way win at Northam on Saturday night.

Among Gossage’s winners over the years are Bank Vault, General Cam, Jessie Joan, Sugar Byrd Lady, Eclipse Hanover, Armadon and Camptown Morris.

Eclipse Hanover gave him his greatest success when she stormed home to win the $75,000 State Sires Series final for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on March 25, 1994.