Driefontein produced a tough front-running performance to score her maiden win at Group level in the 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville this afternoon.
Jockey Vlad Duric elected to take Driefontein straight to the lead in the early stages of the race, like she did when she won the 2012 Magic Millions Classic, and he made sure that the race was run at a good tempo.
Gregers settled in second place and looked as though she was going to work past Driefontein in the final stages of the race, but the Fastnet Rock mare kicked again and held-off last year’s winner Platelet, who flew home from the tail of the field, to win the 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes.
Driefontein made her Adelaide racing debut with an impressive win in the Group 3 Irwin Stakes (1100m) on April 12 and Gai Waterhouse stable representative Roger Elliot said that the four-year-old had settled in well at her new environment in Melbourne.
“She tries all the time and she was great today,” Elliot said.
“I talked to Gai about an hour ago and she said that maybe two will go and we might get a sit, but Vlad could make up his own mind to go forward and it has worked out great.
“She races good like that, she relaxed pretty good, so it was great.
“She is doing really well at Flemington and she really enjoys it.”
Vlad Duric partnered Driefontein for the first time when she took out the Irwin Stakes a fortnight ago and admitted that it wasn’t his only plan going into the race to push forward on the talented mare, but decided to take her to the front after none of the other fillies or mares in the race challenged for the lead.
“She jumped really well and I was going to be more than happy to find one or two to follow like I did the other day and with my wide draw nobody wanted to go,” Duric said
“I just thought that she has won races doing it from start to finish, so I bit the bullet and just hoped that I was on the best horse, which I was.
“I just made sure that from the 600 I started to build on her and I just let her gallop.
“Knowing how Gai trains her horses, she trains them to be rock hard fit, and I rode her that way.”
Driefontein is a chance of backing up in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 10 and could replicate the feats of Black Caviar and Platelet – who completed the Robert Sangster Stakes/The Goodwood double in the past two years.