TIMING is everything when it comes to horse racing and Darren Weir’s penchant for the well-planned preparation has paid dividends again after Tiamo Grace took out the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes.
Damian Lane was caught wide on the $4.40 shot early in the race but the three-year-old filly displayed true grit and a stylish turn of foot to break away from the field late to record her maiden city win.
The gallant Sebring Dream looked like making a race of it before Tiamo Grace pulled away in the final 200, while Miss Rock found the gap in the straight but failed to trouble the leading duo.
The Weir-trained runner has firmed into $4.50 second favourite at Sportsbet.com.au for Thursday’s Crown Oaks after the win.
Superstar Yankee Rose remains the short-priced favourite to take out the feature race on Oaks day, remaining steady at $2.
Despite the impressive showing, stable connections are unsure if Tiamo Grace will take her place in the Oaks.
“I think today was her long term goal, but we’ll see how she is over the next few days to see if we push for Thursday or put her in the paddock and head to the autumn,” stable representative Jeremy Rogers said.
“She’s a really nice progressive filly, kept improving with everything we’ve asked her to do.
“Beautifully ridden by Damian, had her nice and relaxed in the beautiful spot. He just let her loose at the top of the straight and she did the rest.”
Lane, Tiamo Grace’s jockey, was full of praise for the trainer in post-race and said there was no reason why the runner couldn’t take out next Thursday’s Group 1.
“When (Darren Weir) brings them to town, you know they’re ready,” Lane said.
“I think there was a bit of talk that she might not go there (Oaks). I’d say it’d be hard not to take her there.”