He knows she’s a smart mare as proven by her two previous Group 1 victories, he knows she’s in form as she ran top three in the Stradbroke last start and he knows she will get a run sitting number one on the ballot but what Sydney trainer Guy Walter doesn’t know is what barrier Streama will get in the Tattersall’s Tiara 2013 this weekend in Brisbane.
Walter is preparing to saddle up two quality mares for a shot at this Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm confirming he would accept for both last year’s narrow runner-up Skeyrush as well as his $1.5 million earner Streama.
Rising eight-year-old Skyerush hasn’t run since snaring her second straight Group 2 Emancipation Stakes title over the Randwick mile in late April while Stratum four-year-old Streama, winner of the 2011 Flight Stakes and last year’s Australian Oaks, is on a much shorter back-up.
After a strong Sydney autumn campaign that culminated with a close fourth to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) Streama travelled north to contest Queensland’s richest race on June 8.
She was far from disgraced in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) too when running a length away third to flash winner Linton, perennial Group 1 placegetter Buffering run down into second.
Walter remains adamant that she would have won the race too had she not been hampered early by a wide barrier 11 (of 18) draw.
“Prior to the Stradbroke, it was pretty hard to get a line on whether she was quite as good as she once was,” he said.
“But I think the Stradbroke showed she is. With a decent barrier, I think she probably would have won the Stradbroke.”
That’s why he’s praying to the barrier gods today that Streama gets in well with a nice gate for the Tattersall’s Tiara to see out her current preparation.
“The barrier draw is crucial for her,” he said.
“She has had a lot of bad barriers.”
His other concern is whether she’s got enough spring in her step for another 1400m sprint at the end of a campaign after her big Stradbroke effort but she has always been very honest and surprised him on a number of occasions.
“My only concern with her going into the Tiara is that I am asking her to sprint again at the end of a long campaign,” Walter said.
“On the other hand, she is a high-class mare and we have put her to the test on many occasions and she has passed with flying colours.”
As for Skyerush, Walter isn’t discounting her just yet either rating her a genuine chance in a top class field that could include the likes of Gai Waterhouse Classic winner Peron, 2011 Tiara winner Yosei, and the Chris Waller-trained duo of Red Tracer and She’s Clean.
She travelled from her home base in Sydney to the sunshine state on Sunday night and has settled in really well impressing Walter with her track gallop alongside Streama at Eagle Farm on Tuesday morning.
“She travelled extremely well and won’t do a lot between now and Saturday,” Walter said.
“She had the racecourse gallop at Randwick last week and on Saturday morning she had another gallop on the course proper at Warwick Farm so she’s right where she needs to be.”
Streama also proved to Walter she was still fit as a fiddle and he won’t do much, aside from play the waiting game re: gates, with her from now.
“Streama had an easy work-out on the outside of the course proper at Eagle Farm,” he said.
“She is very fit and didn’t need to do a lot.”
The 2013 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara acceptances are due out shortly with the final field and barriers for the season’s final elite level to be published right here at Races.com.au.
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