Tony Noonan’s travelling stable foreman Mick Robins is the man overseeing the final work of Varenna Miss as she prepares to take on Beaded in tomorrow’s Tattersall’s Tiara.
Many consider her to be the main danger to the favourite and she comes in with plenty of momentum.
She won her debut race in Brisbane in a smaller quality field and then stepped up to the QTC Cup the next start.
She wasn’t given much a of a chance by punters but from a wide gate she blew them away to score a hugely impressive victory.
That set her up for a shot at the Stradbroke Handicap the next week but Noonan elected to keep her fresh with the sole aim being tomorrow’s Group 1 race at Eagle Farm.
“She would have had a tough time with two runs in eight days if she had gone to the Stradbroke while this way she is coming in with fresh legs,” Robins said.
He says the team has made the most of their extra time in preparation and the horse looks to be in fantastic shape.
“She’s done extra well, you couldn’t wish her to be any better,” he said.
“You couldn’t be any happier with the condition of the horse.”
What awaits her in the Winter Stakes though is Group 1 winner Beaded, a horse which has shown her up on more than one occasion already.
“Whatever way you look at the race Beaded has to be the one to beat. She’s a freak the way she can put in every time,” he said.
“I’m just hoping maybe the Stradbroke has taken a little out of her. It might be wishful thinking looking at her record.
“They’ve met a couple of times in Melbourne and Beaded has just had the edge on her.”
There’s no doubt that Varenna Miss is an improved horse from then though and the form line gives her every chance.
She easily accounted for Sincero in the QTC Cup, the same horse that took care of Beaded in the Stradbroke.
“Beaded ran second in the Stradbroke but when you look at it the other way we beat the winner by 5 lengths in the QTC Cup,” Robins said.
There’s no doubt Sincero had a completely different run the second time out however it’s not a stat you can ignore totally.
Once again though Varenna Miss hasn’t had a lot of luck in the barrier draw and she’ll likely settle worse than midfield from a wide alley.
With Beaded in gate three that means she’ll be disadvantaged form the very beginning.
“Varenna Miss needs luck. You always do when you are running in a Group 1 race.
You may have the best horse but you still need a lot of luck in Group 1’s
The luck she needs comes from two areas, the first being where she can settle in the run, the second being how much early pace there is up front.
“There looks to be good speed in the race with Born To Rock and Zero Rock and one or two others certain to go forward,” Robins said.
“The harder they go the better for Varenna Miss.”