Champion, former Melbourne Cup-winning hoop Corey Brown will this Saturday vie for successive wins in the season’s final Group 1 race as he prepares to take the mount on Tattersall’s Tiara favourite Beaded.
Formerly known as the Winter Stakes, the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) brings elite level racing to a close for the season at Eagle Farm, and Brown is confident his ride aboard the Peter Snowden-trained Beaded will see him bank a second consecutive win in the fillies’ and mares’ weight-for-age showdown.
Twelve months ago Brown had the Winter Stakes winning ride with Gerald Ryan’s now-retired Melito, the star mare able to overcome her wide barrier 12 start in the 12-horse field to win.
Brown is hoping Lonhro five-year-old Beaded isn’t stuck with the ‘visitor’s draw’ for her attempt at a second Group 1 win in just three starts on Saturday, but believes she will be hard to beat regardless of where she jumps from.
Beaded has been one of the most consistent Group 1 performers over the past two seasons with four former placings, the mare finally rewarded for her persistence with her maiden top level win in the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 28.
Backing up a fortnight later, Beaded ran a brave second coming within a neck of winner Sincero in the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm, Snowden’s star again having to prevail over a horror double-digit gate.
Brown was not onboard for the Stradbroke, instead partnering with the Robert Heathcote-trained local Woorim who eventually finished just under four lengths away fourth from the winner.
Kerrin McEvoy had the Stradbroke mount on Beaded but missed out on the Tattersall’s Tiara ride due to suspension.
“I’m not bagging Kerrin, but she got left in front way too soon in the Stradbroke,” Brown, who resumes from a suspension at Gosford on Friday, said.
“Nothing took him into the race.
“If you reverse the positions, I reckon she beats the other horse (Sincero).
“She is a horse you’ve got to time your run perfectly on – get there real late; she gets there early and thinks it is over, the job is done and she clocks off.”
Brown was, however, there for her breakthrough Group 1 success in the Doomben 10,000 which was his first time riding Beading outside of a barrier trial.
“It was the first time I’d ridden her in a race,” Brown said.
“I’d ridden her in one trial and I know why Peter Snowden loves her so much.
“She is not tiny, tiny but there is nothing of her.
“She has a great motor, it is revving at 110 per cent every time she steps out to race.
“She is not flamboyant, she is dead-set a tough racehorse.”
Adding to the pressure on Brown in the Tattersall’s Tiara on Saturday is the opportunity for him to join Black Caviar’s regular rider Luke Nolen as the most decorated hoop of the season with seven Group 1 wins.
“It has been a super year already,” Brown said.
“I’ve had six Group 1 winners on totally different horses for totally different trainers.
“Generally through the year, you’ll get a few wins, win a few on the same horse – I had Apache Cat a couple of years ago, and won five Group 1’s on him.”
Five of Nolen’s seven Group 1 victories for the season have been aboard Peter Moody’s superlative sprinter Black Caviar.
The world’s top-rated thoroughbred, Black Caviar became the first mare in Australian racing history to record six consecutive Group 1 wins as she destroyed her rivals in the 2010 Patinack Farm Classic last spring and then came back this year to win the Lighting Stakes, Newmarket Handicap, William Reid Stakes, TJ Smith Stakes and finally the BTC Cup in Brisbane on May 14.
The only one of the wonder mare’s Group 1 wins Nolen was not aboard for was the Patinack Farm Classic last Emirates Stakes Day at Flemington.
The ace hoop’s two remaining Group 1 victories were aboard the fellow Moody-trained champions Lights Of Heaven in the Schweppes Oaks at Morphettville and the since-retired Typhoon Tracy in the CF Orr Stakes.
Brown, on the other hand, has enjoyed scoring in thoroughbred majors for no less than six separate trainers.
He kicked off his stellar season with a win aboard Gai Waterhouse’s glamour mare More Joyous in the George Main Stakes at Randwick during the Sydney Spring Carnival last September.
Following the George Main, Brown went on to win the 2010 Myer Classic with the Joe Pride-trained Sacred Choice; the Australian Cup aboard Shocking, the Mark Kavanagh-trained stayer who also gave Brown his maiden win in the Melbourne Cup back in 2009; the Chris Waller-trained Rangirangdoo in the George Ryder Stakes; the Vinery Stud Stakes with the Greg Hickman-trained Mirjulisa Lass; and most recently with the Beaded for Snowden and the Darley Racing operation in the Doomben 10,000.
Saturday also gives Beaded the chance to atone for her third place finish behind last year’s Winter Stakes winner Melito, Larry Cassidy having ridden her on that occasion when she finished three lengths back.
“This is right up her alley,” Brown said of the Tattersall’s Tiara.
“I finished second on Melito in the Stradbroke last year.
“Black Piranha grabbed me in the last stride, and she came out and won the Winter Stakes.”
As a nice preparatory ride leading up to Saturday’s showdown, Brown will take the mount aboard Beaded’s stablemate Mascareri in the $100,000 Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on Friday.
One of two nominees for Snowden in this year’s Takeover Target Stakes along with Skytrain, Commands mare Mascareri won a 1200m at Hawkesbury first-up in April before finishing a disappointing 10th beaten four lengths by winner Shannara in the Listed Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Scone last start on May 14.
“She is a hand mare on her day; she has won seven races,” Brown said of Mascareri.
“She wasn’t beaten far at Scone and Peter will have her right for Friday.”