A DISASTEROUS run in the Stradbroke Handicap a fortnight ago has not deterred sportsbet.com.au from placing Azkadellia as the favourite for the Tattersall’s Tiara at $2.50.
The four-year-old Ciaron Maher-trained mare was the favourite for the showpiece race at Eagle Farm two weeks ago but failed to fire, finishing in the second half of the 18 runner field.
Despite a lack of confidence from punters – which saw Azkadellia drift from the opening $2.25 quote – the team at sportsbet are confident the 2016 Queen of the Turf-winner can bounce back to her best against her own sex in Saturday’s Group 1 at Eagle Farm.
Maher said he has not pushed his star to her limits after her failure last time out, but he is confident Azkadellia can return to her best on Saturday against the fillies and mares.
“We’ve kept her nice and fresh,” Maher said.
“We took her to the beach a few times. She should hopefully bounce back to form.
“She worked with a stablemate on the course proper and her work she was really enthusiastic,”
“Her action was great and I was happy with the way she pulled up.”
Maher believes the mare is well placed to win her second Group 1 race of her career.
“While it appears an easier race as she’s back against her own sex and it’s a step back in class, it’s a Group 1 and they’re never easy to win.”
Punters do not share Maher’s optimism, and are instead looking for value elsewhere.
Newcastle filly Danish Twist – who is aiming for five wins on the trot in the Tiara – has been crunched in from $8 to $6.
Danish Twist’s trainer Kris Lees said the four-year-old has exceeded all his expectations up until now and he is confident she can make an impact on Saturday.
“If you asked about her (Danish Twist) at the beginning of the year I would have said she is a nice horse with her idiosyncrasies that I hope to get to stakes level. If she could get a black type placing I would have been delighted,” Lees said.
“Now she has a couple of black type wins and we are going into a group 1 in the top three in betting, which is amazing. She has just taken the step up each time we have asked her.”
While Danish Twist holds the majority of the early money in the Tiara, sportsbet are standing by Azkadellia.
Sportsbet representative Christian Jantzen said the online bookmaker has faith in the Victorian mare.
“Azkadellia was well backed, but well beaten in the Stradbroke. She’s back against her own sex this time and while she’s easy in betting that could change after the barrier draw,’’ Jantzen said.
Market courtesy of sportsbet.com.au
$6.00 Danish Twist
$8.00 Cradle Me
$8.00 Precious Gem
$17 Divine Centuri
$17 Jessy Belle
$17 Sold For Song
$17 Sultry Feeling
$21 Miss Cover Girl
$21 Palazzo Pubblico
$26 Blueberry Hill
$26 Press Report