Trainer Kelly Schweida claimed his second win at the highest level when Miss Cover Girl caused an upset in the $500,000, Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Miss Cover Girl and Damien Browne, picture Dan Costello/Magic Millions
Ridden by big-race jockey Damian Browne, Miss Cover Girl took out the final Group 1 of the season storming home out wide to down favourite Azkadellia by one length in the 1400-metre feature.
Outsider Sultry Feeling finished third, a further 1-1/4 lengths away.
It was the second Group 1 of the Queensland Winter Carnival for local horses after the Bryan Guy-trained Eagle Way won the Group 1 Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm.
The win also ended a long losing streak for Miss Cover Girl who hadn’t won since the Group 3 P J Bell during The Championships at Randwick in April last year.
Schweida was in central Queensland where he celebrated one of his biggest days in racing when Ruling Force later took out the Rockhampton Cup.
His only previous win at the highest level was with Nova Star in the Tattersall’s Tiara (formerly Winter Stakes) in 2007.
Browne said he always felt confident of victory with Miss Cover Girl who went into the race following a close fourth to Spill The Beans in the Group 2 QTC Cup at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago.
“She’s been a great mare but hasn’t had much luck during her career,” Browne said.
“She gave me a lovely ride today and when I asked for a kick she gave me a big one.”
Schweida’s stable spokesperson Haley Nichols said the race was always the main target for the classy four-year-old.
“It is unreal, she’s a stable-favourite and a special horse,” she said.
“It’s amazing to end her prep like this. We had her ready for the 1200m, the first race back here but the event was scratched, so then we had to go to the 1300 metres the next week and the fitness just wasn’t quite there.
“So we decided to come here today.”
Trainer Brian Smith’s decision to use blinkers on Feltre for the first time paid off handsomely when the gelding claimed the Listed Giles & Co Chartered Accountants Open Handicap (1830m).
Ridden by Paul Hammersley, Feltre proved too strong for his opposition with a decisive 1-3/4 lengths win over Teronado.
Lordag was third, a further short neck away.
Feltre was nominated for the Tattersall’s Cup but Smith took the easier option which led to his heavy support firming from $17 into $10.
Feltre’s win was his first in five starts for Smith who only took over the training of the five-year-old from Lyn Tipper at the start of the year.
Feltre was coming off a disappointing failure at his previous start when he beat only two home in the Listed Wayne Wilson Mile won by Hopfgarten at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago.
Hammersley was confident Feltre would be highly competitive after the gelding worked strongly at Eagle Farm midweek.
“He drew wide and had to face the breeze last start,” Hammersley said.
“We had a nice run and his work on Tuesday was excellent.”