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Abounding hoping to breakthrough for Group 1 glory

Thu 27 June 2024

By Glenn Davis

As trainer Robert Heathcote enjoys a European holiday, the stable back home is hoping to give the locals a Group 1 breakthrough with Abounding in the Tatt’s Tiara at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Abounding is a $34 outsider in early markets after drawing a horror barrier of 18 for the Tatt’s Tiara, which is the last Group 1 of the season.

Abounding was a brilliant winner of the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast in January but hasn’t quite rediscovered the same form in four starts this campaign.

The daughter of Rich Enuff showed a glimpse of her best form last start when a solid finishing third in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm on June 15.

“She ran well in the Dane Ripper but she felt the firm track,” Heathcote’s racing manager Jarred Coetzee said. 

“She didn’t quite let down as well as she normally does in her races."

Abounding was also nominated for the set weights QTIS Fillies Three-Year-Old race on Saturday and it wasn't until a last-minute phone hook-up with Heathcote that the decision was made to tackle the Tatt's Tiara.

"We had until 5pm yesterday to decide and the QTIS race was given a lot of consideration," Coetzee said.

"She was a weighted certainty in the QTIS race, but it has always been the plan to run in the Tatt's Tiara.

"It's going to be hard for Martin (Harley) to find a good spot but if she can run a place, it's happy days for when she goes to the broodmare barn.

"It will be difficult, but she's improved a lot and having the sting out of the ground will suit her a lot more."

Coetzee has attempted to freshen Abounding for her Tatt’s Tiara mission and is confident she’ll be competitive again.

“She looks terrific,” Coetzee said.

“She’s had a nice two-week break since the Dane Ripper and I’ve been taking her to the beach and have been mixing things up with her by using the treadmill more.

“Rob’s still away so hopefully we can win a Group 1 for him in his absence.

“Rob was overseas when we were a bit stiff with Dune Forty Five in the Ipswich Cup last Saturday and I thought he should have won.”

Heathcote is chasing his second win in the Tatt’s Tiara after Startantes won the 1400 metre feature two years ago.

The Tatt’s Tiara was first run in 1989 and fillies have a great record with 16 wins in the race.

The race was previously known as the Winter Stakes.

It was first run at Group 1 level in 2007 and only one mare, Bonanova (1999 and 2000), has won the race in successive years.

Queensland has a good record in the Tatt’s Tiara in recent times with Chris Munce and Heathcote training the past two winners with Palaisipan and Startantes.

Kelly Schweida has won the feature twice with Miss Cover Girl (2016) and Nova Star (2007).

Bella Nipotina, who just failed to give trainer Ciaron Maher a second Stradbroke Handicap when runner-up Stefi Magnetica, is the $2.70 favourite for the Tatt’s Tiara.

However, she also has drawn the car park in barrier 17, just inside Abounding.