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Rails draw could make Tiara fit for a Princess

Fri 28 June 2024

By Mandy Cottell and Brad Bishop 

Chris Waller has assembled an interesting trio of mares for his bid to claim a third Tatt’s Tiara crown.

She is the roughest of Waller's three Tatt's Tiara runners but from the inside draw, Vienna Princess is capable of landing a Group 1 upset if she can reproduce her best form.

The winner of the Silver Eagle in the spring, Vienna Princess wasn't disgraced when sixth to Japanese raider Obamburumai in the Golden Eagle, a race that has been a handy form reference in its short history.

Freshened following a mixed autumn in Sydney, she got back to last from a wide gate in the Dane Ripper Stakes but was doing her best work late on a day when it was difficult to make ground down the outside.

Waller's assistant Charlie Duckworth says the four-year-old has the talent to feature in Saturday's 1400 metre contest, if she can get the breaks at the right time.

"She is an interesting one. If you go back 18 months, she suffered with a bit of a sore back through the Magic Millions carnival and we had to give her some time," Duckworth said.

"She came back and really built in confidence winning the Silver Eagle and then into the Golden Eagle.

"She is a talented horse.

"It's a Group 1 that Chris always tries to target with these sorts of fillies, and he's got a good record in it, so fingers crossed she can get some Group 1 black-type. She should get the luck from the good draw."

At $41, Vienna Princess is the least favoured of Waller's Tatt's Tiara trio, C'Est Magique regarded as his best chance at $7 with Roots at $19.

C'est Magique, a $1.7 million purchase for Coolmore at last month's Chairman's Sale, delivered an immediate return on their investment with her Dane Ripper Stakes win and has continued to thrive in Queensland.

Roots has overcome a setback to take her place in the race as she bids to go one better than her second to Palaisipan 12 months ago.

Scratched from the Dane Ripper after returning mucus in a scope, Roots will be striving to win Saturday's race first-up, a feat no horse has achieved in at least 20 years.

"We have to go in fresh, which is less than ideal, and it does make things tougher," Duckworth said.

"But, we've come this far and we can't fault her work.

"If we hadn't scoped her, we wouldn't have known (there was an issue) and we probably would have run her two weeks ago. She seems to be going well."

Waller has won the winter feature twice before with Invincibella (2019) and Red Tracer (2013).

Meanwhile, Blake Shinn did not last long on the Tattersall's Tiara interchange bench with the star Melbourne hoop called up to replace the indisposed James Mcdonald aboard C'Est Magique.

Shinn thought his Group 1 season had come to a premature end on Thursday, when Mike Moroney scratched his original mount Coeur Volante from the $700,000 event.

But, he was quickly snapped up by connections of second favourite C'est Magique after McDonald was forced to withdraw from the meeting.

McDonald was hospitalised after complaining of abdominal pains midway through Wednesday's Warwick Farm meeting and withdrew from the Eagle Farm meeting the following day after being diagnosed with gallstones.

McDonald was discharged from hospital on Thursday, but it is not known when he will next be seen in the saddle with the 32-year-old already booked in for some time off after Saturday's meeting.

C'est Magique was just one of several leading chances McDonald was booked to partner at Eagle Farm. 

McDonald has enjoyed one of the greatest seasons by an Australian-based jockey.

He has ridden 113 nationwide, 83 of them Sydney, which has him 10 wins clear Nash Rawiller in the Sydney jockeys' premiership with just over a month of the season to go, while he has ridden an additional 25 internationally.

His mounts have accumulated a staggering $55,524,715 for the season.

Cox Plate hero Romantic Warrior has been responsible for more than $13 million of that, having carried McDonald to five of his 19 Group 1 wins for the season in three different countries.

McDonald's 2023-24 Group 1 haul takes his career tally to 98 but he will need to wait until next season to resume his pursuit the century with the $1 million Winx Stakes at Randwick on August 24 the next Group 1 to be held in Australia.