Having ironed out her barrier demons, former New Zealander Atishu is set to be given another Group 1 opportunity in the Tattersall’s Tiara.
Jay Ford has been booked to reunite with the mare, who appears to be back on track after a series of mishaps in the starting stalls where she either missed the jump or, as was the case in the Liverpool City Cup and Coolmore Classic, refused to leave the gates when they opened.
Ford has been working with her since then, trialling her several times before partnering her to consecutive third placings in the Hawkesbury and Scone Cups, and he is convinced she has overcome her issues.
“She’s going great now that we have ironed out the kinks with her coming out of the barriers,” Ford said.
“Her last three runs have all been super. She will run well.
“It’s a good chance for her to try to get some Group 1 black-type next to her name.”
Atishu comes into next Saturday’s 1400m feature off a closing third to Kiku over 1600m at Eagle Farm.
Ford would love to see a shower of rain to take the edge off the track, but he wasn’t too concerned by where she might draw, although he conceded a low gate could give her less work to do.
“She’s a horse who generally races in the second half of the field anyway, but if she can draw a marble, it enables her to be that pair or two closer, rather than at the tail-end of the field,” he said.
“Her natural pattern is to be in that second half of the field so we wouldn’t be changing that.
“If things go well, I feel she is a very good chance in that sort of race. All of her runs since that first couple when she wasn’t coming out of the barriers have all been full of merit.”
The Tattersall’s Tiara is the final Group 1 race of the season and the centrepiece of next weekend’s winter carnival program with another four stakes race on the support card.
– RAS NewsWire