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Sydney’s Bjorn Baker has two mares lining-up in the 2017 Tattersall’s Tiara field in Brisbane this weekend and believes Bonny O’Reilly could be “the one to beat” in the season’s final Group 1 race.
A capacity field of fillies and mares line-up at Doomben on Saturday in the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) including Egyptian Symbol and Bonny O’Reilly representing Bjorn.
Both class mares have plenty of work to do from horror draws.
Egyptian Symbol will jump from 15 of 16 with the emergencies out, while Bonny O’Reilly didn’t fare much better drawn gate 17 and coming into 14 at best if the spares don’t get a run.
Of the duo the best in Tattersall’s Tiara betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is the consistent O’Reilly four-year-old Bonny O’Reilly at $10 having eased in markets from her $8.50 opening Group 1 odds.
A winner of seven of her 10 career runs to date, she won at the Doomben track two back taking out the Listed Helen Coughlan Stakes (1200m) before her close third in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m) a fortnight back.
The Dane Ripper Stakes has produced four Tatt’s Tiara winners in the past decade and Bonny O’Reilly was under a length beaten after a tough run from barrier 13 of 14 in the traditional lead-up.
Jockey Jason Collett replaces Noel Callow in the saddle for her Group 1 test on the weekend and Baker is hoping to have her up closer on the speed this time round.
“We were a touch negative with her last start but she’s the one to beat,” Baker told Racing Queensland this week.
Egyptian Symbol meanwhile is paying $14 in the latest Tattersall’s Tiara odds, the four-year-old daughter of Stratum looking to improve on her lead-up seventh behind Impending in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m).
Baker described the mare’s Stradbroke run as luckless and she was brave in defeat beaten only three lengths.
“Egyptian Symbol didn’t have a lot of luck in the Stradbroke and if she gets the right breaks she’s in with a big show,” he said.
The mare hasn’t won since her Wyong Magic Millions 3YO & 4YO Stakes success last December and is also yet to win over further than 1200m.
Still, Baker doesn’t believe there’s too much between his runners and is hoping both get a bit of luck from the gates to be competitive.
“There’s not a lot between them and both are very good mares heading in the right direction,” he said.
“Bonny O’Reilly has drawn slightly the better and you can’t knock her record.”
Stradbroke Handicap runner-up In Her Time is the firming favourite to take out the Tiara ($3.40 into $3.10), but is also drawn wide opening things up for an upset.
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