Hall of Famer Gai Waterhouse believes her classy mare Driefontein is better suited to Saturday’s 2015 Expressway Stakes than a host of her rivals in the Rosehill Gardens showdown.
Twelve gallopers make up the nominations for the weight-for-age $200,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) on the weekend including Waterhouse’s Fastnet Rock five-year-old Driefontein.
She hasn’t won a race since late April last year when connections took her to Adelaide and stepped her up to Group 1 company for the Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) that she won by one and a quarter lengths.
A former star juvenile who won the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on protest in 2012, Driefontein was last seen running well in another Magic Millions race on the Gold Coast earlier this month.
On January 10 Tommy Berry rode her to a close fourth when beaten just three-quarters of a length by the fellow Waterhouse-trained Spurtonic in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m).
That was a brave run as she was caught wide from her wide barrier 11 draw, settled into about eighth place without cover before fighting on gamely in the straight to make up lots of late ground.
Now Waterhouse is hoping she can improve again when running over a shorter distance in tougher company for the Expressway Stakes that attracted entries from the likes of the Chris Waller-trained Boban and Peter & Paul Snowden’s in-form That’s A Good Idea.
While some top class gallopers including Kingston Town (1980), Sir Dapper (1984), Tie The Knot (2001) and Lonhro (2003) have won the Expressway Stakes over the years, recent genuine sprint types have got the bikkies.
Waterhouse believes that could certainly be the case this year rating Driefontein as the best suited in the line-up.
“She’s the one that’s suited in this race, whereas most of these other horses are stayers or middle-distance horses resuming,” she told The Daily Telegraph.
Driefontein pulled through her Magic Millions Day run in top order and Waterhouse rates the form of the race.
“She’s travelled back from the Gold Coast in magnificent order,” she said.
Now the trainer looking at her mare to do what stablemate Dana’s Best did in backing up from the Gold Coast to score an impressive one and a quarter length win in the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) last Saturday.
“Look at what Danas Best did when he got back from the Gold Coast,” she said. “He blitzed them last Saturday in the Australia Day Cup.”
The 2015 Expressway Stakes field and barriers are out on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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