It is all systems go for Saturday’s 2016 Tattersall’s Tiara favourite Azkadellia who pleased trainer Ciaron Maher with an “enthusiastic” piece of work on the course proper at Eagle Farm on Tuesday morning.
Maher won last year’s $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) 12 months ago with his Stradbroke Handicap winning mare Srikandi when the weight-for-age race, restricted to fillies and mares, ran at the Gold Coast.
Four-year-old Shinko King mare Azkadellia also goes into the last Group 1 of the Australian racing season on the back of a Stradbroke run.
She failed to reach the same heights as her stablemate however and could only manage to finish 10th as the beaten favourite in Queensland’s richest race on June 11.
After a strong gallop at Eagle Farm this morning however alongside her stablemate Emphatically, who runs in the Listed Wintergarden Stakes (1400m) for two-year-olds on Saturday, Maher is confident Azkadellia can bounce back and take out the Tiara for the punters.
The bookies are taking no chances with the Queen Of The Turf Stakes winner who sits top of the all-in Tattersall’s Tiara odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.70.
After initially considering pulling the pin on the Tiara run with the $1.48 million earner, Maher’s confidence is high once again.
“She worked with a stablemate this morning on the course proper, she was really enthusiastic and her action looked in great order and I was happy with the way she pulled up,” Maher told Racing Ahead on Tuesday morning.
“She should bounce back to form on what she’s shown me.
“It looks a nice race for her.”
In the Stradbroke Handicap Azkadellia and her hoop Damien Oliver had little luck, posted on the wrong part of the newly reopened Eagle Farm track where she failed to make up any ground despite an inside run.
Oliver will be replaced by jockey Nicholas Hall this weekend who chases his first win in the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival feature.
“Nick was going to ride her in the Doomben 10,000 [where she ran second to Music Magnate with Mark Zahra aboard] but he was suspended leading up to that, so he gets his chance,” Maher explained.
“I just think Nick’s riding style will really suit her.”
There are plenty of talent rivals ready to challenge Azkadellia for the Tattersall’s Tiara title this season however including Chris Waller’s Group 2 Queensland Guineas winning filly Tsaritsa ($5.50) chasing the double last achieved by Pear Tart (2012).
Other notable Tiara hopes include Kris Lees’ last start June Stakes winner Danish Twist ($6.50) out to extend her winning streak to five straight, the David Pfieffer-trained Dane Ripper Stakes winner at the track and distance a fortnight ago Cradle Me ($9) and recent Robert Sangster Stakes champ Precious Gem ($9) out to improve on her Stradbroke sixth to Under The Louvre.
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