Al Maher’s reputation for siring top-class milers has been further enhanced by the Group 1 ATC Queen of the Turf success of Diamond Drille. A 4-year-old daughter of the leading Emirates Park-based stallion, Diamond Drille became the second Randwick Group 1 mile winner of her sire’s flourishing stud career and the latest in a long-line of feature 1600-metre winners.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse on behalf of the Kolivos family of Pierro fame, Diamond Drille produced a determined stretch run to win the $1 million contest by a short-neck. Caught back in the field in the early stages on a track favouring front-runners, the quality mare displayed tremendous courage to land one of the most coveted contests on the new The Championship program (Day Two).
An elated Gai Waterhouse said after the win: “She’s the most underrated mare in Australia. She’s by Al Maher, she was bred at Emirates Park, one of the great breeding grounds of Australia, and Tommy [Berry] just rode her a treat. We discussed how everyone was wanting to be on the speed… Tom just let her find her feet and attack the line. She did exactly that.”
In another illustration of Al Maher’s exceptional ability to sire a top-class miler, Diamond Drille is now unbeaten in three starts at 1600 metres. She became her sire’s 20th individual stakes winner when claiming the Group 3 ATC Aspiration Stakes in mid-March and now emulates Fat Al as a Randwick Group 1 mile winner for the Emirates Park home-bred stallion.
In addition to the top-flight 1600-metre victories of Diamond Drille and Fat Al, Al Maher’s leading progeny also include the likes of Majestic Music, Budriguez, All Legal, Oasis Bloom — all Group winners of notable mile events on the Australian racing calendar.
The Group 1 Queen of the Turf success of Diamond Drille was also a major triumph for the breeding operation of Pedrille Thoroughbreds. Long-term clients of Emirates Park, the Gall family have been great supporters of Al Maher, breeding Diamond Drille as well as breeding and racing her close relation M’Lady Pedrille, winner of last season's Listed ATC Reginald Allen Quality.