Australia: The Final Group 1 Of The Australian Season

A field of 17 fillies and mares will race to be crowned the final Group 1 winner of Australia’s racing season, when the $600,000 Tattersall’s Tiara is run this Friday night at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm racecourse (first post: 9:43 p.m. ET / 6:43 p.m. PT). The seven-furlong feature highlights a nine-race card and created a conundrum for one of Australia’s elite riders. 

Melbourne jockey Craig Williams has reaped the benefits of a decision to base himself in Brisbane throughout Queensland’s “Winter Racing Carnival,” as COVID-19 flare-ups have caused state border closures resulting in restricted opportunities for some of his peers. Williams has collected a G1 victory, three G2s and a pair of listed stakes, and he stole the show at Eagle Farm two weeks ago by winning three stakes races across the second half of the card. The astute rider was the first to identify an outside bias, which he exploited to full advantage at odds of 16-1, 11-1 and 7-1. If a fan were leaning over the outside rail enjoying a hot dog during the finale, “Willo” almost could have snatched it as he brought Brooklyn Hustle from last of 15 at the 1/8-pole. That win, in the G2 Dane Ripper Stakes, would normally guarantee a return mount for Williams in Friday night’s Tattersall’s Tiara. Both races are restricted to fillies and mares, and five of the last seven Tatt’s Tiara winners have come through the Dane Ripper. However, another of Craig Williams’ wins two weeks ago was the G1 Stradbroke Handicap, in which Tofane defeated males and repaid the faith of her owners, who withdrew the soon-to-be 6-year-old from a broodmare sale last month.   

“It was like choosing between my daughters, which no parent wants to do. It was a really tough decision,” said the 44-year-old winner of 64 G1 races in six countries.

Ultimately, Williams has stuck with Tofane (4-1 favorite), whose only two starts at seven furlongs have yielded two G1 wins over males. Brooklyn Hustle (10-1) will have the services of veteran local jockey Michael Cahill, who won a pair of G1s during the last full-length Winter Racing Carnival in 2019. Odeum, one of two 3-year-old fillies, is the 6-1 second choice off an excellent second to Brooklyn Hustle, whom she meets 5 1/2 pounds better for a ½-length defeat.

Savatiano (7-1) is the most likely of a Godolphin trio to “wear the Tiara.” The 6-year-old daughter of Street Cry finished 3rd as favorite when the race was last run, in 2019. Hugh Bowman seeks a 100th G1 win aboard Subpoenaed (10-1), the best fancied of three entrants for trainer Chris Waller, with whom Bowman collaborated to famous effect throughout the record-breaking career of Winx.

As a successful Queensland “Winter Racing Carnival” draws to a close (following a pandemic-abbreviated version in 2020), optimism abounds that the state will be granted an increase in G1 races next season. Queensland currently hosts eight of Australia’s 74 G1s, but Zaaki’s victories in the Gold Coast’s Hollindale Stakes and Eagle Farm’s new Q22 give those races an excellent chance for elevation from G2 status. The 2021-22 season begins on Aug. 1, with Sydney’s “Royal Randwick” set to stage the country’s first G1 – the Winx Stakes – on the night of Aug. 20. In the meantime, Australian racing will continue to offer big fields and tremendous wagering value from multiple tracks on a nightly basis. 

The Eagle Farm card will be broadcast live on TVG this Friday night (first post: 9:43 p.m. ET / 6:43 p.m. PT) alongside cards from Randwick, Newcastle and Belmont. All races will be livestreamed in HD on the new Sky Racing World Appskyracingworld.com and major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpiresXpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWagerHPIbet, and AmWager. Wagering is also available via these ADW platforms. Fans can get free access to live-streaming, past performances and expert picks on all races at skyracingworld.com. 

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Michael Wrona has called races in six countries. Wrona’s vast U.S. experience includes race calling at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, Arlington and Santa Anita, calling the 2000 Preakness on a national radio network and the 2016 Breeders’ Cup on the international simulcast network. Wrona also performed a race call voiceover for a Seinfeld episode called The Subway.

The post Australia: The Final Group 1 Of The Australian Season appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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