Robert Heathcote-trained gelding Solzhenitsyn headlines a 16-horse nominations list for this weekend’s 2012 Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
The St Petersburg five-year-old has recorded dominant victories in his two starts to date at the Brisbane Winter Carnival including tasting Group level success for the first time.
He began his campaign with a dominant two-length victory in the Easy Pools Plate before taking out the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup at Doomben in front of a quality field that included regular Group 1 starter Ginga Dude.
Guy Walter-trained mare Skyerush struggled when eighth in the Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill last start but impressed earlier this year when winning the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes.
The Emancipation Stakes win came over the Strawberry Road Handicap length of 1600 metres which is one of eight victories from 34 career starts for the mare.
John Sargent-trained mare St Germaine has had two promising lead-up runs since arriving from New Zealand for the winter carnival and could soon be ready to take top honours.
The Keeper five-year-old ran fourth first-up in the Lord Mayor’s Cup and showed her versatility by performing in the wet to finish third in last weekend’s Listed Spear Chief Quality.
New Zealand-bred gelding Firebolt is another with promising lead-up form after impressing in his last three starts.
The Chris Waller-trained six-year-old finished fourth in the Listed JRA Plate to Western Symbol before placing in both the Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill and the Doomben event of the same name.
Other nominated for the Strawberry Road Handicap include veteran last-start winner Pepperwood, New Zealand three-year-old Dollario and John Thompson-trained pair They Won’t Last and Hour Of Peril.
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Strawberry Road Handicap 2012 – Nominations
|1||ABSENT FRIENDS||Lawrie Mayfield-Smith||84|
|2||DARTH||Helen Van Hoeyen||67|
|3||DOLLARIO (NZ)||John Sargent||78|
|4||FEMINA FASHION||Trevor Whittington||92|
|5||FIREBOLT (NZ)||Chris Waller||98|
|6||HOUR OF PERIL||John P Thompson||82|
|10||SHANGHAI BUND (NZ)||John Sargent||80|
|12||SNOW ALERT||Chris Waller||–|
|13||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||97|
|14||ST GERMAINE (NZ)||John Sargent||92|
|15||THEY WON’T LAST||John P Thompson||82|