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Cessnock horseman Todd Howlett is considering a 2012 Stradbroke Handicap start for his weekend winner Star Of Octagonal, the in-form five-year-old having scored a nice win in the Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury.
Racing for the first time since their distant second to Niagara in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill back on March 31, Octagonal gelding Star Of Octagonal relished stepping up to the mile at Hawkesbury on Saturday and held on in a tight finish to win the Listed Rowley Mile a long neck ahead of Western Symbol.
“He fought back strong didn’t he,” Howlett said after the win.
“This prep’s been really good and he’s been all around those horses in his races, he probably hasn’t had much luck.
“He’s always better fresh and I did think he was right but I suppose you always question yourself going into it.”
It was the horse’s first black type victory since their Group 3 South Pacific Classic (1400m) victory at Randwick back in April 2010.
Howlett has since said the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s richest race, the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9, could be on the agenda for Star Of Octagonal again.
Twelve months ago they contested the AAMI Stradbroke Handicap but could only manage to finish six lengths away 12th to Sincero.
Having progressed well since as evidenced by their Hawkesbury win, Howlett is confident Star Of Octagonal could be far more competitive in this year’s edition.
Leading up to the Stradbroke Handicap 2012 Howlett will run Star Of Octagonal in the $110,000 Listed Scone Cup (1600m) on May 18, a race they finished dead last to Dysphonia in last year.
“He’ll go to Scone for the Scone Cup, and they maybe we’ll go to Brisbane,” Howlett said.
“I’d want to have a good look but maybe the Stradbroke.
“If we went there, all going well, he’s much better this time than he was last time.”
In the latest Stradbroke Handicap odds at bookmaker.com.au another Hawkesbury winner from Saturday, the Peter Snowden-trained Mental, is the $8 favourite.
Star Of Octagonal is only rated a $41 roughie, a good price according to Howlett.
To view to full 2012 Stradbroke Handicap betting odds and options head along to bookmaker.com.au.
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