The latest 2012 Stradbroke Handicap order of entry was released by Racing Queensland on Monday with two of the top fancies still not assured of a start in next month’s million dollar showdown.
Set to run at Eagle Farm on Saturday June 9 the $1 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) is the richest race held in Queensland each year and is shaping up in 2012 as a battle of the young guns.
The three horses topping the Stradbroke Handicap odds at bookmaker.com.au are all three-year-olds, but two could still miss out on a run in the classic.
Current $7 favourite is the Peter Snowden-trained Mental who backed up from their blistering first-up win at Hawkesbury with a victory over Amah Rock in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Handicappers however chose not to penalise the Lonhro gelding for their Fred Best win leaving Mental well down the Stradbroke Handicap order of entry sitting 45th on the 50.5kg minimum weight.
Snowden and co. will look to move Mental up the entry when they run in Saturday week’s $250,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m).
“It’s the ideal race and if Mental wins by two lengths and gets into the field, that’s great,” Darley Australia manager Henry Plumptre said of the Queensland Guineas.
“If we’re unlucky and he doesn’t make it this year, we will be philosophical about it and move on to the next carnival.
“We are confident we have a really nice colt. Yes, it would be disappointing to miss that one race, but is it the end of the world? No.”
In the same boat as Mental is co $8 second favourite in the Stradbroke Handicap betting markets, Pampelonne.
Forty third on the Stradbroke ballot Tim Martin’s Rock Of Gibraltar gelding was also overlooked by handicappers for their weekend win, Pampelonne having put three and a half lengths on their closest rival in the Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) at Scone.
“Their ratings just weren’t high enough to justify putting them alongside some of those better-performed horses above them, but both are now in the zone where they are close enough to get a penalty with one more good win,” RQL handicapper Nathan Bourke said of the decision not to penalise either Mental or Pampelonne.
Pampelonne has now won the same Gosford – Scone Guineas double as Sincero did last year on way to their victory in the Stradbroke Handicap, something Bourke took into account.
“As impressive as he was, the race just didn’t have the depth to justify it,” Bourke said.
“The second horse (Flying Fuji) was a 58 rater and even though (third-placed) Colorado Claire is a Group 2 winner.
“I couldn’t penalise him for beating that lot.
“His form is identical to Sincero and we didn’t penalise him either.”
Martin will give the youngster a chance to earn a Stradbroke Handicap ballot exemption this Saturday in the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) where they will face off against BTC Cup winner and fellow Straddie hopeful Sea Siren.
“I cannot be happier with how things have gone since last Saturday,” Martin said.
“He did cut his head when he arrived and it needed a stitch but it’s not a problem.
“I won’t do much with him between now and Saturday, just a trot and canter, he’s ready to go.
“He’ll be running on Saturday.”
The John O’Shea-trained Sea Siren meanwhile is guaranteed a start in the Stradbroke Handicap field, which has a capacity 18 starters plus five emergencies, as she earned a ballot free ride into the event for her BTC Cup victory.
She is currently three kilos under weight-for-age with 52.5kg but if she wins the Doomben 10,000 is likely to be penalised.
Currently the only horse to cop a Stradbroke weight penalty is the Joe Pride-trained Tiger Tees ($15) who received an addition 0.5kg for their narrow win in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) on Doomben Cup Day and is now on 53.5kg, still 5.5kg under weight-for-age.
The weight increase has pushed Tiger Tees to 15th on the order of entry assuring them of a run.
Other early fancies in the Stradbroke Handicap odds that sit inside the top 20 on the latest order of entry include the Peter Moody-trained Mid Summer Music ($14, 13th) last seen running second in the Prime Minister’s Cup on the Gold Coast, and Mark Kavanagh’s The Goodwood runner-up We’re Gonna Rock ($16, 19th)
Meanwhile horses that are right on the verge of a spot in the starting line-up include $12 third favourite Wealth Princess (22nd) who won the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday, and Brett Partelle’s $15 chance Torio’s Quest (27th) who hails from Wyong where last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Sincero is also from.
See below for the latest 2012 Stradbroke Handicap ballot order and weights.
Stradbroke Handicap first acceptances will be taken on Wednesday May 30 followed by the release of the Stradbroke Handicap 2012 final field on Wednesday June 6.
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2012 Stradbroke Handicap Ballot & Weights
Updated 21/05/2012 – To run at Eagle Farm on 09/06/2012
|Ballot Order||Horse Name||Ballot Allowance||Weight||Penalty||WFA (kg)||Prizemoney Since 30 April 2011|
|1#||Master of Design||–||55.5||–||-3.5||$812,700|
|4||Albert the Fat||–||58||–||-1||$726,250|
|8||Temple of Boom||–||56||–||-3||$511,250|
|13||Mid Summer Music||2||52.5||–||-4.5||$491,650|
|16||Centennial Park (NZ)||–||54.5||–||-4.5||$55,500|
|17||Tiger Tees (NZ)||–||53.5||0.5||-5.5||$299,950|
|19||We’re Gonna Rock||–||53.5||–||-5.5||$184,550|
|22||Wealth Princess (NZ)||1.5||52||–||-5.5||$119,600|
|25||Spirit of Boom||–||53||–||-6||$401,250|
|28||Star of Octagonal||–||53||–||-6||$209,000|
|38||Under the Eiffel||–||52.5||–||-6.5||$227,313|
|39||Shadows in the Sun||–||52.5||–||-6.5||$223,000|
|41||Jetset Lad (NZ)||–||52.5||–||-6.5||$75,026|
|50||Carry Me Bluey||–||52||–||-7||$205,700|
|57||Riva de Lago||–||52||–||-7||$173,330|
|63||Next the Universe||–||52||–||-7||$157,480|
|65||Alberton Park (NZ)||–||52||–||-7||$147,950|
|66||Ever the Same||–||50.5||–||-7||$134,650|
|71||Skating On Ice||–||52||–||-7||$123,200|
|73||Boys On Tour||–||50.5||–||-7||$118,750|
|76||Durham Town (NZ)||–||52||–||-7||$105,559|
|79||Under the Sun (NZ)||–||50.5||–||-7||$100,837|
|89||Hour of Peril||–||52||–||-7||$64,500|
|90||State of Wealth||–||50.5||–||-7||$63,750|
|107||Flight of Pegasus||–||50.5||–||-7||$23,100|
|109||Show a Prince||–||50.5||–||-7||$10,000|