Sydney horseman David Pfieffer couldn’t be happier with his veteran mare Cradle Me who goes into Saturday’s 2016 Tattersall’s Tiara in career best form despite her age.
The seven-year-old daughter of Easy Rocking is one of an official 24 fillies and mares nominated for the last Group 1 of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival and the season, the $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) running at Eagle Farm Racecourse on the weekend.
The four most recent Tattersall’s Tiara winners all came off a last start win including two that took out the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes in the lead-up with Red Tracer (2013) and Cosmic Endeavour (2014) both completing the double.
That’s the exact form Cradle Me brings into the weight-for-age feature on Saturday, the in-form mare having defeated fellow nominee for the weekend’s rematch Artistry by a length in the traditional Tiara lead-up on June 11.
A fortnight between runs looks ideal for Pfieffer’s galloper who also placed in Scone’s Listed Luskin Star Handicap (1300m) and Doomben’s Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) finishing third and second respectively back in May.
Pfieffer is blown away by Cradle Me’s efforts this campaign and confirmed her Tattersall’s Tiara acceptance as well as a Gold Coast gallop on Tuesday morning when speaking to Racenet.
“You don’t expect seven year-old mares to hit career best form but that’s what she’s done,” he said.
“She pulled-up well. She has a gallop tomorrow morning on the Gold Coast course proper. She’s bright and happy within herself so we are heading to Saturday with plenty of confidence.”
Hoop Zac Purton was in the saddle for Cradle Me’s Dane Ripper success as well as her Glenlogan Park second to Ghisoni, and has been granted permission by Hong Kong Stewards to continue his association with her this weekend.
“It’s great to have Zac coming back to ride her,” Pfieffer said.
“He learned a lot about her after finishing runner-up to Ghisoni at Doomben then put that knowledge to use in the Dane Ripper.
“He’s obviously one of the best at his craft anywhere in the world so we are fortunate to get him back on.”
Pfieffer chases his maiden Group 1 win and has prepared one previous Tatt’s Tiara third placegetter from three starters, while Purton has had four previous rides in the race without success.
As for the competition, Pfieffer named Ciaron Maher’s pre-post favourite Azkadellia as the one to beat should she improve on her Stradbroke Handicap 10th at the track and distance a fortnight back.
“Azkadellia looks the one to beat whilst Chris Waller’s filly Tsaritsa knocked me off in the Queensland Guineas and she is likely to head to there as well,” he said.
“But to steal a quote off (old boss) Tony (Wildman), Azkadellia has been up longer than the Harbour Bridge, so you just never know.”
It has been a great story for new Queensland-based stud Aquis Farm who purchased Cradle Me for $300,000 as a broodmare prospect prior to her Dane Ripper victory.
“It was a great start getting a new client like Aquis Farm a big win,” Pfieffer said.
“They are chasing their maiden Group I win and I’m chasing mine. It would be amazing if it happened on Saturday for both of us.”
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