The Tony Pike-trained The Bostonian will be attempting to keep his unbeaten Queensland streak alive when he contests the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday. The four-year-old son of Jimmy Choux has won all five of his starts in the Sunshine State, including two successive Group 1s this campaign and Pike is hopeful for a third this weekend.
The Bostonian surprised many pundits when taking out the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) as a $41-shot when fresh-up last month, before showing his class when backing-up a fortnight later to win the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm. He will return to that track on Saturday where he will aim to be the first horse to win all three features in the one season. “He just loves the Queensland environment,” Pike said. “It would be fantastic if we could pull off the treble. “He’s got no pressure on him, he has already won two Group 1 races this preparation, so there is definitely no pressure heading into Saturday. “It’s more hoping he can just get the job done. It will be fantastic for the horse if he could.”
The Bostonian has drawn barrier 10, but is likely to jump from gate six on Saturday alongside stablemate Endless Drama, who has drawn barrier eight. “It has ended up working out perfectly,” Pike said. “There are four on the ballot that won’t probably get a start, so it looks like they will be drawn alongside each other in five and six, so it couldn’t be any better. “There looks to be plenty of speed in the race. If you had drawn one he (The Bostonian) could possibly have been shuffled back a little bit further than you wanted. “He will be positive as per usual and it will be completely up to Michael (Cahill, jockey), depending on the tempo of the race. “You would think he is going to land somewhere in the first six or eight runners in the run.”
Pike is heading into Saturday with confidence after The Bostonian’s track work on Tuesday. “I can’t fault him, he’s pretty much exactly the same as he was before the Kingston-Smith,” Pike said. “His work on Tuesday was very solid. He is bright and well, and hasn’t left any feed through the week and he’s a really happy racehorse at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Pike is excited about the prospects of stablemate Endless Drama in the race and expects an improved performance from the seven-year-old after his last start sixth-placing in the Kingsford-Smith. “He had no option from the gate but to go all the way back and ride for luck,” Pike said. “He just got held up a touch and really flew late, which was encouraging. “He galloped sensationally here on Tuesday. He has had a few cracks at these races, but he has never been far away. “We can’t have him going any better and he will have every chance from gate five.”
The Group 2 Easter Handicap (1600m) winner will be ridden by Leith Innes and Pike said they will likely take a conservative approach with the entire. “I think he is a much better horse ridden a touch quieter. He lobbed midfield in the Easter Handicap and if they go quick enough he’ll do the same, be midfield or a touch back. “He’s not going to have to be all the way back like he was last start. I’m sure Leith will give him every possibility.”