Adelaide horseman Phillip Stokes is eyeing the 2016 Tattersall’s Tiara in Brisbane at the end of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival with his soon-to-retire mare Runway Star after her Group 3 win at home over the weekend.
A nicely-bred five-year-old daughter of the ill-fated Northern Meteor, the Morphettville-trained Runway Star posted her sixth career win at start number 18 on The Goodwood Day.
After a brave sixth when beaten under two and a half lengths by the winner Precious Gem in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) on May 7, Runway Star dropped back in class and returned to the track and distance last Saturday.
She lined-up against 12 rivals in the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) with Dom Tourneur retaining the ride from the inside alley, but was slow away from the barriers.
Getting into a sweet spot just off the pace, she quickly atoned and stormed home late.
On the line she had quarter-length to spare over Private Secretary with $20 roughie A Lotta Love finishing off the trifecta in third only a half-length off the winner.
“It was a massive run [in the Robert Sangster], she should’ve finished a lot closer,” Stokes told Racing Victoria.
The winning Proud Miss Stakes run from Runway Star was enough for Stokes to declare plans to hopefully head to Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 25 for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
Raced by Vinery Stud, Runway Star is heading to the breeding barn after this season, but Stokes is pushing for connections to give her a shot at securing a Group 1 success before her retirement in the Tiara.
“She’s a very smart mare and she can get further I think,” Stokes said.
“I just hope they [connections] keep her going for a bit longer – they want to send her to stud.
“I reckon she can run out a strong 1400m.”
Current all-in Tattersall’s Tiara odds at bookies around the country are firmly led by Ciaron Maher’s Queen Of The Turf Stakes winning mare Azkadellia.
Azkadellia will first run in this Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 before a decision is made regarding a Tiara run from the $1.33 million earning four-year-old.
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