Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Race favourite Driefontein is looking fabulous and is travelling sweetly as she prepares to salute for the punters in Saturday’s Southern Cross Stakes 2015 at Royal Randwick according to her trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Waterhouse is gearing up for a super meeting for Apollo Stakes Day this weekend in Sydney, saddling up a host of livewire chances including her classy Fastnet Rock mare Driefontein in the $150,000 Group 3 Adaptra Southern Cross Stakes (1200m).
The handicap clash is scheduled to run as Race 4 at 2:55pm (AEDT) and features a small field of just nine hopefuls.
Clear favourite of those in the latest Southern Cross Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is Waterhouse’s consistent five-year-old paying $3 to win her first race since becoming an elite level winner in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide last April.
Driefontein’s form since has been hit and miss but she looks to have come back in very nice form this summer – autumn racing season.
“A very good mare and she seems to have come back in fantastic order,” Waterhouse said.
“There’s hardly a state in Australia she hasn’t won in.
“Where do you get horses like that!”
Waterhouse is eyeing some of the major sprints for the mare this time in having nominated her for both the $1 million Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 as well as the lucrative $2.5 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 during The Championships.
All-in markets are open on both classics at Ladbrokes with Driefontein a $34 chance in Newmarket Handicap betting and even longer installed as a $67 roughie for the TJ Smith.
Two back she ran a very good fourth when under a length off her winning stablemate, 2015 Australian Cup-bound Spurtonic who runs in the Carlyon Cup in Melbourne on Saturday, in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on the Gold Coast on January 10.
Last time out on January 31 she then came even closer when just beaten to the line by a nose finishing second to the Chris Waller-trained Weary in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m).
Waterhouse is now as confident as ever Driefontein can improve on that and beat them home in the Southern Cross Stakes before she moves on to bigger autumn targets.
“(Jockey) Blake Shinn rode her earlier in the week,” she said.
“And he was delighted with her and he said ‘she just feels fabulous’.
“And she looks fabulous. She’s at a beautiful stage of her life.”
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