Belle De Coeur's tilt at Group 1 Tiara sidestepped

Luke Price's decision for Belle to Coeur to miss the Tiara has disappointed his mum and jockey Michel Rodd. Picture: JENNY EVANS

Luke Price's decision for Belle to Coeur to miss the Tiara has disappointed his mum and jockey Michel Rodd. Picture: JENNY EVANS

HORSE RACING

Luke Price wasn't sure who he disappointed more - his mother or his jockey - but is adamant he made the right decision to skip the chance to have his first Group 1 runner on Saturday.

The emerging horseman decided earlier in the week his ultra-consistent mare Belle De Coeur would skip the Tattersall's Tiara (1400m), the final Group 1 of the Australian season, in preference for an easier target at Eagle Farm.

And he's hoping by opting for the Listed Centenary Mile (1600m), the mare's spring plans, possibly revolving around the Myer Classic (1600m), will be a lot clearer.

"Mum was probably more disappointed than I was not going that way," Price joked. "And Michael [Rodd] was probably more disappointed than I was too we didn't go to the Tiara - he was very keen to come up and ride her - but we've gone that way.

"It was a hard decision, but I think we've made the right decision. It looks like a tough Group 1 and I was really keen to run in it, but the time she's at in her prep and she still hasn't won a black type race despite being very consistent [made it easier].

"She's looking for a mile too now I believe. We'll know now if she's going to run a strong mile and then we'll have a lot of options for the spring."

Belle De Coeur would have met one of the Tiara's leading hopes, Gai Waterhouse's Cosmic Endeavour, four kilograms worse after grinding home for third behind the filly in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago.

The pair have been pseudo stablemates during the Queensland winter after sharing lodgings at Liam Birchley's Eagle Farm base.

"It's been a good experience for me and the horse," said Price, who is building a select team of horses to train in his own right after a successful riding career as an apprentice.

"She's been to the beach half-a-dozen times in the last two weeks and she had a gallop on the course proper on Tuesday morning. She worked right up to standard and her work's been very good."

Queenstown ($2.80) tops betting for the Centenary Mile ahead of John Thompson's Transporter ($3.80), with Belle De Coeur at $5.50.

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