Twist In Tiara Tale


All the money says Azkadellia will take out the last Group 1 of the year and hand trainer Ciaron Maher back-to-back Tattersall’s Tiara wins on Saturday.

She’s shorter in betting than the rope around Michael Jennings’ noose is tighter after his State Of Origin shocker during the Blues’ Game II and series loss on Wednesday night.

Maher, who won last year’s $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) with Stradbroke winner Srikandi, is confident the favourite can make amends for her last start loss and salute for the punters.

Well NSW skipper Paul Gallen was sure MJ would be one of the best on field for the Blues in Game II and we all saw how that finished up. About as good as the other MJ – dead and gone.

Last time out four-year-old Azkadellia was 10th as the beaten Stradbroke favourite. She got onto the wrong part of the track on the inside at Eagle Farm and was never in the mix.

You can blame the track, you can blame the hoop D. Oliver – who has been replaced on Saturday by Nick Hall – or you could simply face the facts.

Azkadellia has been up a while and probably should have bowed out for the season after her Group 1 Sydney win back in April.

She proved the Queen of the Turf at Randwick, but whether she can fight back for the Tiara in Queensland is another story.

After a smart gallop at Eagle Farm through the week, Maher is bullish over her chances and recent history shows the favourites have a strong record in the weight-for-age winter classic.

No doubting her class, but we think there’s more value in this field of fillies and mares.

Drawn the inside alley is an outstanding mare Danish Twist who could have what it takes to steal the jewels.

Hughie Bowman jumps on the back of this flying Kris Lees-trained runner who is a dual winner at the distance and who comes off four straight NSW wins.

Ha! A New South Wales win? A rarity indeed.

Footy aside, this is horse racing and an in-form mare is always hard to knock.

The form analysists are all over another mare however, more than the reporters were swarming on frustrated footballer Cristiano Ronaldo this week who subsequently cracked it and threw a microphone into the lake in a classic Euro dummy spit.

Three of the past five and five of the past eight Tattersall’s Tiara winners have come off a run in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes, including two in the past three years to complete the double.

The mare looking to be the next is Cradle Me.

She has gate 13 to overcome on the weekend, but if recent racing at the Farm is to go by and the latest Tiara results, that barrier could actually be ideal.

So lay Azkadellia in the Tiara and say goodbye to Group 1 racing for another season the way the Blues said goodbye to that Origin shield!

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