Diamond Drille is at long odds again to secure back to back wins in the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Diamond Drille beat the fillies and mares last year as one of the outsiders of the field at $41 and is currently listed as an $18 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au to win again.
Stable foreman Mark Newnham said that he would not be surprised if the Al Maher mare was to collect her second Queen Of The Turf Stakes trophy after she pulled up in fine order after finishing fifteenth in the Group 1 $3m The Star 150th Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick last Monday.
Newnham is willing to forget the run after Diamond Drille was only able to pass a handful of horses in the straight after settling at the tail of the twenty horse field after jumping from barrier sixteen.
“She didn’t have a lot of luck in the Doncaster,” Newnham said.
“She ate up well after Monday’s race.”
“I think she looks and feels as good as she did going into last year’s race.”
Diamond Drille hit the line hard two starts back when narrowly beaten into third place behind Plucky Belle and First Seal in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 14 and is better placed coming back to weight for age against the fillies and mares again.
“She’s got a few things in her favour coming back to mares’ grade and coming back from a Doncaster, you don’t get a stronger form race,” Newnham.
“Based on her Coolmore run she’s right in this race.”
Blake Shinn takes over from French jockey Thomas Huet on Diamond Drille who has drawn wide again at barrier eleven.
Waterhouse will also saddle up number one saddlecloth holder Cosmic Endeavour and Amanpour with both mares also at healthy double figure odds.
Cosmic Endeavour is also backing up after running fourteenth in the Doncaster Mile and is marked at $17 while Amanpour is a $31 chance coming off a second to Catkins in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 28.
Queen Of The Turf Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 First Seal, $3.60 Noble Protector, $4.60 Catkins, $17 Cosmic Endeavour, $18 Diamond Drille, $21 Telepathic, Amicus, $26 Gypsy Diamond, $31 Amanpour, $34 Diademe, Intimate Moment, Sports Illustrated, $41 Bonaria, $101 Hera, $151 Just A Blur.