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Testing ground has helped Diala to bounce back into winning form with an all-the-way victory at Sandown

Testing ground has helped Diala to bounce back into winning form with an all-the-way victory at Sandown.

The Hawkes Racing-trained filly was successful at Caulfield on soft ground on April 11 before leading at Flemington last week when stepped up to 1400m, fading to finish tenth.

Under Dwayne Dunn on Saturday, Diala flew the barriers in the Ladbrokes Handicap (1200m) and was able to dictate the speed before racing to a 1-1/2 length win from Rose Of Sebring.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said Saturday’s contest for two-year-old fillies was the right race for Diala.

“She ran the other day at Flemington because it was a stakes races and she was coming off a good win at Caulfield,” Hawkes said.

“But she had to do too much work and then she fell in a hole the last little bit.

“In winter time it’s all about whether you handle the wet.

“You don’t have to be the best horse, you need to be the best wet-tracker and she’s certainly been the best wet-tracker today.”

Hawkes said now Diala was a dual Saturday city winner, the stable would try to find another suitable stakes race for the filly while the tracks remain wet.

Diala was the only runner for Hawkes Racing at Sandown on Saturday after scratching The Bald Eagle, Scarlet Dream and Masked Crusader from their respective races because of the heavy ground.

Dunn said the 1400m journey had found Diala out last week, but had toughened her up for the shorter 1200m journey on Saturday.

“She’s always been pretty precocious,” Dunn said.

“She’s copping it really well so keep her running while she’s going well.”

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