Astute Henley Brook horseman Mike Reed, the leading trainer in the 42-year history of the WASBA Breeders Stakes, is hoping to continue his formula for success when he produces New Zealand-bred four-year-old mare Tiffany Rose first-up in the $50,000 feature at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Reed has won this Group 2 event with New Zealand-bred four-year-olds Libertybelle Midfrew (2015), Maczaffair (2018) and Arma Indie (2020).
Libertybelle Midfrew started from barrier six and sustained a powerful burst from the rear to win by three lengths from The Parade, while Maczaffair and Arma Indie each recorded impressive all-the-way victories.
Tiffany Rose, a winner at ten of her 29 starts, will be driven by Reed’s son Mark from the prized No. 1 barrier and is sure to be set the task of leading and then holding her rivals at bay.
Tiffany Rose warmed up for this week’s race in fine style when she finished strongly to win a six-horse 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning, beating Kiwi Jewel by a neck at a 2.1.7 rate after dashing over the final 400m in 28.2sec.
Mark Reed restrained Tiffany Rose from the outside barrier and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere settled down in last position. She was fifth at the 500m before starting a fast three-wide move with 400m to travel.
Tiffany Rose, who will be having her first start this week after a 15-week absence, is a smart frontrunner who led and won twice over 2130m at Gloucester Park late last year.
Mike Reed also will be looking for a strong effort from Arma Indie, who will start from the No. 6 barrier with Michael Grantham in the sulky. Arma Indie, a winner at ten of her 35 starts, will be having her first start since finishing ninth behind Balcatherine in the Group 1 Mares Classic on November 27.
Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey, who drove the Andrew de Campo-trained Copper Beach Girl to a head victory over Little Angel in the 2011 Breeders Stakes, has four-year-old Savvy Bromac in top form. The Mach Three mare is poorly drawn out wide at barrier eight, but reinsman Gary Hall jnr is far from despairing, saying: “She is a chance from any draw because she’s so fast, late. However, she needs the pace to be on.”
Savvy Bromac started from 20m and was eighth at the bell before finishing powerfully to be second to Star Of Diamonds in the 2503m Race For Roses last Friday night. At her previous appearance, a fortnight earlier, Savvy Bromac was fifth on the pegs at the bell before surging home strongly to win the group 3 Johnson Pace at a 1.56.4 rate over 2130m.
Turvey also has a leading contender in five-year-old Heavens Showgirl, who has resumed after a spell in dazzling form with four wins from five starts. She thundered home from seventh at the 550m to win easily from Blissfullabbey over 2130m last Friday week. She will be driven by Emily Suvaljko from barrier two on the back line and should enjoy a good run in the one-wide line.
Star Of Diamonds, trained by Barry Howlett, is in marvellous form with her eight starts in her current preparation producing four wins, three seconds and a third. She will start from barrier four and star reinsman Chris Voak said that with luck in running the mare would sprint home really well.
“She is very quick off the gate and I think we will be rolling forward trying to get a forward position,” Voak said. Star Of Diamonds led when she won the Race For Roses last Friday night, beating Savvy Bromac by just over a length, with the final three quarters of the event being covered in 28.8sec., 28.2sec. and 28.8sec. However, it is problematic whether Star Of Diamonds will be able to wrest the early lead from Tiffany Rose.
Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who trained and drove Miss Bo Scott to victory in the Breeders Stakes in 1992, and prepared Sheer Rocknroll for her win in 2017, will be pinning his hopes on six-year-old Queen Shenandoah, who will be handled by Chris Lewis from the favourable No. 2 barrier.
Queen Shenandoah, a winner of 14 races, will be making her first appearance for 14 weeks since she led and finished second to Divinia Bellezza on January 29. She showed that she was well forward in condition with a neck second to Will I Rocknroll in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning.
by Ken Casellas