Trainer Jason Bridgman is confident that Costa Viva can finish in the first four when she makes her Australian Group 1 debut in the 2014 Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm this afternoon.
Costa Viva took out the Group 1 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park in New Zealand in November of last year and she has been far from disgraced in her two races starts during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The Encosta De Lago filly made her Australian racing debut with a fourth place finish in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on May 3 and had little luck in running when ninth behind Sir Moments in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31.
Bridgman told The New Zealand Racing Desk that Costa Viva never had a chance in the Queensland Guineas after drawing wide and he is hoping that the three-year-old will receive some more luck in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
“She’s come through that race really well and she just had no luck,” Bridgman said.
“From barrier 16, she just couldn’t get in and was four-wide the trip, but still ran on well enough to only get beaten two lengths.
“Again, she’s got an awkward draw this weekend (in barrier 13) and she just hasn’t had luck with the draws.
“We’ll just have to ride her for luck and if she gets luck, she’ll be a very good chance but if she doesn’t, she can’t win.”
“If she can get in, one-off midfield or even three wide with cover, I honestly think she’s a first-four chance.”
The Tattersall’s Tiara will be the final race start for Costa Viva this preparation and Bridgman believes that he has the promising filly at peak fitness for the $500,000 race.
While Bridgman is hopeful that Costa Viva can perform well in the Tattersall’s Tiara, but believes that she will return to New Zealand as a better horse for a crack at Group 1 events like the Railway Stakes (1200m) and Telegraph Handicap (1200m) during the summer.
“She’s in peak condition for this one and I couldn’t be any happier with her,” Bridgman said.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained. She’s got the form on the board at home and we wanted to try and enhance her value by tackling black-type races in Australia.
“We’ve gone prospecting and even if nothing comes of it, she’ll come back home a better racehorse. But unless you’ve got your pan in the water, you’re not going to strike gold.”
Costa Viva is currently available at 2014 Tattersall’s Tiara odds of $26; with Cosmic Endeavor ($4.80) still a narrow favourite from Red Tracer ($5), Steps In Time ($5) ad Catkins ($5.50).