Diamond Crowned The Queen At The Championships

Inglis graduate Diamond Drille came with a well-timed run to nab the $1 million Group 1 ATC Queen of the Turf Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The win ensured Inglis’ position as the leading sales source of Group 1 winners during The Championships in Sydney.

Owner Greg Kolivos was ecstatic with the victory, congratulating his trainer Gai Waterhouse who selected Diamond Drille out of the Easter Yearling Sale and has brought the mare along slowly to win today’s prize.

“Gai has brought her [Diamond Drille] along so perfectly. We are over the moon. This mare had a year off, this was always the plan to get her to this race,” said Greg Kolivos, who races Diamond Drille with his wife Donna.

Diamond Drille (Al Maher x Damzelle Pedrille) was purchased as a yearling by Gai Waterhouse for $200,000 from the draft of Emirates Park Stud at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

“The most underrated mare in Australia,” Waterhouse declared after today’s win.

“She’s by Al Maher bred at Emirates Park, one of the great breeding grounds of Australia and Tommy just rated her a treat as she was really able to attack the line,” said Waterhouse.

The Queen of the Turf winner hails from breeder Ray Gall’s amazing Pedrille family of I Am Invincible, Mamzelle Pedrille and O’Lonhro. Diamond Drille is the third stakes winner of her dam joining Madame Pedrille and M’Lady Pedrille.

The victory was an emotional one for jockey Tommy Berry who blew a kiss to the heavens after the winning post before dedicating the victory to his late twin brother Nathan.

“Nathan never got to ride a Group 1 winner – that was his there,” Berry said.

“I can’t explain how it feels. I have to thank Gai and Greg and Donna [Kolivos], they have been supporters of the stable for a long time,” added Berry.

Diamond Drille’s short neck victory over Gypsy Diamond and Red Tracer was the mare’s fifth win from just 10 starts for $907,430 in earnings plus trophies. Her breeding value has also skyrocketed as she joins the likes of previous Queen of the Turf winners Appearance, More Joyous, Typhoon Tracy and fellow Inglis Easter graduates Forensics and Mnemosyne.

Other Inglis graduates successful on Day Two of The Championships in Sydney were Veuvelicious and Cosmic Endeavour.

Veuvelicious (Northern Meteor x Debutante) will be out to make it an Inglis clean sweep of the Sydney Two-Year-Old Triple Crown when she steps up to the Group 1 ATC Champagne Stakes (1600m) over the same course and distance next Saturday following her win in the Listed ATC Fernhill Handicap today.

“I can’t see why not, she is the right horse to back up. I have a funny feeling she will be better next week,” said trainer Brent Stanley, who purchased the filly for $20,000 from Widden Stud’s draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

The previous two legs of the triple crown have been won by Inglis fillies Mossfun (Golden Slipper) and Peggy Jean (Sires’ Produce).

Cosmic Endeavour (Northern Meteor x Crevette), a $230,000 purchase by owners DC & JR Kelly from Willow Park Stud’s draft at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, later closed out The Championships with a strong all the way win in the Group 2 ATC Sapphire Stakes for the dominant trainer/jockey partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Tommy Berry.

The win was the fifth victory for an Inglis Yearling Sale graduate during the two days of The Championships, making Inglis the leading sales source of stakes winners on both of Sydney’s biggest racedays of the year.