While charged with finding a new rider after last-start jockey Jim Byrne elected to take the ride on rival horse Theft earlier this week, trainer Matt Dunn has revealed he is confident in the chances of exciting mare La Tikka Rosa in this weekend’s Listed Ascot Handicap (1200m) at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Steadily building to the task over five competitive starts this preparation, La Tikka Rosa strolled home to win the Ipswich Dash (1100m) last time out on June 14th, with Dunn expecting the impressive result to be enough for Byrne to retain the ride for this weekend’s black type.
Allocated barrier 6 in a field of 13 for the 2014 Ascot Handicap, Dunn is confident all signs point towards another impressive performance from the Freeze mare on Saturday, who will see jockey Glen Colless return to the saddle.
“We rode her for pace two runs back and she didn’t respond. We went back to riding her cold with one last sprint at Ipswich and she swamped them,” Dunn told AAP.
“I have always had an opinion of La Tikka Rosa and I was a bit surprised when Jim (Byrne) jumped off to ride Theft.
“It isn’t the strongest Listed race ever run at Eagle Farm and it will obviously add to her value as a broodmare if she can pick up black type.
“There looks to be some pace drawn outside her and they should put the speed on.”
Securing an impressive record of five race wins and three minor places from just 18 competitive starts, La Tikka Rosa finishing third amongst classy competition in the Sky Racing World BM90 (1000m) first-up on April 5th before running on from the rear of the field to finish fourth in the Winning Edge Handicap (1000m) just two weeks later.
Unable to overcome poor running position in the Listed Juanmo Stakes (1200m) on May 17th, the mare out of La Mamma Rosa was unlucky to be blocked for a run in the final straight of the Listed Bright Shadow Quality (1200m) in her only other start prior to her Ipswich Dash triumph.
Carrying winning form into the Ascot Handicap, La Tikka Rosa is currently offered at generous odds of $10 for success.
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