Driefontein produced a tough on-pace effort to begin her 2013 Spring Racing Carnival with a strong victory in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
The Fastnet Rock mare was ridden just off the leader Ichihara and kicked clear with 200 meters left to run, holding off the fast-finishing Peron and Anthony Cummings-trained Artic Flight to record her first Group 3 victory since her win in the 2011 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m).
Driefontein was returning to the races for the first time since her underwhelming autumn campaign and trainer Gai Waterhouse is now looking ahead to the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day for the talented four-year-old.
“She will improve on that,” Waterhouse said after the race.
“She is such a lovely mare; she has come back super and has made the weight-for-age improvement.
“We will probably take her down for the Myer Classic, I’ve had that in my mind all along, and she had to win today to pay her airfare and she will be well and truly on her way.”
Jockey Tommy Berry has rode Driefontein to all four of her career victories and gave the classy mare a clear fitness test by riding her at the front of the field.
“In her work she felt like she was looking for 1400 or a mile this preparation,” the rising jockey said.
“She was fit enough and she had the blinkers on so I wasn’t going to die wondering.
“She dug deep and like I said she was very fit for this first-up run today and Gai doesn’t normally whack the blinkers on unless she thinks she is pretty close to the money.”
Waterhouse was celebrating her third win in the race in four years, with More Joyous winning the event in 2010 and 2012.
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2013 Sheraco Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||–||7||57kg||$9.50|
|2||12||PERON||John P Thompson||Jim Cassidy||1L||5||56kg||$4.40F|
|3||9||ARCTIC FLIGHT||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||1.1L||8||56kg||$21|
|4||3||BENNETTA||Grahame Begg||James McDonald||1.4L||1||58kg||$7.50|
|5||4||FLYING SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Blake Shinn||2L||6||58kg||$21|
|6||2||ICHIHARA||Allan Denham||Brenton Avdulla||2.1L||2||58kg||$6.50|
|7||10||AEROBATICS||Peter Snowden||Joshua Parr||3.7L||12||56kg||$41|
|8||7||DYSTOPIA||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||3.8L||13||56.5kg||$12|
|9||1||APPEARANCE||Guy Walter||Kerrin McEvoy||4.9L||9||59.5kg||$7.50|
|10||13||BRAVE SOUL||Joseph Pride||Christian Reith||5.7L||3||55kg||$9|
|11||6||FILLYDELPHIA||Robert Heathcote||Nathan Berry||6.6L||4||57kg||$51|
|12||8||FIRE UP FIFI||Robert Heathcote||Glyn Schofield||6.8L||11||56.5kg||$20|
|13||11||HONEY FLOWER||Ross McDonald||Brett Prebble||23.1L||10||56kg||$31|