McDonald the Key for Pontiana to Wear Tiara

June 24, 2011

McDonald the Key for Pontiana to Wear Tiara

Pontiana

Pontiana will take on a star-studded field in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara

This season’s leading jockey in New Zealand, the talented young James McDonald, is being tipped as the key to unlocking the potential of the John Hawkes-trained filly Pontiana when she takes on a star-studded field in this Saturday’s Tattersall’s Tiara.

McDonald, 19, is just one win away from reaching the impressive milestone of 200 winners back home in New Zealand this season, but has put his Kiwi quest on hold to race at Eagle Farm this Saturday.

The emerging hoop has been engaged by training trio – brothers Michael and Wayne and their father John Hawkes – to take the mount on their well-bred and steadily improving filly Pontiana in the highlight race at the meeting.

Three-year-old Pontiana will take her spot in gate seven in the Australian racing season’s closing Group 1 feature, the $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m), attempting to break a two-year Group 1 drought for John Hawkes.

Hawkes most recently scored a thoroughbred major when Zabeel gelding Fiumicino won the 2009 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill and believes it has been long enough between drinks.

It will be a big step up in class for the young filly tomorrow, Pontiana facing off against the likes of Doomben 10,000 winner and odds-on favourite Beaded, QTC Cup champion Varenna Miss, Dane Ripper Stakes victor Hurtle Myrtle and dual Group 1 winner Yosei.

The Hawkes team, however, remain hopeful that Pontiana can rise to the occasion and that McDonald will help her get the job done tomorrow.

“He’s obviously a very good jockey,” Hawkes said.

“Jockeys don’t break records in the fashion he has and at his age.

“I must say he’s highly promising and hopefully he’ll suit this filly.”

McDonald has already saluted in one Group 1 feature in Australia this Brisbane Winter Carnival when he saluted aboard New Zealand-trained filly Scarlett Lady in the Queensland Oaks on June 4, and there is every chance he can add a second to that record tomorrow.

The Tattersall’s Tiara will be just the ninth career start for Pontiana, but this prep she has shown plenty of promise earning herself a shot in the elite-level classic.

After running third, beaten less than a length by winner Shannara, in the Listed Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Scone, Pontiana then travelled to Brisbane for the first time last month.

On June 4 she finished an eye-catching third behind Hurtle Myrtle and Zero Rock in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) and will now get the chance to turn the tables on these two in the Tatt’s Tiara.

Pontiana is an outsider in the Tattersal’s Tiara markets paying $26, but her connections believe this is a very generous price for such a progressive runner.

“She’s done very well since the Dane Ripper,” Hawkes said.

“She’s not well off at the weights but she’s drawn to be competitive.”

John Hawkes won the 2002 Tattersall’s Tiara, when the race was known as the Winter Stakes, with Heptonstall.

Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2021 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.

Spring Racing

Sandown Guineas 2020 Field �...

2020 Zipping Classic Field �...

2020 Zipping Classic Field & Odds Update: Avilius Firming Favourite

Despite a last start failure in the Melbourne Cup the Godolphin-raced Avilius...

2020 Kennedy Oaks Results: Oli...

2020 Kennedy Oaks Results: Oliver Rides Sixth Winner on Personal

Jockey Damien Oliver celebrated his sixth success in the 162nd running of the...

Kennedy Oaks Day Results 2020:...

Kennedy Oaks Day Results 2020: Personal Wins The Oaks

2020 Kennedy Oaks Day continues the racing action of the Melbourne Cup...

2020 Kennedy Oaks Day: Fleming...

2020 Kennedy Oaks Day: Flemington Scratchings & Track Report

Day 3 of the Melbourne Cup Carnival takes place at Flemington Racecourse...

Horse Racing Today

2021 The Goodwood Results: Sav...

2021 Doomben 10,000 Results: E...

2021 Doomben 10,000 Results: Eduardo Digs Deep to Salute for the Punters

Joe Pride‘s red-hot favourite Eduardo was incredibly tenacious digging...

Andrew Ramsden Winner Realm Of...

Andrew Ramsden Winner Realm Of Flowers into 2021 Melbourne Cup Field

The Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained mare Real Of Flowers is into the $8...

Shock Rough Habit Winner Crimi...

Shock Rough Habit Winner Criminal Defence Firms in 2021 Queensland Derby Betting

There was a huge boilover in the 2021 Rough Habit Plate results on Doomben...

2021 Doomben 10,000 Day: Brisb...

2021 Doomben 10,000 Day: Brisbane Scratchings & Track Report

2021 Doomben 10,000 Day: Brisbane Scratchings & Track Report Group 1...

Race Results

2021 The Goodwood Results: Savatoxl Beats Instant Celebrity and Gytrash

2021 Doomben 10,000 Results: Eduardo Digs Deep to Salute for the Punters

Andrew Ramsden Winner Realm Of Flowers into 2021 Melbourne Cup Field

Shock Rough Habit Winner Criminal Defence Firms in 2021 Queensland Derby Betting

Prince Of Boom Explodes in Spirit Of Boom Classic 2021 Results

Race Previews

2021 Doomben 10,000 Day: Brisbane Scratchings & Track Report

The Goodwood Day 2021: Morphettville Scratchings & Track Report

Doomben 10,000 Betting Update 2021: Eduardo Odds-On

2021 Melbourne Cup Hopes Head Andrew Ramsden Stakes Field

The Goodwood 2021 Odds Update: Gytrash Firming Favourite

Fields & Form

2021 Doomben 10,000 Day: Brisbane Scratchings & Track Report

The Goodwood Day 2021: Morphettville Scratchings & Track Report

2021 Melbourne Cup Hopes Head Andrew Ramsden Stakes Field

The Goodwood 2021 Odds Update: Gytrash Firming Favourite

2021 Scone Cup Field & Odds: Punters Hoping for Royal Celebration