After being balloted out of the $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) this weekend, Murray Baker’s smart mare Diademe will instead run in one of the Eagle Farm support races on Saturday leading up to her grand final in the Tattersall’s Tiara.
Run back at Eagle Farm on June 22 the females-only $400,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) is the final elite level of the season and has been put on the agenda for Savabeel four-year-old Diademe.
A super consistent Kiwi-based runner, Diademe has finished out of the money just once in her 11 starts so far which have produced four victories and six additional minor placings.
Originally connections were hoping she could make the cut for Queensland’s richest race nominating her for the Stradbroke.
She won’t be part of the capacity 18-horse Stradbroke Handicap final field released at 11am (AEST) this morning however as she was too far down the ballot to warrant paying the first acceptance fee last week.
Instead Baker decided to focus on the Tattersall’s Tiara and to help have her sharp for that she will run in one of the traditional lead-ups on Stradbroke Handicap Day in the $200,000 Group 2 Patinack Farm Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m).
“Diademe was too far down the ballot to make the Stradbroke field so she will line-up in the Dane Ripper Quality for the fillies and mares on Saturday,” Baker’s training partner Andrew Forsman said.
The Dane Ripper will be just her second run down under.
She debuted in Australia on May 25 on the back of a good third to Xanadu in the Group 1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) in early April when third again this time behind Sookie in the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) at Doomben.
Going up to the 1400m at the roomier Eagle Farm track should then suit her on Saturday and Baker is quietly confident she can secure some Aussie black type ahead of the Tattersall’s Tiara where she will attempt to win her first Group 1.
“She will get her chance at the elite level a fortnight later,” Forsman said.
“She has trained on well and we are pleased with her.”
Baker and Forsman could also be represented in one of the three Group 1 highlights in Brisbane on Saturday as they sweat on a start for Ambitious Champion in the $500,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m).
The promising Zed gelding currently sits 24th on the Queensland Derby ballot and will need quite a few defectors at final acceptance stage later this morning if they are to gain a run.
Like Diademe, Ambitious Champion had their maiden start on Australian soil last run when seventh to one of the Derby top fancies Hawkspur in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).
While on paper they will need to improve substantially to be competitive in the Group 1 this weekend, their trainers rate them a genuine Derby chance should they make the field.
“We’re not really sure if Ambitious Champion will get to run. It will all depend on whether there are any significant withdrawals at acceptance time,” Forsman said.