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Heathcote filly Stars in the Tatt's Tiara

Eagle Farm trained Startantes (by Star Turn) met her date with destiny when recording a maiden Group 1 victory with a last-to-first performance in the $700,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) in Brisbane.

Perfectly suited by a generous tempo set by natural front runners Annavisto (NZ) and Snapdancer, the bonny little filly had all the cards fall in her favour when charging through the middle of the quality field before arriving at the finishing line in good time to record the biggest success of her highly consistent career.

Prominent in Pattern Race company throughout this season without actually saluting the judge, Startantes’ style of racing is always best served by a fast early pace. Given the perfect scenario and a flawless Jason Collett ride in the final Group 1 event of 2021/22, the  Robert Heathcote-trained filly delivered in spades and won with a small degree of authority.

Despite chasing the pace throughout, Snapdancer (by Choisir) turned in another mighty top-level performance to hold on for second, finishing clear of Palaispan (by So You Think) in third and Atishu (NZ) in fourth.

Long-time leader Annavisto (NZ) compounding in the straight after setting a fast early pace and could only finish fifteenth of the 17 runners.

Collett and Startantes take the short way home for their Tatt's Tiara victory, picture Michael McInally/Racing Queensland

Startantes was bred by Robert Heathcote and is co-owned by his wife. Needless to say, the triumphant trainer felt a deep sense of accomplishment after the feature race success.

“The very special little pumpkin,” Heathcote remarked after the win affectionately. “We’ve known she was special for a long way through and she went that close (when runner-up) in the Surround in Sydney; she had no luck.

“We made a big call taking Taylor (Marshall) off and putting Jason on, but he was last coming into the straight, kept his cool and ran right through them. She’s probably worth a few bob now, aye?

“She’ll go to the paddock for sure. I was going to take her to Melbourne for the spring but I’ll need to re-evaluate that now because she hasn’t had a break for literally two preparations — only little band-aid breaks. But jeez, there are some nice fillies and mares races at Flemington, isn’t there?”

Heathcote concluded: “I am so pleased for the ownership group. We had the Mum — Funtantes; I had her Mum — Cantantes; it has been a part of my life for 23-24 years. This ownership group has been with me the whole way. My staff have done a fantastic job and of course, Jason Collett — thank you mate.”

Collett also had the ride on Startantes when she ran second in the Group 1 Surround Stakes in Sydney at the beginning of the season and was quick to recall his association with the filly.

“I just missed in Sydney on her,” pointed-out Collett in his post-race interview. “It was great to get back on her. I’ve followed her this prep since both of us came back and she’d been running good, honest races but she probably hadn’t been finishing them off quite like she did today.

“The feeling I got when I pushed the button. I thought it was pretty good at Randwick when I just missed, but today it was unbelievable. Her turn of foot is electric.

“I got up next to the Ciaron Maher runner (Snapdancer), I didn’t have a hell of a lot of carrots left and I was a touch worried, but I was the fresh legs on the scene.”

Collett’s win on Startantes was his second in the race after Invincibella scored in 2019: “It was three years ago and definitely one of my best times on the track,” he said. “It was good today to come back and get another one.”

Winning time of the Tattersall’s Tiara was 1m23.17s (last 600m in 35.18s), and the official margins Half-length x Three-quarters of a Length.

Starting prices were Startantes $11.00, Snapdancer $7.00, and Palaisipan $31.00.

What the beaten jockeys said:

Ethan Brown (Snapdancer): “She ran her heart out. Left out in front a fair way out/ She probably deserved to win but beaten by a better on on the day.”

Ryan Maloney (Shout The Bar): “I thought her run was credible. She was first-up in a high pressure race, she was just found wanting in the last furlong. But she’s bound for improvement.”

Rachel King (Annavisto): “She just raced a bit flat today.”

William Pike (Away Game): “A very good effort. With a better barrier I think we’re in the money.”

Tommy Berry (Kiku): “A really nice cart up from the eventual second placegetter. She tried very hard.”

Mark Du Plessis (Vangelic): “Got a lovely spot behind Palaisipan - it ran third - and my filly never let down on this track.”

Nash Rawiller (Nudge): “The make up of the race didn’t allow us to really finish off, but she probably finished with as good sectionals as she can and ran really well. Just didn’t have an opportunity to work home.”

Stephanie Thornton (Brooklyn Hustle): “She ran well. We obviously had the eventual winner to our inside throughout but I think she’d come to the end of her prep.”

Hugh Bowman (Wandabaa): “To be effective ar 1400 I think she needs to settle better than she did today.”

Jay Ford (Atishu): “She ran really well. Just coming back in trip she seemed to struggle to got he speed all the way but she was strong late.”

Larry Cassidy (Charmmebaby): “I thought she ran pretty good. Obviously coming back in distance, the wide draw didn’t help, but she didn’t disgrace herself.”

James Orman (Written Beauty): “Good run. Got a nice run behind Away Game and traveled pretty good but just would have appreciated a bit more give in the track.”

Brodie Loy (Yamazaki): “A little bit disappointing. She relaxed so nicely I thought she’d finish off nicely. Didn’t and felt the ground.”

Luke Tarrant (Palaisipan): “Massive, massive effort. Honestly, if we draw a gate and we do no work like last start we probably win a Group 1 there. But the cards didn’t fall that way. Can’t fault the effort.”

Brock Ryan (Bring The Ransom): “She was never going comfortable and didn’t travel for me. In doing that she couldn’t quicken off it.”

Kyle Wilson-Taylor (Enchanted Heart): “Probably found that grade a bit beyond her but she was honest and tried hard.”

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