Solzhenitsyn Heads 2012 Strawberry Road Handicap Field

In-form Robert Heathcote-trained gelding Solzhenitsyn heads a 12-horse field for Saturday’s Listed $80,000 2012 Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm.


Solzhenitsyn is likely to start as favourite in the Strawberry Handicap field

The St Petersburg five-year-old had drawn barrier nine for what will be an attempt at a third consecutive victory.

Michael Rodd will again be in the saddle after piloting him to an impressive one-length victory in the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup at Doomben.

The New Zealand-bred horse will carry 57kg which is two kilograms less than topweight Skyerush who will be ridden by Glen Boss from barrier 11.

Skyerush struggled last start when eighth in the Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill but prior to that was particularly impressive when winning the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes.

New Zealand mare St Germaine has a chance to build on two promising lead-up runs after drawing favourably in barrier five.

The John Sargent-trained horse finished fourth in the Lord Mayor’s Cup first-up at Doomben before running third in the Spear Chief Quality in tough conditions last weekend.

Also backing up just seven days after racing is Spear Chief Quality winner Pepperwood who produced a tremendous return to form after finishing in the back half of the field in four previous starts.

The Liam Birchley-trained seven-year-old has nine wins from 52 career starts and has collected more than $870,000 in prize money.

Also set to line up in Saturday’s Strawberry Road Handicap are Chris Waller-trained Lord Mayor’s Cup runner-up Firebolt and fellow Waller horse Snow Alert.

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Strawberry Road Handicap 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 3143X00218 SKYERUSH Guy Walter Glen Boss 11 59kg 105
2 0X3X700432 FIREBOLT (NZ) Chris Waller Hugh Bowman 2 57.5kg 98
3 64X8X60307 SNOW ALERT Chris Waller Damien Oliver 4 57kg 97
4 111X8X3211 SOLZHENITSYN (NZ) Robert Heathcote Michael Rodd 9 57kg 97
5 0700X00981 PEPPERWOOD Liam Birchley Larry Cassidy 12 56.5kg 96
6 43126X46X0 VESPER Michael Jacobs Lyle Finlay 5 56kg 95
7 529X69X743 ST GERMAINE (NZ) John Sargent Michael Walker 6 54kg 92
8 500944X059 ABSENT FRIENDS Lawrie Mayfield-Smith TBA 10 54kg 84
9 0X33120X07 PLAYACTION David Peoples Jason Taylor 8 54kg 83
10 86200X3X10 HOUR OF PERIL John P Thompson Chris Munce 3 54kg 82
11 3340382X36 THEY WON’T LAST John P Thompson Jeff Lloyd 7 54kg 82
12 X422176180 DARTH Helen Van Hoeyen TBA 1 54kg 67