It has been nearly 24 months since Stuart Webb’s classy mare Yosei saw the right side of the winners’ stall but her Melbourne-based horseman hopes that can change on Saturday when she lines up in the same race she won two years ago – the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
The final Group 1 race of the season, the fillies’ and mares’ only Tattersall’s Tiara is the headline race this weekend running at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse and Yosei will be part of the field looking to break her lengthy losing streak.
A rising Invincible Spirit six-year-old, Yosei has had an incredibly hit and miss campaign when it comes to posting wins having been successful in just four of her 36 career starts.
Amazingly three of those turf triumphs have been at elite level with victories in the 2010 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Randwick, that year’s Thousand Guineas in Melbourne and the 2011 Tattersall’s Tiara in an impressive last to first victory with regular rider Michelle Payne in the saddle.
“That prep she was a little bit rushed for her third run coming off knee surgery the previous spring and I reckon she’s nearly going better this year,” Webb said.
She hasn’t won a race since the Tatt’s two years back but has continued to pull in prize money for connections including her brave third behind the since retired More Joyous in last year’s esteemed $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
This time in Yosei kicked things off on the right note with a third to Platelet in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) in Adelaide but has filed to finish better than eighth in her three runs since.
That eighth came last start but was better than the place itself suggests as she was beaten only three lengths by the slashing grey winner Linton in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm two weeks back.
Before that the mare was a luckless 10th to Platelet in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) having stayed on in Morphettville and ninth to young Epaulette in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) in Brisbane.
Her trainer is willing to forgive all three of her past runs and suggests punters do the same for this weekend when she returns to Eagle Farm, Yosei sure to appreciate the females-only field for the Tattersall’s Tiara where Webb is confident she can return to form.
“She never got a crack at them in the Goodwood then in the Doomben 10,000 she was run off her legs early but was strong through the line,” he said.
“In the Stradbroke if she stays on the fence she gets (winner) Linton’s run but when she came out to make her run she was checked in the final 50 metres.
“That probably cost her one-and-a-half to two lengths and had it not occurred she probably runs third or fourth instead of eighth.
“I know she hasn’t won for a long time but you’ve only got to look at her form with thirds in the Doncaster, Toorak and Sangster in the last year or so to know she’s still racing very well without winning.”
Webb will also keep the blinkers on Yosei which she wore in the Stradbroke Handicap.
Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara nominations are due to be taken later this morning by Racing Queensland.