Trackwork Confidential: Five things you need to know before the Group 1 Tatts Tiara meeting at Gold Coast
FIVE things you need to know from Doomben and Gold Coast trackwork before Saturday’s Group 1 meeting at Gold Coast.
1.NAJOOM worked well on Tuesday morning at Doomben and is the favourite for the Group 1 Tatts Tiara on the Gold Coast on Saturday — but is not assured of getting a run. However, connections sound confident that several above her in the order of entry will come out and allow her to get a place in the 16-horse starting field.
2. WHILE Tommy Berry was happy with Najoom’s spin around Doomben, he was particularly taken by the work of Sydney Cup winner The Offer. The Offer is one to watch first-up in the 1800m Handicap on the Gold Coast on Saturday before he is immediately spelled and brought back for the spring.
3. STRADBROKE winner Srikandi has taken another chomp out of her handler Bianca Gilcrist (partner of trainer Ciaron Maher). It probably shows the mare is in great shape and ready to rumble, with the bite mark on Gilcrist’s shoulder the latest example of how Srikandi hates having her personal space invaded. She worked well at Doomben and the rain in southeast Queensland this week suits her nicely before the Tiara. Don’t be surprised if she starts favourite.
4. WHILE Eagle Farm is out of action, visiting trainers are far from pleased about the conditions for their horses at Doomben. Group 1 Tatts Tiara girls were this morning forced to work on the A-grass at Doomben with officials ordering the track proper was out of action. It was far from ideal, with excuses varying from the rain which fell overnight to the fact they are racing at Doomben on Wednesday.
5. THE last racing major of the season promises to be a ripper. It was hard to line all the contenders up on Tuesday morning, with some working at Doomben and some on the Gold Coast. But with the likes of Najoom, Srikandi, Lumosty, Catkins,Avoid Lightning, Peggy Jean and Real Surreal going around in the Tiara, you would struggle to find a more classy Group 1 race for the girls.
1. THE Gold Coast track was in the heavy range on Tuesday but you wouldn’t have known if you witnessed Peggy Jean’s gallop on the course proper. The filly, who will be ridden by Zac Purton on Saturday, looked like she was on a Good 3 when she zipped around the Gold Coast track in one of the best workouts of the morning.
2. THE Gold Coast track was rated a heavy 8 on Tuesday and with heavy rain predicted on Wednesday and cool weather forecast for the rest of the week you can bet the track will be rain-affected for the Group 1 Tatts Tiara (1400m) on Saturday.
3. DUE to the wet weather, Paul Snowden has Peggy Jean slightly ahead of Dublin Lass and Rose Of Choice as the stable’s best hope in the last Group 1 of the season.
“I’m probably leaning slightly towards Peggy Jean just on the exposed heavy track form and I’m thinking it’s going to be a heavy track on Saturday,” Snowden said. “Peggy Jean is a Group 1 winner (2014 Sires’ Produce Stakes) on a heavy track but I wouldn’t discount Dublin Lass and her form speaks for itself.
“She has won on a soft track before and the Gai Waterhouse Classic winner (Real Surreal) finished behind her (in the Bright Shadow Quality). “She is in good order.”
Peggy Jean resumed with a close seventh in the Listed Queensland Day (1200m) at Doomben on May 30 but seems to have improved sharply since.
“Her first-up run was as good as it could have been from the outside gate, ” Snowden said. “We nearly got in and we tried to win the race and it nearly come off but she got posted wide and just covered way too much ground.
“She is a very good trackworker and she was out there to do a bit of work (yesterday) and she needed a good blow out to top her off for Saturday.”
Rose Of Choice rounds out the Snowden’s Tiara chances and Paul tipped her to be around the mark providing she draws a good barrier on Wednesday.
“She sat three deep with no cover (when finishing fourth in the Dane Ripper Stakes) and the winner come off her backside and the second horse was inside her all the way,” he said. “She had no luck in the run but that’s her and she draws a bad gate every time she goes around.”
4. Snowden also told punters to give Dothraki another chance in the Tattersall’s 150th Anniversary Stakes (1200m) at the Coast this Saturday.
The four-year-old finished a disappointing eighth first-up in the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at Scone on May 16 but won the Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on a heavy surface last year.
“Punters have to be forgiving of Dothraki and he is a nice horse and hopefully he can bounce back,” Snowden said.