By Trent Crebbin
Historically there are often two clear lead up races for the Tatt's Tiara.
Those coming through the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap over 1400 metres and those sticking to their own sex through the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes over 1300 metres, however, this year shapes a little differently.
There are currently two horses in single figures - Annavisto at $5 and Snapdancer at $6 - both coming here at varying levels of freshness and not coming through a Queensland lead-up event.
Annavisto was last seen in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes over a mile at Randwick, running a sound second to Nimalee on heavy ground, posting a somewhat moderate Timeform rating of 108.
It was her first-up win at Flemington last time in that should be looked at more closely, however, with a peak rating of 115 over 1400 metres that would see her highly competitive.
Whether she has the bulk of ratings behind her to be marked favourite is questionable, but there's no doubt she's in the game at her best.
Snapdancer is in a similar boat.
Kept fresh for this since winning the Group 1 Sangster Stakes over 1200 metres at Morphettville, she brings the highest peak rating with a brilliant display of sustained speed in that race to post a healthy 116 with Timeform, which if able to repeat, should win the race more often than not.
Forgive her miss in the Newmarket when in the wrong part of the track on a brutal tempo, she looks the most likely winner with a solid pair of 108's prior.
The query for her is the map and distance, having been kept to 1200 and 1300 metres in recent times.
That's not to say she can't extend to 1400 metres again - she was as strong as anything through the line in the Sangster and Magic Millions.
If she can get across with minimal fuss again, she'll take plenty of catching.
Away from those two you've got the perennial bridesmaids, both more than capable on their day.
Brooklyn Hustle will have her supporters again and although sound in the Stradbroke, I'm happy to let her go again with nothing to suggest this will finally be her day.
Away Game, now in the Yulong colours, is easier to like.
She finished just over a length adrift of Brooklyn Hustle in the Kingsford Smith Cup but it's easy to make a case her run was better.
Given a horribly quiet ride, Away Game found plenty of trouble in the straight and went to the line untested.
She's got a bulk of ratings that see her competitive if given a more positive ride from a tough gate.
That leaves team Waller as the last major element to the race, with Kiku, Nudge and Atishu all presenting with some chance.
There's little between them on ratings, with Kiku narrowly beating Nudge and Atishu last time out.
Nudge would get my nod of the trio given she put in a near identical rating in the corresponding race last year before running a peak 113 Timeform rating dropping back to 1400 metres behind Tofane in last year's Tiara.
I wouldn't talk you out of plenty of these but if I had to, Snapdancer and Away Game make most appeal despite their wide gates.