|What||2021 Stradbroke Handicap|
|Where||Eagle Farm Racecourse – 230 Lancaster Rd, Ascot QLD 4007|
|When||Saturday, June 12, 2021 | 3:53pm AEST | Race 8|
|Race Conditions||Handicap | Minimum Weight 49.5kg | Three-Year-Olds and Upwards|
|2020 Winner||Tyzone (16) | Jockey: Robbie Fradd (52.5kg) | Trainer: Toby & Trent Edmonds|
HorseBetting’s Queensland racing analyst, Nicholas Lloyd, has previewed every runner in Saturday’s $1,500,000 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm. A capacity field of 18 has been assembled, with a further three emergencies on standby. Five Group 1 winners have accepted for Brisbane’s feature race, with Kingsford Smith Cup winner Vega One the $6.50 favourite ahead of The Harrovian ($8), Wild Planet ($9) and Mr Quickie ($10).
These big fields regularly see speed battles, especially over the 1400m journey, and Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap will be no different. Apache Chase and Master Jamie will lead the way from their low gates, while Savatoxl, Emerald Kingdom and Olmedo will also show speed from their wider gates. Vega One, The Harrovian, Wild Planet, Niccanova and Victorem will all be in the middle of the pack, with Subpoenaed, Mr Quickie and Tofane out the back running on.
1. Mr Quickie (1)
5yo G | T: Phillip Stokes | J: James McDonald (56.5kg)
Mr Quickie has had one start here at Eagle Farm in his 29-race career, and that saw the Shamus Award gelding victorious in the 2019 Queensland Derby at Group 1 level. The Phillip Stokes-trained five-year-old will have to haul the top weight, but the class of James McDonald will carry him a long way. Barrier one will give Mr Quickie every chance over a suitable 1400m trip. He is right in this.
2. Savatoxl (13)
5yo G | T: Tony & Calvin McEvoy | J: Barend Vorster (55kg)
Tony & Calvin McEvoy saddle up Savatoxl in a bid to join an elite group of sprinters to have completed the Goodwood-Stradbroke double. The son of Kuroshio had a good look around Eagle Farm when sixth in the Kingsford Smith Cup a fortnight ago after being outside the leader throughout the 1300m event. Barrier 13 will see Barend Vorster push forward and look for the lead. The $26 is about right.
3. Tofane (NZL) (12)
5yo M | T: Michael Moroney | J: Craig Williams (54.5kg)
Group 1-winning mare Tofane was one of the runs of the race in the Group 3 BRC Sprint behind Emerald Kingdom over 1350m. The Michael Moroney-trained daughter of Ocean Park has tasted success at the highest level over 1400m before, winning the All Aged Stakes in April 2020, so this will be to her liking. While that was her last win and her form has dropped away a touch, the runner-up effort in the BRC Sprint last time out was very pleasing. She is right in this with Craig Williams in the saddle.
4. Imaging (GBR) (17)
6yo G | T: Chris Waller | J: Tim Clark (54.5kg)
Imaging is one runner who continues to elude punters. The six-year-old gelding has shown plenty of ability since arriving in Australia, placing in Group 1 races twice, so the handicap conditions of the Stradbroke should suit. Chris Waller’s trio have all drawn poorly, however, so Tim Clark will have his work cut out from barrier 17. The son of Oasis Dream is a touch under the odds in our book.
5. Olmedo (FRA) (18)
6yo H | T: Annabelle Neasham | J: Ryan Maloney (54.5kg)
Annabel Neasham’s French import didn’t fire a shot in his first three Australian runs before coming to Brisbane and winning an Open Quality over 1630m at Doomben when defeating Reloaded, who has since won twice. The son of Declaration Of War never made an impact in the Group 3 BRC Sprint three weeks ago, and we cannot see Olmedo bouncing back in the Stradbroke.
6. So Si Bon (9)
7yo G | T: Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes | J: Blaike McDougall (54kg)
The enigma that is So Si Bon won his maiden on a Monday on the Pakenham synthetic course back in September 2016 and then did not win another race until Boxing Day 2018, but he has been a lot more consistent in the back end of his career. The son of So You Think has drawn perfectly in barrier nine for Blaike McDougall, which should see him getting an economical run in the first half of the field. The Hayes & Dabernig-trained seven-year-old will need to improve off his run in the Kingsford Smith Cup, but he drops 5kg back to a handicap. Include him in your multiples.
