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Melbourne jockey Nick Hall will be the new rider for Azkadellia in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 25.
Hall will replace Damien Oliver who was aboard the Ciaron Maher trained mare when a well beaten tenth as favourite in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
Oliver was stuck in on the fence in the worst part of the track on Azkadellia as the winner and runner up, Under The Louvre and Black Heart Bart, fought out the finish down the centre of the new Eagle Farm track.
Maher is willing to forget her out of character run but Oliver won’t get a chance to resurrect the mare’s form with Hall booked for the second time to ride her.
Even though Hall has been engaged twice to ride Azkadellia, the Tattersall’s Club Tiara will be the first time that he actually gets to partner her after he had to relinquish the ride in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28 because of a careless riding suspension.
Mark Zahra then took the ride in the Doomben 10000 and Azkadellia ran a great Stradbroke Handicap trial, coming from near last on the corner to run second to Music Magnate.
“They’ve been asking to ride her for a while and obviously I got a suspension when I was booked to ride her (in the Doomben 10,000),” Hall told AAP.
“I’m excited to get a turn aboard.”
Even though Azkadellia was well beaten in the Stradbroke Handicap, Hall is still giving her a great chance to atone for her defeat.
“I still think she’s probably the second best mare in the land at the moment, behind Winx,” Hall said.
“She’s got a lightning turn of foot. So the key will be to hold her up and use that at the right time.”
Maher agrees with Hall that Azkadellia is better than her Stradbroke Handicap performance and expects her to bounce back to her best against the fillies and mares in Tattersall’s Club Tiara.
“The track was clearly a lot better outside. The horses in contention were the widest runners,” Maher told Melbourne radio RSN on Wednesday morning.
Maher said that the Shinko King mare had pulled up well after her Eagle Farm failure but he will test her out on the track early next week before making a final decision if she runs in the Tattersall’s Club Tiara.
“She’s pulled up really well. We’ll put a saddle on her tomorrow,’ Maher said.
“I’m sure she’ll bounce back. Providing she gallops well next week we will head to the Tiara.”
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