A tense showdown is looming on Saturday with jockeys Kerrin McEvoy and Hugh Bowman going head to head in the $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm to determine the leading Group 1 rider for the season.
The Tattersall’s Tiara is providing plenty of interest as the last Group 1 of the 2012 – 2013 racing season which sees the two top riders currently equal on seven wins a piece.
McEvoy will be aboard the Peter Snowden trained Shannara while Bowman will be reunited with Group 1 winning mare Streama after trainer Guy Walter had a change of heart and will give the mare one more run before heading to paddock.
“We were originally going to spell Streama after the Stradbroke but she has done so well since that race that we decided to give her the one more run,” Walter said.
“This is a Group 1 race for mares – they don’t come around that often, and the weight conditions suit her.
“The danger is whether she has two good 1400m runs in her at the end of a long preparation but she had six weeks between the Doncaster and the Stradbroke and sprinted very well.”
Glen Boss rode Streama when third to Linton in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 with the blinkers on for the first time and Walter will again race her in the head gear this week.
Bowman looks to have the edge over McEvoy with Shannara failing to impress at two goes at Group 1 level but Snowden is still confident the full sister to Lonhro can perform well on Saturday before being retired to stud.
Shannara failed to beat a runner home when thirteenth to Appearance in last Spring’s Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington and then was beaten almost four lengths when tenth of eleven to Appearance again in the Group 1 $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 6.
“Win, lose or draw she will be retired to stud,” Snowden said.
“I feel she is in very good shape for this race, actually I’ve been happy with her all the way through this preparation but she hasn’t had much luck.”
Snowden is prepared to forget Shannara’s last run at Scone when she bungled the start before making up some ground in the straight.
“She got her hind leg hooked up in the barriers and that meant she missed the start at Scone. She didn’t finish that far behind the winner at the finish – it was a better run than it looked.”
The Tattersall’s Tiara has received twenty-nine nominations and will have a quality capacity field to end the Group 1 season.
Chris Waller has two of the top fancies with last start winners Red Tracer and She’s Clean while John Thompson’s smart filly Peron is likely to back up after winning the Listed $100,000 Sky Racing World Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
Red Tracer was back in the winner’s stall with a narrow win in the Group 2 $200,000 Patinack Farm Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 while She’s Clean took her winning sequence to three after taking out the Listed $100,000 June Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the same day.