Mare Juan Diva, who won the stakes, will have to beat the visitors’ draw to win Saturday’s Tattersall’s Classic, but trainer Will Friedman thinks she has what it takes to do so.
The Sydney mare hates everything but the dry run she’s due Saturday at the Gold Coast, and Friedman said she enjoys racing in the Sunshine State.
Friedman, also nominated for the Listed Starlight Stakes in Sydney, who trains in partnership with his father Richard, said the mare was shipped to Queensland on Wednesday evening.
A Group 3 winner during the Queensland Winter Carnival, the connections had the opportunity to send an expensive mare to the breeding barn but chose to race, for which her trainers hope to repay the faith.
“She belongs to Trelawney Stud and they had the option to retire her after she won the Healey, but they decided to race, which I think is really good for racing in general,” said Will Friedman.
“She is very well brought up, if he can get another win in black print behind her belt, her value will increase again.
“Her owners are some of the best breeders in New Zealand, so it’s good that they decided to race.”
While the form guide shows a recent starting 10th, Friedman said Juan Diva deserves favoritism on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
“I thought she was doing well on the scales in Queensland, she has 98 points, the next one has 93, and we only give them a kilo – we have a visitor draw, but,” he said.
“She won the Healy there and won the triple. The only thing she has compared to many other horses is that in high pressure races she can still run.
“Many horses find it difficult to accelerate at a fast pace.
“I thought she handled controversy well, based on her historical form, I thought she might deserve to be the favourite.
“She is in good condition, she really hates any moisture in the ground all these days, she looked like she was going to make an effort on Flemington, but was a little disappointed.
“Gee McNeil came out and said she didn’t want to stretch on a softer ride.”
Juan Diva’s chance is valued at $5 with TAB.
Originally published as The breeding plan for the thoroughbred mare Juan Diva has been postponed