Leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir says that the lightly raced Lonhspresso deserves the chance to take her place in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Lonhspresso, the winner of four races from eleven starts, booked herself a trip to Queensland after winning the Listed $120,000 The Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington on May 24 two runs back.
A subsequent second to Don’t Get Excited in the $100,000 Pooles Golden Topaz (11200m) at Swan Hill on June 6 hasn’t dampened the confidence of Weir and he expects the Lonhro mare will be very competitive against the fillies and mares in the final Group 1 of the 2013 – 2014 racing season.
“They look pretty good on paper and we will be aiming for a top-four placing,” Weir told AAP.
“But she is an honest mare and she is nicely drawn.
“She has some class and probably should have won the Group Two Yellowglen (Stakes) during the spring carnival but she just had absolutely no luck.”
Lonhspsresso was badly held up for a run half way down the straight when fifth to Fontelina in the Group 2 $300,000 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) at Flemington during last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival.
But Lonhspresso has got a Group 2 win to her credit when she took out Group 2 $250,000 Centrebet Classic (1200m) at Morphettville during the 2013 Adelaide Autumn Carnival as a three year old.
Melbourne jockey Ben Melham rode Lonhspresso at Swan Hill and will be aboard again and is sure to give her a good ride midfield after drawing perfectly at barrier seven.
“Ben knows her and he has been riding well of late,” Weir said.
Weir said that Lonhspresso can handle any type of ground and wouldn’t be worried if any rain arrived prior to the race.
“I would prefer it a bit soft but she has won in everything from good to heavy going,” Weir said.
Weir is hoping for some late Winter Carnival success after his chances of winning a feature race were dashed when his main winning hope Akzar failed to fire.
Akzar was sent out one of the main chances in the Group 1 $500,000 Titan Energy Services Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 17 but came in fourth, two and a quarter lengths behind the Guy Walter trained Streama.
The seven year old was then sent out the favourite for the Group 2 $250,000 Merlo Coffee Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm on May 31 but once again struggled into fifth spot behind Moriarty and Mr O’Ceirin.
Lonhspresso is currently marked as a $19 chance for the Tattersall’s Tiara with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Cosmic Endeavour and Red Tracer are the $4.80 equal favourites just ahead of Catkins at $5.50 and Steps In Time at $6 with Driefontein the next in the betting at $11 with the much improved Avoid Lightning marked as a $14 chance.