Originally second past the past, Driefontein’s record remained unblemished when she was awarded today’s $2 million BMW Magic Millions 2YO Classic after a protest hearing.
Australian racing’s first lady, the Hall of Fame horsewoman Gai Waterhouse, was always going to win Queensland’s richest race having prepared both the first and second runners past the post.
For over 15 minutes history was made when No Looking Back flashed past the post first – the first “winner” of the race at just its second start.
But after a few anxious moments the protest siren sounded and connections were ushered into the stewards room.
“Did you have to stop riding at any stage?” Rawiller asked Berry in the hearing.
“Probably the last 70 metres I had to put the stick away,” Berry answered.
The stewards panel, chaired by Wade Birch, agreed and reversed the placings giving Driefontein the race.
“She probably got a bit lost on the corner but the class horse won on the day,” Berry said
“I had a speak with Gai and it was yes, no, yes, no. It doesnt matter how it happened we got it in the end.”
“It was disappointing having to do it against Nash he’s been a great mate of mine since I’ve been at Gai’s. It’s really hard doing it against him as a good mate,” he added.
The result was yet another feather in the cap for one of the Magic Millions’ biggest fans, Gai Waterhouse.
“Unbelievable that was alot of fun,” Waterhouse exclaimed prior to the protest hearing in the moments after the race.
“Two very well bred horses, one by Redoute’s Choice and one by Fastnet Rock they were literally flying out of the turf.”
“It was fabulous fun I thought I was riding them myself.”
“They’ll both head to the Slipper – they could well be wearing one each – it will be just like Cinderella.”
At the presentation Waterhouse thanked organisers and stable staff for all playing their roles in a memorable day.
“This is what racing is about. These owners around me – you don’t have to have a lot of money to get involved.”
“You couldn’t do this in America or England and certainly not Russia or China – we’re very lucky and this is what it is all about,” she added.
Driefontein is yet another successful syndication product for Star Thoroughbreds’ Denise Martin.
While Martin has syndicated many Group One winners from the Gold Coast sales including Theseo, Danni Martine and Sebring, she was yet to win a BMW Classic.
Driefontein, a $75,000 purchase for team Star from the Widden Stud draft (on behalf of Bylong Park Thoroughbreds), is one of five winners, from five to race for the stakes winning mare Follow Gold.
A winner of two races at two, Follow Gold is a sister to the stakes winner Export Gold – the dam of Asian star Forest Gold.
Driefontein is one of 24 stakes winners for her sire Fastnet Rock – the sire of this week’s Magic Millions Yearling Sale top seller for $960,000.