Hurtle Myrtle to Skip Stradbroke

The Matthew Smith trained Hurtle Myrtle will not be a starter in the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday, despite her impressive win in the Dane Ripper Stakes.

Hurtle Myrtle received a weight allowance for her win on Saturday, which meant she could have been definite starter, however Smith has decided to stick to his guns and enter her in the Winter Stakes at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.

Smith said that he was not tempted by the prize money on line in the Stradbroke, and would stick to his original plan of giving his mare a two start campaign during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.

“Running her in the Stradbroke and then the Winter Stakes would mean she would have three runs in four weeks. We are going to stick to the original plan and keep her for the Winter Stakes,” said Smith.

Smith believes that his four year old mare doesn’t thrive on heavy racing, and will be benefited by the short break.

“She’s the type of horse that takes a little bit of time to get over a race. If I was training a different type of horse, backing up in the Stradbroke would certainly be an option.” Smith said.

The Group One Winter Stakes has been a long term goal for Hurtle Myrtle, who spent a year out of racing between March 2010 and February this year. Since resuming she has won two of five starts.

“The Winter Stakes has always been the target and now we’ve come this far it would be a shame to fall at the final hurdle by trying our luck in the Stradbroke.” Smith said.

The Dane Ripper Stakes represented a career highlight for Hurtle Myrtle, who produced a stunning turn of foot up the home straight to beat home Zero Rock, Pontiana and Culminate.

Culminate, who finished fourth behind Hurtle Myrtle, is the only horse coming out of the Dane Ripper Stakes that is assured of a start in the Stradbroke. The Jo Pride trained Ladys Angel is currently 25th in the order of entry, while Kelso Wood’s Zero Rock is 35th.

Hurtle Myrtle was rated a $26 chance in pre-post Stradbroke Handicap betting before Smith decided the horse would not run.