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Happy Diamond proved an apt winner of the opening race on 'Diamond' day at Ascot this afternoon.

Mark Johnston's charge, who started at 7-1, hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons at Doncaster earlier in the month when his jockey dropped his hands with the race at his mercy. He was then disqualified from second place at Newcastle seven days later.

There were no such problems in the Millennium Star Diamond Rated Stakes as the three-year-old was brought from off the pace with a storming run by stand-in jockey Paul Doe to deny Westender by half a length with 4-1 favourite Himself a further length back in third.

Johnston was full of praise for the young rider who came in at the last minute when Francis Norton who was booked for the ride was held up in a traffic jam on the M4 which caused severe delays for racegoers and jockeys alike.

'He rode an excellent race,' said Johnston. 'He's the type of jockey I like for he was willing to use 'Plan B'.

'I wanted to let the horse bowl along but when he missed the break the jockey didn't panic but settled him in well and all's well that ends well.'

Happy Diamond could make a quick reappearance following today's victory.

'He's in at Goodwood on Wednesday over a mile and a half and I certainly wouldn't rule out running him there, he takes his racing very well,' Johnston added.