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.
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.
When markets open for the Strawberry Road Handicap tomorrow, give yourself access to the best odds by signing up at bookmaker.com.au.
New to bookmaker.com.au? Quote the code BONUSBET when signing up today to take advantage of their amazing $300 bonus bet offer.
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|