The 2014 Queen Of The Turf Stakes results were a wipeout for punters with the roughie Diamond Drille winning the first Group 1 on the second day of ‘The Championships’ at Randwick today.
Diamond Drille ($41) provided trainer Gai Waterhouse with her sixth win in the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) when the four year old mare came from well back in the field to run down Gypsy Diamond ($8) and Red Tracer ($4.80).
Waterhouse won her first Queen Of The Turf Stakes with Light Up The World in 1995 when the it was run as a Group 3 Handicap over 1500m at Rosehill.
Randwick’s leading trainer then scored with Danglissa in 2000 after the race has been elevated to Group 2 status and was in the winner’s stall again in 2004 with In A Bound.
Waterhouse’s champion mare More Joyous then won back to back Queen Of The Turf Stakes in 20011 and 2012 after the race for the fillies and the mares had been elevated again to Group 1 status under weight for age conditions in 2005.
Waterhouse had no hesitation in stepping Diamond Drille up to Group 1 company after she ran fourth to Catkins in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill two weeks ago.
And at her previous start the Al Maher mare stormed home to win the Group 3 $150,000 The Irish Echo Aspiration Quality (1600m) at Randwick on March 15 which was her first win from twelve months.
“Beautiful beautiful mare,” Warerhouse said.
“And Tommy rode her a treat. I liked the way he balanced her when everybody else was hustle bustle up the front, he just balance her. She was so impressive, she is such a good mare.”
“And I think everyone underestimated her, you have to look at her price today.”
Today’s win was Tommy Berry’s first Group 1 victory since his twin brother Nathan Berry passed away a couple of weeks ago and he rode the victory with Nathan’s favourite blue coloured ribbon tied to his skull cap.
“It’s his favourite colour and now it’s mine,” an emotional Berry said.
“It’s pretty special here today. We did this on Nath, you were riding with me brother.”
“Nathan never got to ride a Group 1 winner, but that was his there, buddy.”
Berry heads to Hong Kong next week to begin a second short term riding contract with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and will be keenly sort after by owners and trainers in the rich racing enclave.
Hugh Bowman gave the $2.70 favourite Catkins a beautiful run in the box seat but the Chris Waller trained grey mare found wanting in the straight and faded to finish sixth, three and three quarters lengths behind the winner.