Newcastle trainer Kris Lees believes his in-form mare Danish Twist could prove “hard to stop” in Saturday’s Tattersall’s Tiara 2016 at Eagle Farm Racecourse in Brisbane.
The flying Dane Shadow four-year-old is one of 23 fillies and mares entered for the season’s last elite level, the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) stealing the show in Queensland on the weekend.
Danish Twist returns to her pet distance for the weight-for-age feature having had eight previous starts at the 1400m for four wins, three seconds and a third.
She is also coming off a string of four straight victories in New South Wales starting on April 9 at Randwick in the Provincial Championship Final (1400m).
A trip to Hawkesbury after that produced a victory in a Benchmark 85 before she won Scone’s Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) in mid-May.
Apprentice Koby Jennings then jumped aboard for her return to Randwick last start on June 11 when Danish Twist was too good for her rivals in the Listed June Stakes (1100m), scoring by a tidy two lengths.
Saturday will be her first Group 1 assignment, and Lees is looking forward to seeing if she can keep the red hot streak of winning form going when she takes on some genuine turf stars including the Ciaron Maher-trained favourite Azkadellia.
The decision to press onto the Sunshine State Group 1 came after Danish Twist’s easy June Stakes success over an unsuitably short distance Lees told Racenet.
“It showed that she’s in really good form and that she’s quite adaptable now, to be able to come back to that type of trip,” he said.
“It just seems when they find that form, if they can maintain it, they’re very hard to stop.
“A mare in form with a Group I so close, it was the logical target.”
Despite a big last start loss as the defeated favourite in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago, Azkadellia remains the dominant $2.70 top fancy in pre-field Tatt’s Tiara odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Lees’ runner Danish Twist, a half-sister to multiple Group 1 champion Happy Trails, occupies the third line of all-in Tattersall’s Tiara betting at $6.50, with the Chris Waller-trained Queensland Guineas winning filly Tsaritsa ($5.50) the other best fancied.
From seven previous Tattersall’s Tiara starters Lees has prepared just one runner-up in the race formerly known as the Winter Stakes.
This season’s leading Group 1 winning jockey Hugh Bowman jumps aboard Danish Twist, who makes the trip to Brisbane on Wednesday, for the first time since a second in a heat of the Provincial Championship series at Kembla Grange back in March.
It is Bowman’s fifth Tattersall’s Tiara ride, a race he has once placed second in, and he chases his 13th Group 1 win of the season, already ahead by six victories over any other Aussie-based hoop.
“He’s ridden her a number of times earlier in her career and it’s always good to have a jockey like him on in a Group I,” Lees said of Bowman.
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