Colin Little’s progressive filly Soft Sand has opened the surprise favourite in the early markets for Saturday’s Tattersall’s Tiara 2012 at Eagle Farm.
The Dansili three-year-old has only had seven career starts to date including just three stakes assignments but will be stepped up to elite level company for the $500,000 Group 1 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
Since winning her debut at Bendigo by three lengths in July last year Soft Sand has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks and is now being tipped as the one to beat in the final Group 1 race of the Australian thoroughbred season.
She boasts four victories so far including a three length win over Anabandana in the Listed Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield back in February.
Soft Sand has also had two Group race starts, her first a good second behind Shopaholic in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco (1400m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day before a fifth to Empress Rock at Flemington in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m).
First-up this time in she put three quarters of a length on Rue Maple to win over 1100-metres at Caulfield on May 26 and will now make her Queensland debut.
“Things haven’t been ideal with her preparation,” Little admitted.
“Having said that I’m pretty happy with her.”
Two good barrier trials in less than seven days have shown Soft Sand will handle the Queensland way of racing, the first an eight length romp over 1200m at Deagon before a similarly impressive effort at Doomben this week.
“Going right-handed under race conditions is the least of my worries,” Little said.
“In her two trials here she has adapted comfortably.
“Having those two trials in the space of five days certainly wasn’t in my plans but she’s come through them well and can have a very easy time through to Saturday now.”
Despite being green, untested in Group 1 class, having drawn wide in gate 16, preferring a softer track which she is unlikely to get and seeing Brisbane for the first time Soft Sand has opened the $4.40 favourite in the Tattersall’s Tiara odds at bookmaker.com.au.
If she lives up to the hype the bookies are shouting about her then Soft Sand is likely to secure a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival back home where the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday November 3, is likely to be the main aim.
“This is a good test,” Little said.
“Naturally we are very keen to win this race but I also see it as a good barometer of where we are at with her.
“I think she is a top class filly and time will prove that. But it would be great if she could get the right result now.”
Just three of her rivals in the big 18-starter, one-emergency final field are also at single-figures to win with:
- #1 Mid Summer Music ($5.50) – Peter Moody’s upset Stradbroke Handicap winner certainly isn’t at $30 this time, but whether she can keep in touch from her disastrously wide barrier 18 draw is very questionable
- #15 Shopaholic ($5.50) – Danny O’Brien’s smart Pins filly beat Soft Sand back on Blue Diamond Day in the Angus Armanasco, hasn’t really produced since and could struggle to back up after her seventh in the Stradbroke
- #7 Gai’s Choice ($8) – Flying mare from David Pfieffer’s Sydney stables, out for her fourth win on the trot, looked in great condition breaking through at stakes level for the first time last Saturday at Ipswich, gets the draw here too with barrier two
Following the top fancies at more generous prices in the Tattersall’s Tiara betting markets are then the likes of Chris Waller’s Dane Ripper winner Red Tracer ($10), the Michael Moroney-trained Bonnie Mac who won four straight before her Dane Ripper ninth ($15), Redoute’s Choice mare Varenna Miss ($16) and the in-form Pear Tart ($17) coming off three victories in Brisbane including the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) on June 2.
See below for the latest fixed win Tattersall’s Tiara odds courtesy of bookmaker.com.au.
Races.com.au will be publishing their insider Tattersall’s Tiara tips shortly, but if you think you’ve already picked the winner back them now at bookmaker.com.au before the odds firm.
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2012 Tattersall’s Tiara Odds
Eagle Farm Race 7 – 3:47pm – 23/06/2012
|1||MID SUMMER MUSIC (18)||5.50|
|2||RED TRACER (11)||10.00|
|3||MISS KEEPSAKE (15)||41.00|
|5||SISTINE ANGEL (4)||17.00|
|7||GAI’S CHOICE (2)||8.00|
|8||VARENNA MISS (16)||16.00|
|9||SO PRISTINE (12)||61.00|
|11||RISK AVERSION (6)||34.00|
|14||BONNIE MAC (7)||15.00|
|16||PEAR TART (14)||17.00|
|17||SOFT SAND (16)||4.40|
|19e||OUR STAWELL GIFT (17)||201.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and are subject to change