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Listed Victories at Eagle Farm provide compensation for G1 placings

Mike Hedge

Pohutukawainfo-icon and Savatiano have finished second and third in Saturday’s Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm, the final G1 race of the Australian season.

The Godolphin pair each looked a winning chance in the final 200m only to be beaten in a three-way photo by Invincibella, Pohutukawa going down by a short half-head with the same margin to Savatiano in third place.

The Tattersall’s Tiara is the final G1 race of the Australian season which concludes on 31 July, among the G1 victories are some of the nation’s most coveted prizes, including the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Golden Slipper.

Jockey Blake Shinn was full of praise for the effort of Pohutukawa.

"It was a very brave effort and I'm very proud of my horse," Shinn said.

"I think she's got a great career ahead of her and I think she's destined for a G1 success in the near future."

Tommy Berry said Savatiano fought on bravely for third but was unable to hold the first two placegetters at bay.

"We had a great run in the race, but I just think he first two across the line ran out the trip a bit better than we did, but she was tough in defeat," Berry said.

While a G1 victory was missed by a matter of centimetres, the day was saved by the performance of Duca Valentinois to win the Mumm Stakes and of the two-year-old Kordia in the Winning Edge Presentations Stakes, both at Listed level.

Duca Valentinois had been 12 months out of the winning list before Saturday’s victory, one which came after trainer James Cummings persisted with a plan to target second-tier Stakes races.

"He's shot up in the ratings and he's another great example of an imported horse that's come over and done exceptionally well for us," Cummings said.

"When they get up in the ratings these horses can sometimes find it a lot harder to win and he's a horse that's enjoyed tackling that low hanging fruit in his career and carried weight well in the past.”

Much credit to the win went to jockey Tim Clark who waited until the last 50m to call for the supreme effort.

"I was mindful stepping up from the mile to 1,800m so I wanted to hold him up that little bit longer and expose him as late as I could," Clark said.

"He probably only just saw the 1,800m out, but was good enough to win."

Duca Valentinois’ last stride lunge earned him victory by a half-head over Take It Intern.

Kordia’s win may have come late in the season, but offered plenty of promise for the new term.

The son of Epaulette also benefitted from a patient ride, this time from Blake Shinn, putting his head down on the line to score by a long neck over Big Parade.

"Queensland has the capacity to be a happy hunting ground for us. Whether it's a late maturing two-year-old like he is or later three-year-olds, we've had the luxury of keeping them back for this carnival," Cummings said.

"He relished the 1,400m trip today and looks a very progressive two-year-old."

Cummings will spell Kordia before a return next spring.

"We'll give him a lot of time out. You probably won't see him for quite a few months but he's a class horse and one to keep an eye on," he said.