Trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident talented four-year-old Driefontein has the class and is in the right form to break through for a maiden victory at Group 1 level in this afternoon’s Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at South Australia’s Morphettville Racecourse.
Returning to the track in particularly competitive form in her current preparation, Waterhouse confirmed in-form jockey Vlad Duric would retain the ride of Driefontein this afternoon after partnering the Fastnet Rock mare to victory in the Group 3 Irwin Stakes (1100m) in Adelaide two weeks ago.
“I really like the way Vlad rode her last time” Waterhouse told TVN.
“He just sat outside the leader and let her do her own thing.
“She’s ready to win again.”
Having returned Driefontein to her Flemington stables following the near-two length win last time out, Waterhouse confirmed the decision was not made as a result of issues with health or fatigue, but rather just to keep the mare happy and content ahead of this weekend’s major.
“I brought her back to Melbourne, just to keep her ticking over” Waterhouse said.
“She’s a very happy mare.”
Contesting an impressive record of seven wins and five places from 23 competitive race starts to date, Driefontein debuted with an impressive run of four back-to-back victories in 2011/12, including both the Group 3 McLachlan Stakes (1200m) and Listed Widden Stakes (1100m) before placing sixth behind talented stable mate Pierro in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
In eight race since returning to the track in September 2013, the mare out of Follow Gold has steadily built to the task; winning the Group 2 Sharaco Stakes (1200m) first-up before building towards higher honours when sixth amongst particularly classy company in the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) and fifth in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) prior to her most recent triumph.
Allocated the relatively wide and awkward barrier 11, Driefontein is currently offered at particularly generous odds of $8 in betting markets for success in the 2014 Robert Sangster Classic this afternoon.
Having returned to the track in great touch this time in, Villa Verde is currently outright $4.40 favourite for the Robert Sangster crown, ahead of market mover Gregers ($4.60), Platelet ($4.80) and Shamal Wind ($5).
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