Giant Gem keeping Dyke in frame

Giant Gem (Shafiq Rusof) scoring comfortably at Te Rapa last Saturday for Cambridge trainer Bernard Dyke.

Giant Gem is helping Cambridge horseman Bernard Dyke remember the winner’s stall.

Dyke, a Group One-winning trainer, had to settle for a couple of placings from limited starters over three seasons before Giant Gem broke the long drought when scoring at Te Aroha last April.

The four-year-old son of Red Giant was at it again last Saturday at Te Rapa when he ploughed through the mud to win the final event, the Team Wealleans Premier 1400m.

Giant Gem is raced by Dyke’s parents, John and Mary, along with Waihi Livestock Ltd (Oliver Saxton and Michael Crawford), who bred him in partnership with Dyke.

Giant Gem has been taken along patiently by Dyke with just six starts since his debut at Avondale 11 months ago.

He showed promise in that first campaign when third in his second start, at Matamata, with the winner being Veine D’Or, who took her record to three wins from 11 starts when scoring at Tauranga last Friday.

Giant Gem broke through for his first win in his next start when stepped up to 1400m and he was turned out after just one more start.

His latest campaign began with a third over 1200m at Te Aroha last month and he hinted he was close to a win when an unlucky fourth to Pink Grafitti over the same trip at Ellerslie on December 1. That day he was held up in the final stages and never got a real crack at the leaders.

Shafiq Rusof took the ride last Saturday and he ensured Giant Gem wasn’t going to be unlucky this time, keeping him in the clear throughout.

Out well, Giant Gem settled fifth one-off the fence and was under a nice hold with 1000m to run.

Rusof started to urge him along approaching the home turn then took him to the centre of the track for his run.

Giant Gem unwound strongly to take control and went to the line without being pressured to win by a length and three-quarters from the Stephen Marsh-trained Belle Fascino,

All Giant Gem’s races have been on rain-affected footing and if he gets conditions to suit he should continue to provide a few highlights for Dyke, maybe even a win at Ellerslie, the home of Dyke’s major triumphs.

Dyke prepared Star Harvest to win the 1991 Gr.1 Auckland Cup and Floydeboy to take the 2007 Gr.1 Easter Handicap (then named Champions Mile), both at Ellerslie.

He also enjoyed much success with the good stakes-winning sprinter Krispin Klear, whose 13 wins included five at Ellerslie and a second to Kailey in the 1997 Gr.1 Railway Handicap before finishing third to O’Reilly in the Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham.