The wait is finally over, the biggest day of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival is upon us which is of course highlighted by the 2012 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
Run over 1400 metres, the prized event of the Winter Carnival will see 18 quality sprinters line up to compete for a share in $1 million in prize money.
Heading the bookmaker.com.au market is talented filly Sea Siren ($4.60), who is attempting to complete the third leg of the Brisbane sprint treble after taking out the Group 1 BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000.
The John O’Shea-trained sprinter would have to achieve a weight-carrying record as the first filly to win the Stradbroke Handicap carrying 55kg.
Occupying the second line of betting is Queensland star Buffering ($7.50) who will be out to break his elite level duck after placing in a number of Group 1 events.
But the Robert Heathcote-trained gelding has plenty up against him including the top weight of 58kg and a shocking barrier 18 draw.
Just behind Buffering is talented mare Wealth Princess and Joe Pride-trained gelding Tiger Tees who are both being offered at $8.00.
Other horses set to line up include Brett Partelle-trained Torio’s Quest ($10.00), Galaxy winner Temple Of Boom ($17.00) and half brother Spirit Of Boom ($18.00).
Not sure who to back in this tough handicap event? Don’t worry, the Races.com.au team have done the hard work for you and are to bring you our best selections.
#1 Buffering $7.50
There is no doubt there is a query about the 58kg and another query about the wide barrier but the fact is Buffering is the best horse in the race.
A large deal of responsibility lies with jockey Hugh Bowman to get him into a position where he can win the race but this is the third best sprinter in the country and he has proven he can perform in a high pressure environment.
The four-year-old was tremendous last start against Sea Siren in the Doomben 10,000 and had he not gone into the race underdone he probably would’ve won.
He comes into the Stradbroke at peak fitness and he will show why he is widely regarded as the nation’s third best sprinter behind Black Caviar and Hay List.
Tipping a repeat of the Doomben 10,000 finish only with a reversed result.
Sea Siren has been ultra-impressive this carnival and her and Buffering are a class above their rivals.
She will be coming home hard at Buffering but with the Queensland star back to full fitness he should be able to hang on against Sea Siren who may struggle to carry the 55kg.
Varenna Miss is somewhat of a forgotten horse in the lead-up to the Stradbroke but she gets in at a light weight (53kg) and will fly home.
She has a good record at the track after winning last year’s QTC Cup and is fresh off a fourth-place effort in the BTC Cup.
#12 Celtic Dancer $41.00
Forced his way into the Stradbroke field after an excellent win in the QTC Cup and if the track stays in the slow range or worse he is a massive danger to the favourites.
The Noel Doyle-trained gelding likes to get out of the gates quickly and showed last start he has the toughness to hang on at the back end of the race.
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