Fresh off training the first four across the line in last week’s Doncaster Handicap, trainer Chris Waller could again see his stable representatives fight out the finish in another Group 1 this weekend when Red Tracer and Catkins contest the Queen of the Turf Stakes. Both mare have outstanding records and it’s no surprise to see them dominate the market. Punters believe Catkins will be able to record her first Group 1 win and have made her the $3.30 favourite in early markets whilst Red Tracer is a $4.40 chance to record her third win at the elite level. The only other runners under double figure odds are the two fillies entered for the race, Solicit ($6.00) and Gypsy Diamond ($6.50). The last 3yo filly to win this race was Golden Slipper winner Forensics back in 2008.
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1. RED TRACER –
Fantastic mare who returned from a spell three starts ago, to win her third consecutive Millie Fox Stakes before, after jumping awkwardly and losing ground, running a great third behind the smart pair of Appearance and Not Listenin’tome in G1 Canterbury Stakes. Off of that effort she started favourite for the G1 George Ryder Stakes and was well positioned on the turn but uncharacteristically, failed to produce a finish in the straight and ran tenth (6.4 lengths) to Gordon Lord Byron. A post race examination confirmed she had a poor recovery rate and she’s been given three weeks and a soft trial since. She has an impeccable record against her own sex, has won eight from eleven on Slow and Heavy tracks and drawn ideally in gate six.
2. STREAMA – B Shinn (4)
On the softer tracks of this campaign, she hasn’t quite been able to replicate her performances of last spring that included winning the G1 George Main Stakes at this track and distance. She secured a lovely spot in the run and battled on gamely when sixth (2 ¾ lenghts) to Gordon Lord Byron in the G1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before capitulating from an on-pace position in last week’s Doncaster Mile (1600m), finishing seventeenth and over fourteen lengths from the winner. Back to her own sex at set weights is a plus, as is the draw however, hard to include her on last week’s performance and the likelihood of another rain-affected track.
3. CATKINS – (1)
A great mare who hasn’t missed running a place in her last twelve starts. She camped on the speed and was simply too good for her rivals in the G2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) last fortnight at Rosehill, making it three wins from four starts this prep. That followed a courageous effort in the G1 Coolmore Classic where, with 58kgs and a wide barrier to contend with, she chased Steps In Time and Sweet Idea home finishing third (2.4 lengths). She ran a lip second to Red Tracer in the G1 Myer Classic (1600m) last spring, seems to have come back in better form and is proven in the wet. Will be right in the thick of the finish here.
4. VIADANA – C Williams (3)
A New Zealand mare trained by Lance Noble that will line up for her first Australian start having won three of her last four starts at home, including her most recent outing, the G1 NZ Breeders (1600m) by a comfortably 2 lengths over Recite, herself a multiple G1 winner in New Zealand. Her recent performances have her well placed for attempt at a race of this calibre, however her record on slow tracks does not read as well as he does on drier surfaces and she takes on some top-shelf Australian mares here.
5. SHARNEE ROSE – B Avdulla (5)
Although not having registered a win, each of her four starts this preparation have been first rate and include two seconds to Catkins in the G3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) and, at her most recent start, the G2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m). The Emancipation wasn’t run to suit Sharnee Rose who settled back in the field and she did well to finish within 1 ½ lengths off the winner. The extra 100m of this race and the likelihood of a more genuine tempo are in her favour. She’s been placed five of seven starts on Slow and Heavy tracks and should be finishing well here.
6. BONARIA – M Rodd (8)
Victorian mare who claimed the G3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) and G3 Schweppes (1600m) in consecutive starts before heading north and lining up in the G1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill four weeks ago. She travelled nicely in the Coolomore and only 54.5kgs on her back but found the competition a touch too strong, running tenth (3.7 lengths) behind Steps In Time. That was her third attempt at Group 1 level and the third time she’s come up short. She’ll find this her fourth attempt at set weights, no easier.
7. DIAMOND DRILLE – T Berry (2)
Made it four wins from eight starts when charging home from last on the turn to record an impressive head win in the G3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) before contesting the G2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) a fortnight ago. Drawing the inside gate, the daughter of Al Maher settled closer to the speed than she had been previously and secured a nice run on the leader’s back. She chased well in the straight on the heavy conditions and ran fourth (2.1 lengths) to Catkins. Will be able to take up a similar position from an inside draw but meets a similar field at level weights now and hard to see her being able to turn the tables.
8. RECITE – G Boss (9)
A smart Darci Brahma filly from New Zealand who won her first four races straight including the G1 Sires Produce last March. Since then, she’s raced seven times for a further two wins, including the G1 Levin Classic (1600m) and last start, her first for eight weeks, ran a very good second to Viadana in the G1 NZ Breeders (1600m). Stable are no strangers to success in Australia and she can only be better for the Breeders run a fortnight ago. Only has limited exposure to wet tracks but her efforts on them suggests she should handle it.
9. SOLICIT – C Schofield (7)
First of two 3yo fillies contesting this race, she won the G3 Mitty’s Vanity and G2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) in comfortable fashion when returning from a spell before being poorly ridden in the Listed Alexandra Stakes (1600m) where, as a 9/10 favourite, she finished fourth behind Marianne. Having her first start the Sydney way of going in the G1 Vinery Stakes (2000m) a fortnight ago, the Ellerton/Zahra trained filly led and was able to defy all bar Lucia Valentina (the current short-priced favourite for the ATC Oaks) in the run home, who enjoyed a lovely run along the fence. She’ll shoot over from an outside gate, and with the weight advantage and her last being over 2000m, she won’t be shy here against the older mares.
10. GYPSY DIAMOND – J McDonald (10)
She commenced this campaign with an eye-catching effort in the G2 Light Fingers (1200m) when finishing fast to run second behind Sweet Idea and has been excellent again in each of her three subsequent runs. Fourth in the G2 Surround Stakes was followed by her finishing better than most for ninth (3.4 lengths) in the G1 Coolmore Classic before, at her most recent start last week, she gave weight to the boys but still proved too good winning the G3 Carbine Club (1600m) by two lengths. Last start not to be underestimated and her effort in the Coolmore against older mares was very strong. Will get back from ten though and need to run down some very good mares to be winning here.
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Recite and Solicit will come across from their gates with Catkins pushing up on the fence. Waller’s pair look the logical ones to beat. Catkins doesn’t run a bad race, won with something to spare in the Emancipation and is more than comfortable on the heavy. Red Tracer will camp behind the speed and has had genuine excuses at her last two starts. Her record in the fillies and mares set weights races is faultless and she can go one better than last year’s second to Appearance. Sharnee Rose appears over the odds at an initial price of $13.00. She was good behind Catkins last start and this race could be run in a manner that’ll suit her racing style. Solicit to round out the placings. Her last start was good and will stand her in good stead for this race. She’s capable of providing plenty of cheek.
- RED TRACER
- SHARNEE ROSE