Brilliant filly Najoom is back in vogue for the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20 after winning a barrier trial at the Gold Coast today.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Najoom is set to take on Stradbroke Handicap winner Srikandi who is set to chase back to back Group 1 wins in the Tattersall’s Club Tiara.
Najoom had created a huge impression with a sensational win in the Group 3 $125,000 Sita Australia Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 23 and was installed the favourite for the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
But after connections paid a late entry fee of $30,000 for the Stradbroke Handicap, Waterhouse was forced to cancel plans to run in the $2m Carnival showpiece when the Northern Meteor filly failed to respond in time to a minor leg injury.
Today’s win in a 1000m barrier trial at the Gold Coast indicated that Najoom was back on track for another Queensland Winter Carnival start.
Tommy Berry was at the Gold Coast to partner Najoom and with the blinkers on she came from second last in the small field to score an easy win.
Trainer Ciaron Maher said that Srikandi would take her place in the weight for age Tattersall’s Club Tiara against the fillies and mares if she pulled up okay after her win over Boban and Generalife in the Stradbroke Handicap.
“I haven’t spoken to the owners yet about her future (next season), but so long as she pulls up well, she will go to the Tatt’s Tiara,’’ Maher told The Herald Sun.
“We will tackle that race because she is going so well. Everything is ideal for a crack at another Group 1.”
The Tattersall’s Club Tiara is being staged at the Gold Coast this year while Eagle Farm is still undergoing reconstruction but that won’t worry Maher with Srikandi having won twice on the track with a win in the Listed $150,000 Turangga Farm Silk Stocking (1200m) in 2014 and returned there this year to win the Group 2 $200,000 SMEG Victory Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on April 25.
Maher was more relieved than anything when Srikandi was able to bounce back into the winner’s circle in the Stradbroke Handicap following two lacklustre performances when eight in the Group 1 $500,000 UBET BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 9 followed by a sixth in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben two weeks later.
“It was as much as a relief as anything. She is a popular horse in Queensland and everyone was feeling the pressure,” Maher said.
“But now she is a Group 1 winner and she is a very valuable mare for her breeding prospects as well as a top mare on the racetrack.”
Last Saturday’s Dane Ripper Stakes trifecta Hazard, Catkins and Bound For Earth are all likely to line up in the Tattersall’s Club Tiara.
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Hazard proved too strong for the odds on favourite Catkins in the Group 2 $300,000 Best Security Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday with the consistent Bound For Earth running on at the finish for third.