Talented mare Avoid Lightning impressed jockey Tim Clarke with a strong piece of trackwork at Royal Randwick this morning and will contest the 2014 Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Trainer Les Bridge said last week that he would send Avoid Lightning to Brisbane for the Tattersall’s Tiara if there was rain forecast before the running of the Group 1 event, but Bridge confirmed that she will have her second start at the highest level of racing in the $500,000 event this weekend after her strong effort over 1000 metres at Randwick this morning.
“She worked really good and it was a perfect piece of work really,” Clarke told TVN this morning.
“Sometimes you can work with a partner and sometimes you get situations where the partner goes too hard but everything worked out perfect.
“It was a nice piece of work over 1000m, she gradually built up each furlong and joined her partner at the furlong and put a couple of lengths on him.
“She needed a bit of a work out, especially going to the 1400m for the first time.”
Avoid Lightning started her autumn preparation with an unlucky fifth in the Group 3 Roy Higgins Tribute (1200m) at Royal Randwick on March 15 before scoring her maiden win at Group level in the Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29.
The Blevic mare finished second behind Tattersall’s Tiara rival Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 19 on April 19, but she returned to winning form in the At Sea Handicap (1100m) at the same venue on May 24 before taking out the Listed June Stakes (1100m).
Clarke has partnered Avoid Lightning in four of her five starts this preparation and he has been delighted with the way that she has improved at each start and rates her a genuine winning chance in the Tattersall’s Tiara this weekend.
“The only time she was beaten when I rode her she should have won; I should be four wins from as many starts on her,” he said.
“She has just continued to improve and she is just going great, Les has her at the top of her game.
“There are only about four races at this level for fillies and mares a year, this is the only one over 1400m, and it is definitely worth having a throw at the stumps with the mare going so well.”
Avoid Lightning will be having her second start at Group 1 level after finishing sixth behind Platelet in the 2013 edition of the Robert Sangster Classic.