Queensland Winners expert ‘The Professor’ has been red-hot since joining us in September. He brings you his Group 1 Tatts Tiara Preview ahead of the action in Brisbane.
We currently have a Good 4 at Eagle Farm and though there are a few showers predicted for Brisbane on Thursday and Friday, it shouldn’t be enough to make the track any worse than a Soft 5. I will be very surprised if we are not racing on a good track come Saturday.
Not entirely sure how the track will play. The fence was off on Stradbroke Day when the rail was out 2m. I think that was due to the track manager taking drastic action after the fence was on fire at the previous meeting. We get the rail out 4m here and in previous meetings in similar rail positions the fence has been clearly the best ground in running (though in the straight ground could be made up from anywhere). My feeling is with some time having passed since Kingsford Smith day it may have been business as usual with preparation of the track for this meeting. I will be assuming that horses hard fence in running will be advantaged moderately to strongly.
As with most Group 1s I don’t expect they will dawdle, but at the same time there doesn’t look to be an overabundance of pace in the race. Irithea is drawn out wide but looks a chance of leading with Jamaican Rain and Prompt Response the other candidates to lead. Naantali, Savatiano and Pecans will be the other on pace runners but don’texpect them to be applying too much pressure to the leaders. I am expecting those runners closer to the pace to be most advantaged by the tempo.
#1 Invincibella (C Waller, J Collett)
Barrier 9, 57kg
Narrow winner of the Group 2 Dane Ripper last start. Was hugely advantaged by sitting on the leaders back in an incredibly slowly run race. Had a good enough sprint to win in a bunched finish with less than 2 lengths separating the first 6 across the line. Won’t get the same favours here and other recent figures look well below what will be required to win. Not for me.
#2 Prompt Response (C Waller, G Schofield)
Barrier 14, 57kg
Looking for back-to-back wins in this race and was only beaten 0.2 lengths in 2017, so very hard to ignore. Both of those iterations of this race were run at Eagle Farm which probably suits her better. Comes out of the Dane Ripper when led in a very slowly run race but was outsprinted late. Lead-up run last year was much more impressive and can’t say I really want to be with her here.
#3 Spright (G Frazer, M Cahill)
Barrier 10, 57kg
To the eye went to the line strongly in the Stradbroke but was advantaged by a very fast speed set out front. Was a similar story in the Goodwood the start before. Will get back again from barrier 10 and don’t think the speed will be as fast out front. Did win last year on Tatt’s Tiara day at Doomben over 1350m in the Healy Stakes in good time but – you guessed it – was advantaged by a fast lead speed. Likely runs another eye-catching race but will be going around without me.
#4 Oregon’s Day (C Maher & D Eustace, M Walker)
Barrier 23, 57kg
First start for the new stable and 28 days between runs. Was three-wide the journey last start but was very handily beaten in a moderately run race. Started strongly this prep winning a Group 3 race over 1400m at Flemington but hasn’t been competitive since then. Horror draw – Walker had her three-wide from barrier 7 last start so can’t imagine where she will be from gate 23. Be surprised if she is competitive here.
#5 Princess Posh (K Lees, L Cassidy )
Barrier 16, 57kg
Was competitive in the Kingsford Smith last start but found the fence and we know how much of an advantage that was on the day. Got an absolute saloon passage up the rails and didn’t have to cover an extra inch. From barrier 16 will struggle to be as advantaged in the run. Looks to me like she should be closer to the $151 she went around last start.
#6 Irithea (B Baker, J Orman)
Barrier 17, 57kg
Don’t think the run in the Stradbroke was bad at all. Landed on the leader’s back in a race run in very fast time and was clearly the best of the horses that ran on pace. Add to that was hard fence when the fence was off and it starts to look like a pretty good effort. Some chance of crossing and leading and won’t be as much pressure as the Stradbroke. Looks more appealing than some at shorter odds here.
#7 Eckstein (C Waller, C Newitt)
Barrier 18, 57kg
Worked to the line nicely last start on Kingsford Smith day. Some will no doubt latch on to being held up in the straight momentarily but was hard fence in run so was far more advantaged by that than disadvantaged in the straight. Hasn’t had a start in 28 days though did trial at the Gold Coast. Drawn 18 likely goes back and Shinn jumps off. Not finding a lot of positives.
#8 Winter Bride (A Edmonds, R Maloney)
Barrier 6 , 57kg
Had every possible chance last time over 1200m at Doomben in the Moreton Cup when sat up outside the lead in a very slowly run race. Sprinted well but Brave Song was too good coming from off the speed. Is a mare that I have a lot of time for and her form through the first three runs in the prep was very good. Drawn nicely here and though Shinn gets off, Maloney is not a bad replacement. Hard to take off the last run and not sure she will be running out a strong 1400m.
#9 Egg Tart (C Waller, G Boss)
Barrier 19, 57kg
Probably have to keep her safe considering first-up last prep was third in the Apollo behind Winx and Happy Clapper. Did trial nicely leading up to this as well. Drawn wide though and looks a good chance of being caught deep. Seems a strange move to throw her in first-up here and not sure what the thinking is, but I am somewhat wary of her here.
#10 Savatiano (J Cummings, T Berry)
Barrier 15, 57kg
Impressive winner last start here over 1300m when sat on the leaders back in a moderately run race, and showed a good turn of foot to put the field away. Was a similar situation two starts ago when on pace in another moderately run race and was narrowly beaten. Going back another start was a good run in the Sapphire Stakes which has been a strong form race. Will need a little bit of luck from the wide draw but can be on pace in a race that doesn’t look like will be run at breakneck speed. Not sure there is much value in the price but looks to be right in this.
