Regular racegoers could be forgiven for underestimating the prospects of Diamond Fields in Sunday's Group 3 Gladness Stakes at Naas as last time she had been seen in action in Ireland was when finishing a four and a half-length fourth behind Divine in a Group 3 sprint at the Curragh in early June.
Before then she had won just once from six starts, chased home Washington DC in a six-furlong listed contest at Navan, and been well-beaten on her only attempt over seven. But all of that was before she began to travel abroad.
First stop was Royal Ascot where, at 33/1, she chased home the subsequent Group 1-placed pattern winner Persuasive (rec. 2lbs) in the Listed Sandringham Handicap over a mile on soft ground.
Then it was off to Saratoga where, on her second run, she was third to Time And Motion in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes over nine and a half furlongs on firm turf, and, a month later, she chased home On Leave in the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes over the same trip at Belmont Park, again on firm ground.
Sunday's win was both her first start since that mid-September run, and her first for new trainer Fozzy Stack, and she claimed a notable scalp with her half-length defeat of Alice Springs (gave 5lbs).
It seems unlikely that she could beat that chestnut Group 1 star again, especially over the latter's favoured mile trip, but Diamond Fields has plenty of ability and is good enough to win again at least at the same level.
The four-year-old was bred by Sweetmans Bloodstock and she is a daughter of the Australian champion sire Fastnet Rock (by Danehill) whose handful of shuttle-years at Coolmore Stud resulted in the Group 1 stars Qualify, Diamondsandrubies, Intricately, Rivet, and, best of all, Fascinating Rock.
Her dam, Question Times (by Shamardal), earned her blacktype when runner-up in the Listed Bosra Sham Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket as a juvenile, and the mare is a half-sister to Sunday Times (by Holy Roman Emperor), a Group 3 Sceptre Stakes winner who was a half-length runner-up to Lightening Pearl in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.
Their dam, Forever Times (by So Factual), won six times from five to seven furlongs and is a half-sister to three sprinters of note. Brave Prospector (by Oasis Dream) is a Group 3-placed prolific winner, Majestic Times (by Bluebird) got his best win in the Listed Abergwaun Stakes over the minimum trip at Cork, and the third sibling is Welsh Emperor.
That gelded son of Emperor Jones (by Danzig) won 13 times including the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes, Group 3 Bentinck Stakes, and two listed events, and his string of pattern race placings featured twice taking the runners-up spot in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, to Caradak and Toylsome respectively.
These are among the 10 offspring of the once-raced maiden Simply Times (by Dodge), one of those rare mares with a 100% record of winners to foals born.
Her dam, Nesian's Burn (by Big Burn), was a listed-placed five-time winner from two to four years of age in the USA, and her siblings include the listed scorer Bucky's Baby (by Buckaroo) and Nesian's Dancer (by Sovereign Dancer), the unraced dam of dual listed race winner Sejm Run, a gelded son of the unraced Danzig (by Northern Dancer) stallion Sejm.
Nesian's Burn, in turn, is out of the unraced Marnesian's Cross (by Sun Cross), which makes her a full-sister to the 22-time US winner Catch If You Can and half-sister to Aristocratic Cross (by An Eldorado), a grandson of Vaguely Noble (by Vienna) whose impressive tally of 33 wins from 106 starts included several listed events.
This is a family that has an established history of producing blacktype horses and also of coming up with some who are both durable and prolific. All of this boosts the prospects of Diamond Fields doing well at stud, whenever her current and admirable racing career comes to an end.