The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes was enormous late, breaking a notable winning drought with a big win over the older mares in a thrilling 2022 Tattersall’s Tiara result at Eagle Farm.
The diminutive but classy three-year-old daughter of Star Turn hadn’t won since September last year, but returned to winning form in fine fashion in the Group 1 $700,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
Bringing the Queensland Winter Carnival’s elite level racing to a close, the bonny bay was given a peach of a ride by Jason Collett who came aboard in place of Taylor Marshall on the young star.
Marshall rode Startantes last time out at the track a fortnight back with just 50kg in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) where the filly was far from disgraced running fifth to Alligator Blood.
Up to 55.5kg in the Tiara, she was taken back by Collett after the jump.
Sitting cold at the tail-end of the field, Collett was patient, still second last on the turn for home.
What Startantes ($11) lacked in tactical speed however she quickly made up for on the home straight, her massive engine on display as she produced some blistering late sectionals in a freakish display to slice through her rivals and win running away.
“The very special little pumpkin,” Heathcote told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.
“We’ve known she was special for a long way through, and she went that close (when runner-up) in the Surround (Stakes, Group 1) in Sydney.
“She’d had no luck. We made a big call taking Taylor off and putting Jason on, but he was last coming into the straight, kept his cool and ran right through them.
“She’s probably worth a few bob now aye?”
The filly hit the line strongly ahead of the brave Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Robert Sangster Stakes winner Snapdancer who was excellent from the outside gate.
She was on speed throughout second behind the favourite Annavisto during the run, taken up out wide from the carpark alley.
Snapdancer ($7) hit the lead 300m out and, despite questions over her ability at 1400m, she never gave up the fight holding for second after being run down by the eye-catching winner.
“She ran her heart out. Left out in front a fair way out/ She probably deserved to win but beaten by a better on on the day,” Snapdancer’s jockey Ethan Brown said after the half-length defeat.
In third rounding out the Tattersall’s Tiara trifecta at a price was Chris Munce’s upset last start Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1300m) winner at the track, Palaisipan ($31).
The four-year-old So You Think mare went around at big odds again and was good railing up the inside for the minor placing.
“Massive, massive effort. Honestly, if we draw a gate and we do no work like last start we probably win a Group 1 there. But the cards didn’t fall that way. Can’t fault the effort,” Palaisipan’s jockey Luke Tarrant said.
Heathcote celebrated his first Tattersall’s Tiara success with Startantes, who became the sixth filly since 2008 to salute.
As for next-up options, Heathcote said Startantes had earned herself a nice break before a potential trip to Melbourne for the spring.
“She’ll go to the paddock for sure,” he said.
“I was going to take her to Melbourne for the spring but I’ll need to re-evaluate that now because she hasn’t had a break now for literally two preparations – only little bandaid breaks but jeez, there are some nice fillies and mares races at Flemington isn’t there?
“I am so pleased for the ownership group. We had the Mum – Funtantes, I had her Mum – Cantantes, it has been a part of my life for 23-24 years. This ownership group has been with me the whole way. My staff have done a fantastic job and of course, Jason Collett – thank you mate.”
For Collett, it was his second success following a 2019 Tatt’s Tiara victory on Invincibella for Chris Waller.
“I just missed in Sydney on her. It was great to get back on her. I’ve followed her this prep since both of us came back and she’d been running good, honest races but she probably hadn’t been finishing them off quite like she did today,” the hoop said.
“The feeling I got when I pushed the button, I thought it was pretty good at Randwick when I just missed, but today it was unbelievable. Her turn of foot is electric.”
“I got up next to the Ciaron Maher runner (Snapdancer), I didn’t have a hell of a lot of carrots left and I was a touch worried but I was the fresh legs on the scene.
“It was three years ago (I won on Invincibella) and definitely one of my best times on track. It was good today to come back and get another one.”
Waller saddled-up four mares in this year’s event, with Atishu the best of the contingent running a good fourth.
2022 Tattersall’s Tiara Results & Finishing Order
|1||16||STARTANTES||Robert Heathcote||Jason Collett||5||55.5kg||$11|
|2||1||SNAPDANCER||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ethan Brown||0.5L||17||57kg||$7|
|3||14||PALAISIPAN||Chris Munce||Luke Tarrant||1.75L||11||57kg||$31|
|4||10||ATISHU (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||2.5L||3||57kg||$9|
|5||5||KIKU||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||2.6L||8||57kg||$12|
|6||4||AWAY GAME||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||William Pike||2.7L||13||57kg||$9|
|7||7||NUDGE||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||3.2L||15||57kg||$9|
|8||11||CHARMMEBABY (NZ)||Lawrie Mayfield-Smith||Larry Cassidy||3.4L||16||57kg||$41|
|9||12||WRITTEN BEAUTY||Chris Waller||James Orman||3.9L||14||57kg||$31|
|10||9||WANDABAA||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||4.65L||7||57kg||$19|
|11||2||SHOUT THE BAR||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ryan Maloney||4.75L||2||57kg||$15|
|12||8||BROOKLYN HUSTLE||Jason Warren & Dean Krongold||Mrs Stephanie Thornton||5.75L||10||57kg||$12|
|13||6||VANGELIC||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Mark Du Plessis||5.95L||6||57kg||$41|
|14||15||BRING THE RANSOM||Bjorn Baker||Brock Ryan||6.35L||4||57kg||$61|
|15||3||ANNAVISTO (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Ms Rachel King||6.85L||9||57kg||$5.50F|
|16||17||ENCHANTED HEART||Kris Lees||Kyle Wilson-Taylor (a)||7.25L||1||57kg||$101|
|17||13||YAMAZAKI||Annabel Neasham||Brodie Loy||7.45L||12||57kg||$71|
|20e||APRIL RAIN||Chris Waller||Larry Cassidy||0|
|21e||TYCOON EVIE||Rex Lipp & Nicholas Hahn||0|
|18e||SALATEEN||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||0|
|19e||DZSENIFER||Gary Duncan||Ben Thompson||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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