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Image: Darren Winningham
Startantes has upstaged the older mares toclaim the Tatts Tiara

Startantes hadn’t won in ten starts since September last year as a new three-year-old but made sure the end of her juvenile racing season was a high, claiming her maiden major win in the Group 1 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).

Having come agonisingly close in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) against her own age and sex, Startantes produced a withering final burst to run down Snapdancer in the straight who kicked for home after settling outside the leader.

Trainer Rob Heathcote was thrilled to finally see one of his stable stars break through, referring to the filly as ‘a very special little pumpkin’.”We’ve known she was special for a long way through and she went that close in the Surround in Sydney, she had no luck. We made a big call taking Taylor off and putting Jason on but he was last coming into the straight, kept his cool and ran right through them,” Heathcote said.

After a fairly arduous campaign, Heathcote confirmed the filly would spell now, with a range of options to look forward to.

“She’ll go to the paddock for sure. I was going to take her to Melbourne for the spring, but I’ll need to re-evaluate that now because she hasn’t had a break now for literally two preparations – only little band aid breaks but jeez, there are some nice fillies and mares races at Flemington isn’t there?”

Jockey Jason Collett, who rode the mare to a 0.1L defeat in the Surround Stakes, was blown away by the feel Startantes gave him compared to in Sydney.

“The feeling I got when I pushed the button, I thought it was pretty good at Randwick when I just missed, but today it was unbelievable. Her turn of foot is electric,” Collett said.

Snapdancer was left in front a long way from home and “probably deserved to win” according to jockey Ethan Brown, with $31 chance Palaisipan filling the placings. Race favourite Annavisto led the field and dropped out to finish 15th.

 
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