The Ciaron Maher-trained Srikandi ended her highly successful Queensland campaign with an emphatic victory in the Group I Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Srikandi claimed Queensland’s richest race, the Group I Stradbroke Handicap, two weeks ago at Doomben and on Saturday she repeated the dose against her own sex under weight-for-age conditions.
An explosive start from the barriers negated her outside draw and allowed jockey Kerrin McEvoy to find the front with a minimum of fuss.
McEvoy expertly stacked the field up through the middle stages before asking his mount for an effort at the top of the straight, which was met with an immediate response. Inside the final furlong Srikandi ($4.20 fav.) bounded away from her rivals with the exception of a brave Avoid Lightning.
Avoid Lightning ($7.50), which was beaten only a neck margin in last year’s edition of the race, had to settle for a minor place again, this time finishing a length astern of the winner. Another three lengths split the Les Bridge-trained mare and the third placed Lumosty ($6) from the Robert Smerdon stable.
“It wasn’t ideal but when I got here today and had a look at the track, I knew the fence was going to be off,” McEvoy told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“I had a bit of plan to be handy – just to control it and place her where I wanted to be and I was able to do that.
“She’s a little gem, she travels so well and got through the ground lovely as her form says she does.
“Ciaron was really happy with her coming into it and she felt in great order going around to the start so I was pretty confident.”
The win took Srikandi’s career earnings past the $2 million mark from only 13 starts.
Maher advised that the mare will be spelled in Queensland before returning to Melbourne for the spring.
Chris Waller’s mare Catkins ($5) was shuffled back in the field before finishing sixth, beaten six lengths.