The Stradbroke Handicap
Distance: 1400m | Conditions: WFA | Rail Position: 4m | Track Condition: Good 4
The best of Queensland Winter Racing has arrived with the running of the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap over 1400m at Eagle Farm this Saturday. Despite some rain early in the week, it’s clear skies from here on in so we can expect a fast day of racing. Recently added to the Group 1 honor board, Think About It heads the betting but with plenty of chances around him it shapes to be a cracking edition of the Straddy!
A stacked Group 1 field should ensure we get a hot speed for this. Rothfire will have to press on with things early from the carpark where he’ll find company in Holyfield who is also wide. Gentleman Roy, Surf Dancer and Scallopini will also look to hold a forward position from their more favourable draws. The favourite Think About It should have no troubles from 12, nor will Cardinal Gem or Hawaii Five Oh pushing up from the inside. This will leave a swarm of them hitting the line late making for a bunched finish, keeping eye on the likes of Converge, Ruthless Dame and Aft Cabin.
What a horror draw for the Queenslander. He was too good for them first up, and gave a good sight in the Kingsford-Smith last start, but didn’t show anything that makes me think he can turn the tables on the likes of Think About It.
Was three-wide no cover last start which was telling late, but stuck on well enough. Barrier doesn’t help her cause again here but with a bit of luck, could fire.
4. Scallopini (8)
Old-timer who was brave on speed first up in the BRC Sprint. Won’t know himself with the significant weight drop and on his home track could run a bold race.
Stuck to the rails and was ridden for luck in the Kingford-Smith which paid off in spades. Loves Queensland, and is showing signs he’s getting back to his best but has a horror barrier to contend with. Will need a lot of luck.
7. Gentleman Roy (2)
Was taken back from the gate in the Kingsford Smith but is better drawn here and has shown he’s up to this level, losing the CF Orr only to a protest. Will be ridden aggressively here and can figure in the finish.
9. Think About It (12)
The favourite looks primed for this. His quality showed in the Kingsford-Smith at WFA a fortnight ago, hitting the line with such intent. He now gets in at the weights for this and has to be rated as the one to beat.
10. Cardinal Gem (6)
Was doing his best work late in the BRC Sprint. Profiles super for this and has Jordy Childs getting down to 54kg for the ride. Has drawn well, so plenty of ticks and is the best tip at odds for mine.
12. Aft Cabin (17)
Kicked on well in the Doomben 10,000 but was comfortably held. Has shown he the quality to make an impact in these Group races but is another one plagued by the wide alley. Has an in-form jock to navigate it however I won’t be including him.
13. Royal Merchant (14)
Won the Goodwood last start where she was wide the trip and gritted it out to the line. Not convinced by the form coming out of that race, and field is another level up, however could run a race at odds.
14. Ruthless Dame (13)
Another one coming from South Australia where she won the Sangster. The stables best chance according to Maher and Eustace and Mick Dee comes across from Hong Kong for the ride. Has plenty of class but yet to prove herself in this company.
15. Chain of Lightning (18)
Has been racing in some elite races and been found wanting. Just missed in the Sangster latest but again, doubt she has the class of some of these.
18. Hawaii Five Oh (3)
Talented three-year-old who comes into this off a win in the Fred Best. Last two wins have both rated well, having things all go his way. May find himself caught on the fence in traffic from the gate but with 49.5kg, can make an impact. Market support is a good sign.
*Others not fancied.
Beat most of these at WFA latest and meets them much better at the weights here. Think It Over is hard to go past with Cardial Gem being the best rough chance.
Best Bet: 9. Think About It (12)
Best Roughie: 10. Cardinal Gem (6)