While there has been much hype around Black Piranha’s attempt at a third Stradbroke Handicap, the Tracey Bartley trained Sniper’s Bullet has been quietly preparing for an attempt to land his second Stradbroke.
Sniper’s Bullet emerged as genuine Group One horse when he won the Stradbroke in 2007, and Bartley believes the seven year old is well positioned for a another tilt at Group One glory.
“I’m very happy with him and I’m sure he’ll run really well,” Bartley said.
“There’s no way he’s a 50-1 chance.”
Sniper’s Bullet was unable to reproduce his winning efforts in the 2008 and 2009 Stradbroke’s and missed the race last year. If he is going to win he will have to break an 18 month winless streak and do it from barrier 22.
“He has drawn pretty ordinary tomorrow but his best runs in big races have been when he’s been drawn out wide anyway,” Bartley said.
“He’s got to do better than he did the other day but I reckon he still ran a good race in the 10,000 (4 ½ lengths fifth to Beaded).
“Had he drawn closer (in the 10,000) he would have probably been one out and one back instead of out the back and I’m sure he would have finished a couple of lengths closer.”
“But he’s done well in the last fortnight.”
This year’s Stradbroke is expected to be the last Queensland run for Sniper’s Bullet, whose racing career is now winding down.
Bartlett said that she would more than likely give the horse one start during the Melbourne spring carnival before he headed to Perth in what would likely be his final campaign.
Sniper’s Bullet’s last win came in December 2009 when he took out the Group One Kingston Town Classic at Ascot. Along with the 2007 Stradbroke, his only other Group One win came in the 2009 Railway Stakes, also at Ascot.
Sniper’s Bullet will be ridden by Michael Rodd in the Stradbroke, who ironically was replaced as the horses rider just before he won consecutive Group One’s in Perth back in 2009.
Bartley admits that her training career would have been very different had it not been for Sniper’s Bullet.
“He’s been a blessing for me as a trainer, he’s really made us, and myself and the owners are very grateful for him.” Bartley said.
Bartley was right when she said that her horse definitely wasn’t a 50-1 shot. Sniper’s Bullet is currently quoted as a $71.00 chance in the Stradbroke.