A return to winning form by Driefontein after an absence of 18 months has set the scene for the mare to finally fulfil her Group One potential.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained four-year-old, who was tried over 2000 metres in the autumn, took out Saturday’s Group Three Sheraco Stakes (1200m) to begin her path to the Myer Classic at Flemington.
Backed from $13 to $9.50, Driefontein camped on the pace set by Ichihara ($6.50) and burst clear in the straight.
She held off the favourite Peron ($4.40) by a length with Arctic Flight ($21) a half head third.
The winner of her first four starts including a protest victory in the 2012 Magic Millions Classic, Driefontein lost her way at three but showed she was on track for a resurgence.
“She is such a lovely mare and I couldn’t be happier with how she’s come back,” Waterhouse said.
“She is very tenacious.
“The Myer Classic is the aim but there are races in Sydney for her first before she gets there.”
Driefontein’s Magic Millions win was the first big victory for the Waterhouse-Tommy Berry combination and the leading jockey couldn’t have been happier to see her back.
“She has grown and strengthened up,” Berry said.
“I don’t think she will have any problems now with 1600 metres. I couldn’t be happier with her.”
Jim Cassidy said the favourite didn’t get the best start and he was happy with how she finished the race off.
“She got home nicely after getting squashed at the start,” he said.