She may have a horror barrier draw and be facing a rival that’s beaten her to the line twice before in the lead-up, but the Darren Weir-trained Platelet is still a longshot chance of scoring back-to-back wins in the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m).
Twelve months ago the daughter of Strategic was in career best form winning the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes – The Goodwood double at Morphettville.
This time in her form has also been very good, however she failed to defend her Robert Sangster Stakes title on April 26 when defeated one and a quarter lengths by the Gai Waterhouse-trained raider Driefontein.
Fastnet Rock four-year-old Driefontein also beat home Platelet the run before by the same margin in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m).
On Saturday Platelet gets the chance to turn the tables when the two mares face off for Round 3 in The Goodwood this weekend.
In an early blow for the reigning champ however Platelet drew wide with barrier 17 that will become 15 of 20 if the two emergencies come out.
It’s a bad omen too as just five The Goodwood winners in the past 18 years have jumped from double digits, and only one since 1983 from barrier 15.
Driefontein on the other hand came up with a barrier that has produced zero winners in the race in the past 31 years, barrier three.
While the stats say gate three isn’t favourable, she’s still the easing favourite in The Goodwood betting out from $6.50 to $7 and Waterhouse is thrilled with the barrier.
“It’s a fabulous barrier draw,” Waterhouse told The Advertiser.
“She’s a fabulous mare and she’s coming back to rock’n’roll on Saturday.
“She’s done everything right since her last run and I couldn’t be happier with her.”
If successful she becomes the third mare in as many years to back up from a Robert Sangster success and win The Goodwood joining Platelet last year and super mare Black Caviar (2012).
“She looks a picture,” Waterhouse added.
“She’s come through her run the other day really well and has done a treat here in Melbourne, and [jockey] Vlad [Duric] is riding in terrific form.”
Joining Driefontein on $7 at the top of The Goodwood odds is then the Andrew Noblet-trained Sistine Demon also out wide with barrier 20 (into 18), the Excites four-year-old shooting for their eighth win from their past nine starts.
Platelet then follows at $7.50 as equal second fancy along with the Daniel Clarken-trained 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Miracles Of Life who retires from racing after The Goodwood showdown.
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