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Precious Gem Bidding For Gr1 Swansong
Henry Dwyer believes that Precious Gem can retire to stud as a dual Gr1 winner when she contests the Tattersall's Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Precious Gem (Econsul-Gem of Gems, by Peintre Celebre) claimed her maiden Gr1 success when landing last month's Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide and then ventured north to Queensland where she finished sixth in the Stradbroke Handicap last start. On that occasion the 6YO got well out of her ground but worked to the line stylishly, suggesting to Dwyer that she was ready to peak again in Saturday's fillies and mares feature. Dwyer said the Tattersall's Tiara (formerly known as the Winter Stakes) is likely to be Precious Gem's swansong, after she purchased by The China Horse Club for $825,000 at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale earlier this month. "I think that will probably be the case but I haven't spoken about it in great depth with Michael Wallace who manages the China Horse Club horses," Dwyer told Melbourne's Radio Sport National yesterday. "We've only had her short time but we can't begrudge her going to stud. She is a six-year-old mare and she has probably earned that. She has one last hurrah and she goes into the race in good order. If she could win on Saturday it would be a great result in the sense that the old owners got a Gr1 win from her and the new owners could get a Gr1 win from her." Dwyer said the Tiara has always been Precious Gem's main winter target, and expects her to improve off her Stradbroke run. "When she ran in the Sangster I knew she was at her absolute peak and she'd run to her best...she is probably as good going into this race as she was in that race [the Sangster]," he said. "I think she will definitely run up to her best. The race has fallen away a little bit. I know Azkadellia is a good mare and I know she was in the worst part of the track in the Stradbroke but so were we. We put a couple of lengths on her pretty easily so she'd [Azkadellia] have to do something pretty amazing to turn the tables I would have thought." Precious Gem is currently the third favourite for the Tiara at $8 with TAB, behind Danish Twist at $4.60 and Azkadellia at $2.60.