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Mare delivers divine performance

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Derby Day dawned with disappointment for the Robbie Griffiths stable, but closed in stunning style.

The Cranbourne operation’s prayers for a scratching from the G1 VRC Derby field went unanswered and the balloted Alessandro (Fiorente {IRE}), the winner of two of his three starts, was locked out of the line-up.

The promising colt stayed at home and stablemate Divine Quality (Sepoy) stepped up to the plate to produce a dazzling effort in the G3 Furphy Sprint.

She lived up to her name with a low-flying performance to come from last to win going away by three and a-quarter lengths and delivering a quality end to an outstanding day of racing at Flemington.

“To win a race on any day is great, but to win a race on Derby Day is outstanding.” - Robbie Griffiths.

“That was enormous, unbelievable. To win a race on any day is great, but to win a race on Derby Day is outstanding,” Griffiths said.

“She was brilliant and we targeted this race a long time ago. When she drew 17 we were delighted because it complements her racing style.

“We missed out in the Derby with Alessandro so this is terrific.”

Robbie Griffiths with jockey, Beau Mertens

Raced by Craig and Kath Pearce, Divine Quality was a $185,000 purchase at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and is out of a half-sister to the triple New Zealand Group 1 winner King’s Chapel (NZ) (King Of Kings {IRE}), who also ran second in the G1 George Main S.

Divine Quality had won three races prior to Saturday, despite immaturity issues.

“Even though she's a 5-year-old, she still doesn't look fully mature yet and that's why we've raced her very sparingly.” – Robbie Griffiths.

“Even though she's a 5-year-old, she still doesn't look fully mature yet and that's why we've raced her very sparingly,” he said.

“We seem to end up in the other seasons, not the traditional spring and autumn because of her growth and development, but she smashed them and she put away a pretty high class field.”

He is now likely to freshen the mare again and head toward the G3 Standish H., at Flemington on New Year's Day. The long-term target is the G1 Sangster S., at Morphettville in May.

Beau Mertens has been Divine Quality’s regular rider and he was understandably delighted to repay the faith stored in him by her connections.

“It’s a thrill to win on Derby Day, an amazing feeling,” he said. “It’s thanks to Robbie and the owners for keeping me on this horse.”

Divine Quality's connections celebrating with Beau Mertens after his win the the G3 Furphy Sprint