The Gai Waterhouse-trained Driefontein has proven she was bred tough after racing straight through the spring and summer racing seasons without a break.
Don’t expect the mare to be fatigued when she steps out in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) however as she is set to bring her A-game as she vies for a share of the $200,000 prize pool, looking to boost her already lucrative $2.25 million total earnings.
After travelling from Melbourne to Sydney to the Gold Coast and back to Sydney again for the end of the summer campaign, Waterhouse’s racing manager Adrian Bott believes Driefontein is in good order ahead of Saturday’s race.
“She is remarkable and she is back in Sydney in good order and really ready to go on Saturday,” he told Racing Network.
Driefontein is one of 11 sprinters set to run in the 2015 Expressway Stakes, which is dominated by Chris Waller with five horses to his name.
The mare will jump from barrier five with Blake Shinn and is one of just two runners allocated less than 58.5kg in weights. Driefontein will carry 56.5kg while Panzer Division will carry 55kg.
Waterhouse’s mare is the current market mover in the Expressway Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au after her price shortened from $9 to $8.50 however Paul Messara’s Panzer Division remains the firm favourite at $3.30.
Driefontein has had her share of stakes racing success, including winning the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) last autumn.
She ran three races in Melbourne during the spring but only placed in the Group 2 Tab.com.au Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1. Waterhouse decided to keep running the mare into the summer, finishing midfield in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) on December 27 before heading north for the $400,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 10.
Despite finding herself caught wide after jumping from barrier 11 and carrying the top weight of 59.5kg, Driefontein did well to finish fourth to stable mate Spurtonic.
“She ran a big race on the Gold Coast, carried the big weight and got too far back which wasn’t her fault,” Bott said.
“She is back in really good order and they’ll know she’s there on Saturday in what looks a very strong race.”
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