#11 Noire (C Waller, R Fradd)
Barrier 11, 57kg
Thought the last start run was very, very good, flashing into 4th after having to come from back in the field against a very slow tempo. Prior run at Randwick was also very good. Map is a bit of a concern may be well back again with an unsuitable tempo out front. Still think there might be some value in the price here.
#12 Naantali (C Maher & D Eustace, N Mc Lean)
Barrier 22, 57kg
Last start run was good, beaten three lengths over 1200m at Doomben when led in a fast run race. Can be on pace and don’t think tempo will be overly fast, but may need to do some work from barrier 22 which is a concern. Also, can’t say I really want to be with Nikita Berriman in a Group 1 race.
#13 Siren’s Fury (S Kendrick, T Harrison)
Barrier 4, 57kg
Got well back against a very slow tempo last start in the Dane Ripper. Made up some ground late but was never a real winning chance. Has been a similar story most of this prep. Though drawn well and gets the blinkers on I can’t see her being a genuine winning chance here.
#14 Pecans (K Lees, T Clark)
Barrier 3, 57kg
On the quick back-up after finishing fifth beaten four lengths in the Gai Waterhouse last week over 1350m at Ipswich. Was trapped three-wide in that race and gets in with a nice draw here. Prior run over 1400m at Randwick was a high rating run. If runs up to that level can be competitive here but have a feeling was just one out of the box and I’d be surprised if in the finish here.
#15 Jamaican Rain (R Laming, J Kah)
Barrier 7, 57kg
Did come up to Queensland last year at the end of the carnival and win by four lengths at the Sunshine Coast, but that was on her preferred heavy going and her lead-up form was much stronger. Might find a nice spot in the run but every run this prep has been significantly below the level required to win this race. I’m more than happy to risk her and think she starts a bigger price.
#16 Outback Barbie (T Gollan, J Byrne)
Barrier 1, 55.5kg
Failed last start in the Dane Ripper at this track and distance, when managed to get caught three-wide from barrier 7. Did have cover but offered nothing in the straight. Did have excuses as a vet check showed a poor recovery and mucus in the airways suggesting some type of virus. Has been given the all clear to race here and prior form through the Kingsford Smith and the Doomben 10 000 have her right in this race. From barrier 1 she’ll be close enough to the speed without doing any work and likely gets a favourable tempo. Looks like value to me.
#17 Multaja (J Cummings, J Lloyd)
Barrier 13, 55.5kg
Was an impressive winner at Doomben last start over 1200m in the Listed Helen Coughlan Stakes, coming from well back in the field. Did have plenty of speed put on for it though and was a similar story two starts ago when second to Vega One over 1350m at Doomben. Not sure will get the same tempo out front and is still yet to win over further than 1200m. No value in the current price in my opinion.
#18 Pohutukawa (J Cummings, B Shinn)
Barrier 5, 55.5kg
Was an obvious one for the market to latch onto here after being badly held up in the straight last start over a mile at this track. Definitely should have finished closer and may have won, but I’m not 100% sold on that. Figures out of that race were just ok. Prior race was also held up in the straight but not nearly as badly and on that occasion was strongly favoured by the tempo. Does draw nicely here and has Shinn on board, but I couldn’t have the price here.
#19 Baccarat Baby (D Vandyke, M Hellyer)
Barrier 20, 55.5kg
She’s a horse that I can never seem to find in this type of race but always acquits herself well – last four starts have all been in black type and not beaten more than 1.5 lengths. Comes out of the same lead-up races as Pohutukawa and I’d argue her run two starts back when she was three-wide (on a day when the fence was on fire) and beat home Pohutukawa (who was hard fence the whole way) was more impressive than Pohutukawa last start. Drawn the car park here but at the price is definitely one worth considering.
#20 Con Te Partiro (G Waterhouse & A Bott, T Clark)
Barrier 21, 55.5kg
One that is still not fully exposed here in Australia. Did beat Savatiano first-up at Scone over 1400m in a good race, but last start had every possible chance in the Dane Ripper when on-pace in a slowly run race. Drawn very awkwardly. Don’t really see any value in the price.
#21 Platinum Angel (A Edmonds, B Allen)
Barrier 8, 57kg
Was competitive last start in the Dane Ripper but had everything go right. Prior form and ratings suggest will be going around triple figures if gets a run.
#22 Split Lip (W Clarken, M Mc Gilivray)
Barrier 2, 57kg
Thought may have come up shorter after was only beaten 1.3 lengths by Victorem over 1200m this track last start. Did get a huge advantage by settling back off a very fast early speed. Previous form suggests would need to run a career peak by some margin to win here.
#23 Sweet Deal (J Thompson, Not Named)
Barrier 12, 57kg
Very big odds to get a run but last start wasn’t the worst. Had to come from well back off a very slow lead speed in the Dane Ripper. Was only beaten 1.4 lengths into fifth. Did win a trial by 10 lengths prior to that run so clearly racing in good form. Still look well short of the standard required to win here though.
The last Group 1 of the season shapes up as quite a good race. There looks to be plenty of winning chances, and I think the race is more open than the current market suggests.
I have Savatiano favourite and with her price getting out to $7 at some books she’s starting to look like a bit of value. There are also a couple at bigger odds that I will strongly be considering: Irithea, Noire, Outback Barbie and Baccarat Baby. Should be a good betting race and I’m looking forward to trying to finish off the Group 1s with a winner.