Gai Waterhouse’s duo Diamond Drille and Queenstown will take on the boys in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday, just two of four total mares in the 14 horse race.
The Apollo Stakes is shaping up to be the race of the weekend with the likes of He’s Your Man, Contributer, and Lucia Valentina resuming.
Five-year-old Diamond Drille won the Group 3 Echo Aspiration Stakes (1600m) last autumn as well as the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m). However when the mare resumed in the spring, she failed to place in any of her three starts.
Tim Clarke returns to the saddle, having not partnered the mare since last autumn, and the pair will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one.
“I can’t think of a jockey who understands my horses better than Tim Clark,” Waterhouse told Racing Ahead on Friday morning.
“He somehow gets the horse running. He always gives them an excellent chance.”
Diamond Drille is a $21 hopeful in the Apollo Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au while Queenstown is an outside chance at $41. The mare will have to overcome a wide start from barrier 12 with Paul King travelling from Perth to partner her.
“We put the King on the Queen,” Waterhouse said of the great opportunity for Paul King in the Group 2 feature.
“He rides so many winners, his strike rate is outstanding.
“He came from Perth.”
The 2015 Apollo Stakes is the lead-up to the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 4 according to Waterhouse and the history books.
“Basically we’ve got the Doncaster Handicap in front of us (on Saturday),” she said of the Apollo Stakes line-up and the top chances in it.
Despite the long odds, Waterhouse rates both her runners as top chances in tomorrow’s race.
“It’s going to be a hard race to win,” she admitted.
“Both mine will run very well, both run well and give the punters a good show.”
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