Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Newcastle’s Kris Lees shoots for his third Group 1 win of the season in Saturday’s Tattersall’s Tiara 2016 saddling-up second favourite Danish Twist as well as Onemorezeta who he says is over the odds.
Markets for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm Racecourse are firmly led by the Ciaron Maher-trained Azkadellia.
She’s at a firm $2.40 to score another elite level after taking out Randwick’s Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in April.
The four-year-old daughter of Shinko King has had two subsequent Group 1 runs in Brisbane when runner-up in the Doomben 10,000 before her disappointing 10th in the Stradbroke Handicap as the beaten favourite on July 11.
Still she oozes class and the punters believe she can be forgiven that run after getting caught on the wrong part of the track.
Lees agrees Azkadellia, in barrier 11 with Nick Hall replacing Damien Oliver in the saddle, is the mare to beat in this season’s Tattersall’s Tiara.
“She’s the class mare,” Lees told Racing Ahead on RSN 927 speaking about Azkadellia.
“Coming back to mares’ company, you’ve got to respect her immensely. I thought she’s the horse to beat.
“Outside of her, it looks a typical mares’ race – lots of chances, and I think we’ve got one.”
Also being kept safe in Tattersall’s Tiara betting as the second favourite at $5.50 is Lees’ best hope of taking his Group 1 tally for the season up to three, Danish Twist, following his Randwick Guineas success with Le Romain and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory by Lucia Valentina.
Danish Twist is drawn the rails with Hugh Bowman to ride and is after a fifth consecutive victory having posted four on the trot in New South Wales this campaign including her latest in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) at Randwick two weeks ago.
Lees said that from gate one, which last produced at Tiara winner in Yosei (2011), Bowman would take the advantage but wouldn’t be aggressive from the jump.
“The instructions are always to be neutral out of the gates,” Lees said.
“If you’re a little aggressive, she can race a little fierce, gets her head in the air and does a few things wrong.
“Hugh knows her pretty well; from the one alley she’ll be able to make her own luck. I’d say she’d be in the first half of the field.
“If the track is racing fair to the inside – which is a little concern with the rail out 6m – I think she’ll get a chance.”
The other Lees-trained Tiara hope this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival is Onemorezeta who is only rated a $41 hope in betting.
That’s a generous price according to Lees, who pointed out the consistent four-year-old was only 1.5 lengths away second to her stablemate Danish Twist two back on May 14 at Scone in the Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m).
She had a wide barrier 13 of 13 draw that day and was also far from disgraced last time out in the Dane Ripper Stakes when 2.2 lengths away fourth to Cradle Me.
David Pfieffer’s seven-year-old Dane Ripper Stakes winner Cradle Me is at $8 for the Tiara win on the weekend, the runner-up Artistry is at $15, but Onemorezeta has all but been forgotten.
“There’s not as big a discrepancy between my two as there is in the market,” Lees said.
“She was four weeks between runs the other day, she just probably had enough in the last 100m.
“I think she’s trained on well, so she’s a knockout chance but will need luck from an awkward gate.”
Onemorezeta is also one of just three mares to be ridden by a former Tiara winning jockey in Jeff Lloyd who saluted aboard Pear Tart (2012) and is drawn barrier 15, which produced last year’s champion Srikandi.
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