Gai Waterhouse’s in-form mare Driefontein has opened narrow favourite in the 2014 The Goodwood odds to become the third female galloper in as many years to complete Adelaide’s sprint Group 1 double.
A talented field of 20 starters and two emergencies were announced earlier today for Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 The Tapestry Wines Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville Racecourse.
After pre-field favourite Sistine Demon drew out wide in gate 20, into 18 with emergencies out, it is now Sydney-based Fastnet Rock four-year-old Driefontein heading The Goodwood betting markets at a current quote of $6.50.
The flying galloper drew an inside barrier, gate three yet to produce a Goodwood winner in the past 31 years.
Still her lead-up form is flawless with Driefontein coming off wins in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) and then the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at the track.
Both times she defeated last year’s The Goodwood champion Platelet who also runs in the big one this weekend.
The Darren Weir-trained Platelet won the Robert Sangster Stakes – The Goodwood double last year, emulating Peter Moody’s undefeated queen Black Caviar who bought some genuine class to South Australia in 2012 completing that same double as the short odds-on favourite.
Now it is Driefontein’s turn, but there are plenty of other genuine hopes hot on her heels in The Goodwood markets.
Second favourite at $7 is the in-form but widely-drawn Sistine Demon who shoots for their ninth win at career start number 17 here.
Prepared by Adelaide expat the now Caulfield-based Andrew Noblet the Excites four-year-old has won their past two on the trot back home at stakes level in Melbourne.
Most recently they jumped from the outside barrier (14) in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) with another South Australian, young Jamie Kah, guiding the up-and-comer through the field to pull away and win by a massive six lengths.
If they can handle the class rise and another wide gate though they could still be the one to beat.
The other single figure chances are then co-third favourites paying $7.50 each, reigning The Goodwood champ Platelet and fellow Group 1 winning local Miracles Of Life.
Strategic five-year-old Platelet, as mentioned, comes off two second place finishes behind Driefontein and on Saturday will be out to turn the tables and become the first back-to-back The Goodwood winner since Musket Belle way back in 1911-12.
She’s drawn in gate 17 (into 15) this year however after getting a gun run 12 months ago from barrier four, history showing that in the past 18 years just five have won the race from a double digit gate.
The Daniel Clarken-trained Miracles Of Life meanwhile has an inside gate two draw for her swansong race, the talented Not A Single Doubt filly looking to secure her second Group 1 win.
As a two-year-old she took out Melbourne’s Blue Diamond Stakes.
After a lengthy drought she finally won again last weekend here at Morphettville when beating home the boys by nearly two lengths in the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) earning one more grand hurrah in The Goodwood before retirement.
The only others under $20 outside the top four are then the John O’Shea-trained Lonhro four-year-old Sessions ($10), last start DC McKay Stakes winner Essay Raider ($11), William Reid Stakes third placed Unpretentious ($12) and the rails-drawn Bel Sprinter ($16).
See below for the complete The Goodwood 2014 odds, fixed win prices now open at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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