7. Wild Planet (15)
5yo G | T: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes | J: Tom Berry (54kg)
Team Hawkes saddle up the consistent Wild Planet, with the son of Animal Kingdom set to be sent around as the second favourite. A winner of six races, including Group and Listed wins, the five-year-old was a touch unlucky when chasing home Eduardo in last month’s Doomben 10,000. Tommy Berry reunites with the gelding, which is an advantage given they won the Group 2 Theo Marks last time they combined. Barrier 15 is the main concern here.
8. Niccanova (14)
7yo G | T: Steve Tregea | J: James Orman (54kg)
Niccanova was one of the unlucky few in last year’s Stradbroke, finishing third and only 0.4 lengths off Tyzone. He was a great winner first-up this prep at Eagle Farm in the Group 2 Victory Stakes and then had little luck when back and wide throughout in the Kingsford Smith Cup. The Steve Tregea-trained gelding is one of only a few horses in this field who handle Eagle Farm well, while the 1400m will suit and the strong tempo will set it up for a horse of his nature. Don’t dismiss.
9. I Am Superman (3)
5yo H | T: Peter & Paul Snowden | J: Kerrin McEvoy (54kg)
Peter & Paul Snowden will be hoping to get their first Stradbroke winner on Saturday when they partner with Kerrin McEvoy on I Am Superman. The five-year-old entire will be close to the speed from barrier three, which will have him within striking distance in the straight. The son of Footstepsinthesand won the Group 2 Ajax Stakes in the autumn, and his three-length win over 1200m in a recent trial would have brought him on nicely. The entire carried 54kg when seventh in the Cantala Stakes in the spring.
10. Victorem (8)
6yo G | T: Jenny Graham | J: Mark Du Plessis (54kg)
Jenny Graham and Mark Du Plessis combine with country galloper Victorem. The six-year-old son of I Am Invincible finished 10th in this race last year with 52.5kg, so the added 1.5kg is a slight query, but it is easy to say he has been going better this time in. A fast-finishing third in the Hall Mark Stakes when fresh set him up nicely for another strong campaign, and his run in the Kingsford Smith certainly did not disappoint when beaten only a length in fifth. Barrier eight is ideal for this six-year-old, who will relish the tempo and the firm Eagle Farm track. He’s a top seed.
11. Vega One (4)
5yo G | T: Tony Gollan | J: Rachel King (53kg)
Tony Gollan’s Vega One wasn’t called once in the straight during the Kingsford Smith by race caller Josh Fleming, which is a strong indication of just how quickly the gelding got home from last. The son of Lope De Vega was given a peach of a ride by Jamie Kah to get up and win the Group 1 at this track over 1300m a fortnight ago. His work on Tuesday morning was brilliant, and the barrier draw on Tuesday night was even more appealing. Gollan has often described last year’s Stradbroke as the one that got away when this gelding finished fourth down the crown of the track, but Vega One comes in with only 53kg and much better form this time around. Rachel King is one of the better jockeys in this weight range, the stable is flying and, most importantly, the horse is too. He’s a deserving favourite.
12. The Harrovian (11)
7yo G | T: Toby & Trent Edmonds | J: Glen Boss (53kg)
Townsville might have the biggest party the city has seen since the Cowboys won the 2015 NRL Grand Final if The Harrovian can win the Stradbroke. We saw a similar situation just 12 months ago when Tyzone won the famous race in Tom Hedley’s orange silks with the yellow ‘H’. The Harrovian went on an 11-race win streak, starting with a 1500m Open Handicap at Cairns on June 16th, 2019 and ending with a fifth in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Stakes at Flemington in February, prior to his fifth in the All-Star Mile. The Edmonds camp kept him fresh for a first-up assault on the Doomben 10,000, and despite being poorly weighted under WFA conditions, the big son of Fastnet Rock worked home brilliantly into third. He will thrive under handicap conditions in a race that will be run to suit. The booking of Glen ‘Group 1 Bossy’ Boss is an added plus.
