John Sargent’s Brisbane winter carnival team is down to one with St Germaine flying the flag for his stable on the final day of the Brisbane winter carnival.
“I’ve just got St Germaine left, Ii brought the two-year-olds back and they’ll get ready for the spring,” he said.
She’s entered in the Tattersall’s Tiara, formerly known as the Winter Stakes, and isn’t without a hope in a very good field.
An Australian Group 1 win seems a long way off what was expected when St Germaine first touched down in Australia given that she had a solid record against modest opposition back in New Zealand.
She was certainly overshadowed by the more fancied kiwi runners and that continued following wins to the likes of Firebolt and of course Scarlett Lady.
She can’t be forgotten though after running second in two of her three runs, both times against colts and geldings.
This Saturday she’s back against the fillies and mares and a great barrier draw (4) puts her well and truly into the race.
In fact if the race was over a mile as opposed to the 1400m she may well be battling for favouritism.
“We were tossing up whether to go for the mile (Listed Tattersall’s Mile) or this race, the mile would have been the easier option but Group 1 races in Australia don’t come around every day,” Sargent said.
Her three runs in Brisbane have been over 1615m at Doomben where she ran second in the Lord Mayor’s Cup, 1400m at Eagle Farm where she ran 5th in the Dane Ripper and 1600m last start in the Strawberry Road Handicap where she was second again.
In that Dane Ripper run she faces many of the same mares and while she did look very good, it was just too short for her to reel them in.
As a result Sargent will look to ride her a touch closer so she doesn’t have as much to do on the day.
“I wouldn’t want to be far from the pace,” he said.
“We should get a nice soft run from there (gate four), she’ll have to be right on top of her game with a field of that quality.”
The quality he’s worried about most like most is Beaded, the Doomben 10,000 Group 1 winner which almost won the Stradbroke Handicap last start as well.
“We’ll probably come out and push Beaded out of the way and settle in front of her,” Sargent said.
The man with the task of beating her will be kiwi rider Jonathon Riddell who already has experience on the horse both at home and in Brisbane.
“He rode her in her first start when she ran second, he knows the filly and he’s ridden her in track work as well,” he said.