After two failed Group 1 runs in the lead-up, Gai Waterhouse’s smart mare Driefontein is down in class on Saturday looking to bounce back in the Dane Ripper Stakes 2014 at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
A key support race on Stradbroke Handicap Day, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Virback Animal Health Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) has attracted a final field of 14 fillies and mares.
To wear the number one saddlecloth from a nice barrier five draw with top Sydney hoop Nash Rawiller in the saddle is Waterhouse’s Fastnet Rock four-year-old Driefontein.
Winner of the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide at the end of autumn, Driefontein failed in her next Morphettville run when 15th behind Smokin’ Joey in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 10.
She was disappointing again on May 24 at Doomben then when seventh behind gun local Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), efforts Waterhouse is hoping she can atone for on the weekend over the 1400m at the roomier Eagle Farm track.
Waterhouse is dually represented in the Dane Ripper Stakes field this year too having also accepted for the in-form Cosmic Endeavour.
Drawn one inside her stablemate with barrier four, Tommy Berry to ride, the Northern Meteor filly has won two of her past three Sydney starts and is looking to bring that form to Queensland.
Winner of the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on April 12, Cosmic Endeavour went on to run third behind Aerobatics in the Group 3 The Darley Crown (1300m) at Hawkesbury before winning the Inglis Scone Guineas over 1400m on May 17.
She gets the 1400m again on Saturday and should be fresh after the three week break between runs.
The only other last start winner in the Dane Ripper this year is then the John O’Shea-trained Seaside (barrier nine) who also won at Scone that day taking out the Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m).
Dark Jewel Classic runner-up was the fellow O’Shea-trained, Darley-owned Aerobatics who also backs up in the Dane Ripper.
She’s drawn double digits with gate 11, Hugh Bowman replacing Christian Reith in the saddle as they look to return to their Darley Crown winning form despite drawing the extreme outside barrier (14) for the weekend.
The other major player meanwhile will be the Chris Waller-trained Catkins out to emulate her dual Group 1 winning stablemate Red Tracer who won last year’s Dane Ripper before going on to win the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1440m).
Both Red Tracer, who runs in the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on Saturday, and Catkins are 2014 Tattersall’s Tiara bound this year.
They both also come via a run in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick from the end of April, Catkins having finished sixth on the back of a Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) victory at Rosehill.
Other notable Dane Ripper Stakes hopes then include the local Rob Heathcote-trained Fire Up Fifi who ran third to River Lad in the Group 3 BRC Sprint last time out and Simon Miller’s Perth raider Platinum Rocker who ran third behind Stradbroke hope Srikandi in the Glenlogan Park Stakes two weeks ago.
See below for the complete Dane Ripper Stakes 2014 field, barriers and jockeys.
Then make sure you’ve got an account open online at Ladbrokes.com.au who will be opening all their Straddie Day betting markets shortly!
2014 Dane Ripper Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Eagle Farm Race 5 (1:45pm) – 07/06/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4×41651107||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||5||59.5kg||109|
|2||1312×11316||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||11||59.5kg||110|
|3||7168×73512||AEROBATICS||John O’Shea||Glen Boss||14||59.5kg||102|
|4||1533×65083||FIRE UP FIFI||Robert Heathcote||Timothy Bell||8||58.5kg||105|
|5||10x1312x33||PLATINUM ROCKER||Simon A Miller||Peter Knuckey||2||58.5kg||101|
|6||0x210x2428||PLUCKY BELLE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12||58.5kg||98|
|7||5x63134x61||SEASIDE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||9||58.5kg||97|
|8||96x6858x38||KAZANLUK||Anthony Freedman||Ryan Wiggins||6||58.5kg||82|
|9||44×1642131||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4||58kg||101|
|10||138×622633||GIG||Shawn Mathrick||Chris Munce||13||56.5kg||90|
|11||10x227x850||PERON||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||1||56.5kg||98|
|12||x5441215x3||MYAMIRA||Rodney Northam||Damien Oliver||10||56.5kg||90|
|13||2111×5352||BELLE DE COEUR||Luke Price||Michael Rodd||7||55.5kg||85|
|14||5179x3553x||LUCKY LAGO||Peter & Paul Snowden||Damian Browne||3||55.5kg||89|