The final Group 1 race of the season headlines Saturday’s Eagle Farm card with Ciaron Maher’s Azkadellia looking to atone for her last start flop when she contests the Tatts Tiara (Race 8) for the fillies and mares over 1400m.
Beaten more than 10 lengths in the Stradbroke here a fortnight ago, her performance appeared disappointing at first glance, however on reflection she was caught on the worst part of the track with few horses able to make any impact when racing closer to the rail.
Maher, who won this race with Srikandi last year, has urged punters to forgive that run after watching her work enormously on Tuesday.
Nick Hall replaces Damien Oliver in the saddle in a clear pointer that connections were far from impressed with the way he handled the horse in the Straddie.
Having drawn out in gate 11 though, our traders consider Azkadellia is hugely under the odds at her current quote and we’re keen to accommodate punters wanting to back her.
Kris Lees’ Danish Twist has answered every challenge put in front of her of late and gets a deserved chance at the top level after her win in the June Stakes over 1100m last time out.
While it’s a big step up from the Provincial Championships to black type racing in one preparation, we feel that this is a fairly weak race and she’ll make her presence felt.
The appointment of Hugh Bowman, who has already ridden 10 Group 1 winners this season, is a huge plus and while there is reason to be concerned about the inside ground we’ve kept her onside in pre-post betting thus far.
Of the other runners, the form out of the Dane Ripper Stakes has generally been a good pointer for this with both Red Tracer (pictured below) and Cosmic Endeavour completing the double in recent years, which brings David Pfeiffer’s Cradle Me right into the mix despite landing out in barrier 13.
With Precious Gem carrying an extra 4.5kgs up against her own sex, Snowden runner Artistry finished off strongly behind Cradle Me in the Dane Ripper and is probably the best hope of the remaining brigade.