Trainer Gai Waterhouse has revealed that the 2014 Cox Plate is on the agenda for Group 1 winning mare Diamond Drille.
Diamond Drille recorded her maiden Group 1 victory with an impressive performance in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 19 and Waterhouse told Sky Racing HQ yesterday that she is confident that the daughter of Al Maher is capable of taking the step-up to weight-for-age level during her spring campaign.
The five-year-old is set to resume in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and will return to Group 1 level in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) at the same venue on October 4 before heading to Melbourne for a tilt at the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington a week later.
“Diamond Drille has already taken the next step by obliterating them in the Group 1 in the autumn carnival,” Waterhouse said.
“She will start in Sydney, she starts in the next few weeks here in the Toy Show and then she will probably stay in Sydney for the Epsom.
“She will head down for races like the Cox Plate and the Mackinnon.
“Mares have won that race and she is a tough conveyance, a very exciting mare and a big strong daughter of Al Maher.
“She has a lovely cruising speed and knows where the winning post is.”
Diamond Drille made her racing debut at Gosford at the end of 2012 and worked through the grades slowly during her maiden racing campaign to score races wins in benchmark handicap events at Rosehill Gardens and Canterbury.
The talented mare missed the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but she made her black type racing debut with a fifth place finish in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 22 before having no luck when eighth in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Diamond Drille recorded her first win at Group level in the Group 3 The Aspiration (1600m) and she went into the Queen Of The Turf Stakes at massive odds, after finishing fourth behind Catkins in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m), but stormed home late to score an upset win from Gypsy Diamond and Red Tracer.
Waterhouse is still chasing her first victory in the Cox Plate and could have a number of runners in the 2014 edition of the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championships; with talented three-year-old Almalad, imported galloper Carlton House and Group 1 winning filly Cosmic Endeavour all included in the nominations for the race.