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Lindsay Park mares chase Brisbane riches

3 minute read

Stud-bound mares searching for Group success before retirement

EXCELIDA. Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

Lindsay Park's final fling at Group 1 glory for two of its better-performed mares lifts a cog this weekend in Brisbane.

Stakes performers Excelida and Lady Of Honour will both ramp up preparations for Australia's final Group 1 of the season – the Tattersalls Tiara – in this weekend's $300,000 Group 3 BRC Sprint at Doomben.

Each is likely to join their owner's broodmare band at the end of this season and Ben Hayes said the duo is in good shape ahead of what could be a three-run Brisbane campaign.

"They've had good campaigns for them, they've travelled well, they're staying at Robert Heathcote's and seem to have settled in nicely," Hayes said.

This weekend's 1350-metre event is a stepping stone to the $300,000 Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1300m) on June 10, which is two weeks before the $700,000 Tiara over 1400m.

Six-year-old Excelida won last year's Group 2 Rose Of Kingston Stakes and was placed in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes. She was twice placed at Group 3 level in Melbourne earlier this year only to be thwarted by a wet track in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf last time out.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel won a 1000m Doomben trial last Tuesday and the prospect of sunny conditions in Brisbane from Wednesday onwards has Hayes optimistic of a form reversal.

"She trialled recently and trialled really nicely, so she looks to be going really well and if she can get back on top of the ground, I think we'll see sharp improvement from her," Hayes, who trains in partnership with his brother JD, said.

Excelida carries the colours of leading New Zealand operation Cambridge Stud, while Lady Of Honour is part of the powerful Coolmore team.

The latter, a four-year-old daughter of No Nay Never, has won four of 13 starts, the best of which came in the Listed Twilight Glow Stakes in 2021, while she was twice placed at Group 2 level last spring.

After a first-up seventh in the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m), Lady Of Honour finished third in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) before a fourth placing in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m).

"She ran a gallant fourth last start here in Melbourne, it was a good effort (because) she got taken on a bit but still stuck on," Hayes said.

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