13. Signore Fox (19)
5yo H | T: Peter & Paul Snowden | J: Ben Thompson (52kg)
Signore Fox surprised when a close third in the Kingsford Smith Cup last time out and now drops 7kg back to a handicap which will suit. The five-year-old son of Exceed And Excel is a winner at Eagle Farm and tends to race well on dry tracks. He does appear tested from barrier 19 and seemingly lacks that gold-standard class.
14. Emerald Kingdom (10)
6yo G | T: Robert Heathcote | J: Robbie Fradd (52kg)
If Signore Fox surprised in the Kingsford Smith, Rob Heathcote’s Emerald Kingdom shocked when he won the Group 3 BRC Sprint at his last start to book a coveted spot in this race. The six-year-old does have a brilliant career record with 10 wins from his 24 starts, but most of those have come in lesser races. The gelding only drops 3.5kg into this, but last year’s Stradbroke-winning jockey, Robbie Fradd, is in the saddle. He will be on the pace from barrier 10.
15. Madam Rouge (16) – SCRATCHED
16. Subpoenaed (21)
4yo M | T: Chris Waller | J: Ron Stewart (51kg)
Chris Waller’s four-year-old mare Subpoenaed was a genuine lightweight chance before the barrier draw, but the fact that she has to jump from Nudgee Road makes her hard to have. Ron Stewart and Waller combined when winning the Sydney Cup during The Championships, so the pair will no doubt be hoping to add to that record. The daughter of Rip Van Winkle has a solid turn of foot, as we saw when she flashed home into second last time out in the Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville. She will be getting home again.
17. Master Jamie (6)
4yo G | T: Graeme Green | J: Taylor Marshall (51kg)
Master Jamie was the first horse guaranteed a start in this year’s Stradbroke after taking out The Gateway back in December. The Rockhampton-based gelding has won 13 of his 25 starts but has been a bit disappointing in his two most recent runs. Barrier six is a big advantage, given he will go forward for Taylor Marshall, and the 51kg will be a huge relief considering the son of Poet’s Voice has never carried less than 54kg.
18. Apache Chase (7)
3yo G | T: Desleigh Forster | J: Jim Byrne (49.5kg)
Apache Chase broke the hearts of all-in punters a fortnight ago when he led all of the way to win the Fred Best Classic to assure himself a start. Ayrton had a big spruik around him, so that win is a great piece of form. From barrier seven under Jim Byrne, the three-year-old gelding will roll along out in front with the featherweight and may well be able to pinch it. All five of Apache Chase’s wins have been at Eagle Farm, and he is undefeated over the 1400m at this course. A second to Private Eye two starts back in the Queensland Guineas is very good form, with Queensland Derby winner Kukeracha in third.
19e. Outback Barbie (20)
5yo M | T: Tony Gollan | J: Jye McNeil (51kg)
In Tony Gollan’s words, Jye McNeil will need to pull a rabbit out of a hat if Outback Barbie is to win from barrier 20 at a track she simply doesn’t go on. We can’t have her.
20e. Amish Boy (5)
3yo C | T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace | J: Stephanie Thornton (50kg)
Sadly, Amish Boy did not make his way into the final 18, so we will be hoping for a couple of scratchings as we believe he would be right in this race. The Maher & Eustace-trained colt has only the 50kg with the in-form Stephanie Thornton booked to ride, which is a huge plus. The son of Star Witness was brilliant along the rails in the Fred Best, has placed in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington, and was brilliant behind Aim in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas back on January 16. Include him if he gets a start.
21e. Blazejowski (2) 6yoG
6yo G | T: Greg Eurell (51kg)
The sole grey in the field is Greg Eurell’s Blazejowski. The six-year-old will need a bit of luck to gain a start and a change of form. He is hard to have, this son of Dash For Cash.
2021 Stradbroke Handicap betting tips
We are confident the market has this right with Vega One. The gelding can give Tony Gollan what will be an emotional first Stradbroke Handicap victory. Victorem is right in this after a brilliant last-start victory, while The Harrovian’s following could triple if he were to win a race he is more than capable of winning on Saturday.
|Stradbroke Handicap $100 betting strategy|
|$80 win||Vega One|
|$10 win||The Harrovian|