Rank outsider Diamond Drille has caused the biggest upset of day 2 of The Championships; producing an incredible final straight sprint to win the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Jumping only fairly, Diamond Drille settled within the pack on the rails, allowing Solicit and pre-post favourite Catkins to set a reasonably strong early pace.
Rounding the bend still well within the main group, the Al Maher mare stepped up the tempo, locking in a fierce sprint battle with leading chance Red Tracer and poking a nose clear to finish ahead of a speeding Gypsy Diamond, Red Tracer running through for third.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse was understandably thrilled with Diamond Drille’s performance in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, heaping the praise on jockey Tommy Berry.
“Beautiful, Beautiful mare and Tommy rode her a treat” Waterhouse said after the race.
“I loved the way he balanced her when everyone else was going hustle and bustle at the front.
“She just was so impressive; she’s such a good mare.
“I think everyone underestimated her, you just had to look at her price today” Waterhouse said of Diamond Drille’s incredible $51 pre-post odds.
Breaking through for his first Group 1 victory since the tragic passing of twin brother Nathan two weeks ago, Tommy Berry delivered a perfectly timed ride of Diamond Drille in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, emotionally dedicating the win with his brother.
“We did this one, Nath, you were riding with me brother” Berry said immediately after dismounting.
“I can’t explain how it feels -I’ve got to thank Gai and Greg and Donna (Kolivos, owners); they’ve been supporters that have stuck with me a long time.
“Gai doesn’t put horses in Group 1’s just to go around and pick up the prize money; she puts them in there because she believes they’re a winning chance” Berry said of Waterhouse’s inclusion of Diamond Drille this afternoon.
Having claimed a maiden Group 1 victory, Diamond Drille will now return to the spelling paddock ahead of what is likely to be a particularly busy Spring Racing Carnival.
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2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes Results
|1||7||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||–||2||57kg||$41|
|2||10||GYPSY DIAMOND||John O’Shea||James McDonald||0.2L||9||54.5kg||$8|
|3||1||RED TRACER||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||0.7L||5||57kg||$4.80|
|4||2||STREAMA||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||1.5L||4||57kg||$11|
|5||4||VIADANA (NZ)||Lance Noble||Craig Williams||1.7L||3||57kg||$12|
|6||3||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||3.7L||1||57kg||$2.70F|
|7||6||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Michael Rodd||10.8L||7||57kg||$51|
|8||8||RECITE (NZ)||John Bary||Glen Boss||15.5L||8||54.5kg||$26|
|9||9||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chad Schofield||21.6L||6||54.5kg||$4.80|