Stradbroke Handicap winner Srikandi will strip a better race horse on Saturday in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast according to her trainer Ciaron Maher.
Srikandi looked to be at her best when she sprinted away from her opposition to post a one and three quarter lengths win in the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday week.
The four year old Melbourne mare has pulled up in great order and Maher is expecting a better performance from her against the fillies and mares in the last Group 1 race of the current racing season.
“Her coat has come on since the Stradbroke and she will run every bit as good in the Tiara, if not better,’’ Maher told The Courier-Mail.
“She loves the Gold Coast and pings out really well around there, I feel the track really suits her.
“She ran the Stradbroke out really strong to the line and I am sure she will be running Saturday’s race out just as well.’’
Srikandi heads back to the Gold Coast this weekend where she is undefeated from two race starts on the tricky track which will be a huge advantage.
The Dubawi mare had her first look at the Gold Coast track when she easily accounted for the field in the Listed $150,000 Turangga Farm Silk Stocking (1200m) at the Gold Coast at the beginning of the 2014 Queensland Winter Carnival and returned this year to kick off her 2015 campaign with a win in the Group 2 $200,000 SMEG Victory Stakes (1200m) on April 25.
Srikandi then put in a couple of below par performances at Doomben when eighth to Hot Snitzel in the Group 1 $500,000 UBET BTC Cup (1200m) on May 9 followed by a sixth to Boban in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10,000 (1350m) two weeks later.
But Maher was able to get Srikandi back on track and aided by the inside barrier and a perfect box set ride from Kerrin McEvoy, she was able to find her way back into the winner’s circle.
Even though Maher is confident that Srikandi can get the job done again, he is not underestimating the opposition and rates the Gai Waterhouse filly Najoom and the Robert Smerdon trained Lumosty as two of the main chances.
“The three-year-old of Gai’s is a quality horse who gets in well into the Tiara,’’ Maher said.
“Lumosty is another class horse and she was well in the betting market of the Stradbroke but things really didn’t go to plan for her.’’
The ever consistent Catkins can never be discarded and the Chris Waller trained mare hasn’t been out of a place from ten starts since finishing fourth, twelve months ago, to Cosmic Endeavour in the 2014 Tattersall’s Tiara over 1400m at Eagle Farm.
Catkins has made one appearance at this year’s Queensland Winter Racing Carnival when second to the Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Hazard in the Group 2 $300,000 Best Security Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on June 6.
Hazard will also be lining up in the Tattersall’s Club Tiara chasing her fourth win on the trot after winning over 1100m at Caulfield on May 2 followed by a win at Morphettville in the Group 3 $115,000 William Hill Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) on May 16 before heading to the Dane Ripper Stakes in Brisbane.
Srikandi and Najoom currently share the top spot in the early market order for the Tattersall’s Club Tiara at $4 just ahead of Catkins at $4.60, Lumosty at $6.50, Avoid Lightning at $8.50 and Hazard at $11.