|What||Stradbroke Handicap Day|
|Where||Eagle Farm Racecourse – 230 Lancaster Rd, Ascot QLD 4007|
|When||Saturday, June 12, 2021|
|First Race||12:15pm AEST|
|Feature race||Race 8 | Stradbroke Handicap|
HorseBetting’s Queensland racing analyst, Nicholas Lloyd, has previewed every race for this Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap meeting at Eagle Farm. A quality nine-race card has been assembled, with $5,000,000 in prizemoney on offer throughout the afternoon. The track is rated a Good 4, and the rail has moved out a further 2m from last Saturday to be in the +4m position for the entire course. The first race is set to jump at 11:29am AEST.
Race 1 – Listed Oxlade Stakes (1200m)
While the J.J. Atkins will see top quality two-year-old milers later in the card, we kick off with a field of 13 two-year-olds over the shorter 1200m course. A lot of these are very lightly raced and they mostly all come into this Listed event in good form. Conexy is one of the most experienced runners in this field, with five starts under his belt for a win and two runner-up performances. James McDonald will hop aboard the Chris Waller-trained gelding which is a big advantage, and barrier three is certainly a king draw. His last-start fourth was an unlucky run, but he chimed in well late when clear. Up to 1200m suits. Steve O’Dea and Matt Hoysted saddle up Uncommon James who broke through in style at the Sunshine Coast on June 4, winning by 3.3 lengths in decent time. The son of Cable Bay can bring that to town now.
Race 2 – Listed The Wayne Wilson (1600m)
A small but select field has been assembled for The Wayne Wilson at Weight For Age over the mile. All eight runners are geldings, so they will all carry the 59kg which is a slight disadvantage for Profit, but we are still confident that he is the horse on the up. Kementari, Mister Sea Wolf, Kings Will Dream and Ranier have all been a while between drinks, Delphi is having his first run in Australia and this looks about 1000m too short for him, while Military Zone just hasn’t come on this prep. Profit was brilliant first-up, winning over 1400m at this track when coming from last, so the extra 200m is only going to suit. Glen Boss hops aboard from barrier one which should allow him to settle closer. Happy to take the $6.50 with Aussie bookies, while So You Win is the danger.
Race 3 – Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m)
Well he isn’t in the Stradbroke, but Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr’s, boom horse Ayrton is running in Brisbane on Stradbroke day. We were happy to pot the son of Iffraaj in the Fred Best a fortnight ago, and while we were right and he got beaten, the run was still full of merit. After winning his first three starts, Ayrton was only narrowly beaten by a leading Stradbroke chance in Apache Chase, and after looking well beaten early in the straight, the gelding charged to only just miss. James McDonald hops aboard from barrier one which will see him in the box seat getting every chance. Now having his second look at Eagle Farm and out to the mile is only going to suit. With money coming for Ellsberg, we might get close to even money closer to jump time.
Race 4 – Group 2 Brisbane Cup (3200m)
The stayers get their chance in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup in the fourth race on the program. The 3200m event has only attracted seven gallopers, and while there is value to be had, each-way betting has lost its appeal without a third dividend. Matthew Smith and Kerrin McEvoy combine with bottom weight, Sweet Thomas, who is just an out and out stayer. The son of Dylan Thomas worked home well into fifth in the Winter Cup at Randwick just seven days ago and drops an extra kilogram into this. The nine-year-old finished on the heels of the placegetters in the Sandown Cup at the back end of the Spring Carnival, finishing 2.7 lengths behind Carif who he meets 6kg better off. Barrier four gets him a nice run in transit, and his dourness can get him home over the top of what looks a very slow speed. Carif is the clear danger and another who will relish two miles, while Rondinella brings a touch of class after placing in the Sydney Cup just two starts ago.
Race 5 – Group 2 Q22 (2200m)
Part of the reason as to why the Brisbane Cup only has seven runners is no doubt because of the inaugural running of the Q22, a 2200m Group 2 contest worth $1,200,000. 16 horses have accepted, but Vanna Girl was scratched on Thursday morning, so now it will be 14 horses taking on Zaaki in a field of 15. There’s no surprises that we are with Zaaki in this feature. The Annabel Neasham-trained six-year-old caught our eye in the Doncaster Mile and then has been brilliant winning his last two starts including a seven length victory in the Group 1 Doomben Cup last time out. Barrier nine sees James McDonald get this son of Leroidesanimaux into a lovely rhythm just behind the pace and be able to beat an average bunch. The $1.50 is short, but in this case, it is value.
Race 6 – Listed Hinkler Handicap (1200m)
A pretty quality field of 11 has been assembled for the Hinkler Handicap, with the likes of Garibaldi and Away Game set to face off over the 1200m. While Away Game has a slight class edge over Gollan’s Garibaldi, the fitness edge looks to sway to ‘Garry’. The son of I Am Invincible was huge first-up when finishing second to Fender, before just peaking on his run in the Group 3 BRC Sprint over 1350m at Doomben. Back to 1200m and on to Eagle Farm, Garibaldi can get back into the winner’s circle. Tim Clark will do the steering from barrier one, which should allow the four-year-old to settle closer in the run and be very hard to beat.
Race 7 – Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m)
The first of the Group 1 races will see a capacity field of two-year-old contest the $1,000,000 J.J. Atkins over the 1600m course. With the full back straight to sort their positions out, most runners should get their fair chance at the Group 1 feature, including maiden galloper Port Louis who will have to jump from barrier 13 for Hugh Bowman. The Chris Waller-trained colt has been brilliant without winning in all four career starts, with pundits donning him as ‘the best maiden in Australia’. While the plunge ($26 into $5) was not landed in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes, the run was full of merit, coming from last to finish fifth. Last time out at Eagle Farm over the 1400m in the BRC Sires’ Produce was the perfect J.J. trial, so the strong tempo and 1600m race set up should suit this son of Maurice. Converge has drawn perfectly for Tim Clark and is a clear danger, while Overmann and Cape Breton should eat up the mile and add value to multiples.