Jockey Kerrin McEvoy’s plan worked to perfection as Srikandi became only the second mare to complete the Stradbroke Handicap-Tattersall’s Tiara double on Saturday.
Despite coming from the extreme outside barrier Srikandi, the $4.20 favourite, coasted to the lead and fought on too well to beat Avoid Lightning ($7.50) by a length in the Group One Tattersall’s Tiara at the Gold Coast.
Lumosty ($6) was 3-1/2 lengths back in third place.
Srikandi joined Dane Ripper who won the Stradbroke and Tatt’s Tiara in 1997 when the latter was a run at Group Three level.
McEvoy said he wanted to have Srikandi near the lead and away from the fence which he thought had inferior going.
His plan paid off with Srikandi able to dictate the pace.
“She was able to get across pretty easily and then we could get away from the fence in the straight,” McEvoy said.
Trainer Ciaron Maher brought Srikandi to Queensland with the aim of winning four Group One races, the BTC Cup, Doomben 10,000, Stradbroke and Tatt’s Tiara.
After she failed in the BTC Cup and the Doomben 10,000, Maher nursed the mare back to her best to win the Stradbroke.
“We didn’t do much with her after the Stradbroke but if anything she improved in the coat and in her general manner,” Maher said.
“The whole idea of coming to Queensland was to win a Group One race with her and the fact she has now won two is outstanding.
Srikandi went past $2 million in prize money with Saturday’s win and is unbeaten in three Gold Coast starts.
“She loves the track. When she drew barrier 20 I wasn’t all that worried because the track was cutting up a bit and we didn’t think it would be a real disadvantage,” Maher said.
“I was happy enough to take barrier one in the Stradbroke and just as happy to get barrier 20 here.”
Maher said Srikandi would spell in Queensland before returning to Victoria for a possible spring carnival campaign.
“We have nothing set in concrete but we will sit down tomorrow and have a good think about it,” he said.
Tim Clark, who rode Avoid Lightning, said Srikandi had been too strong.
Catkins ($5) finished sixth after getting well back approaching the home turn.
“She didn’t have any chance the way the race was run,” said jockey Hugh Bowman.