The countdown to 2012 Stradbroke Handicap Day is finally over, with the Brisbane public set to flock to Eagle Farm on Saturday for what is the pinnacle of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Highlighting the eight-race program is of course the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap which will see favourite Sea Siren attempt to complete the Brisbane sprint treble after winning the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000.
All the talk in the two-year-old feature, the TJ Smith, has been about exciting colt Sizzling who will start as odds-on favourite as he attempts to score a fourth consecutive victory.
Other highlights across the day include the Group 1 Queensland Derby for three-year-olds as well as the Group 2 Brisbane Cup that will see quality stayers Mawingo and Lights Of Heaven go head to head.
Race 1 – 12:00pm Lancaster Stakes (1200m)
#13 Sookie $6.50 from #2 Tinszelda and #1 Hoss Amor
Sookie is stepping up in class but absolutely brained them last start when winning by six lengths at Eagle Farm. She has a tough draw with a wide barrier but if she can find a run will come home quickly.
Tinszelda has been in sensational form on country tracks and remains unbeaten from three starts while Hoss Amor has been consistent this Brisbane Carnival with consecutive place finishes.
Race 2 – 12:35pm Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m)
#4 Solzhenitsyn $2.60 from #2 Firebolt and #7 St Germaine
The favourite here has been in sensational form this preparation and he simply looks too good again . He has produced convincing victories in his last two starts and there is no reason why the run shouldn’t continue this weekend.
Firebolt has not won in a long time but every race this preparation suggests he is building to a victory shortly. Finished second to Solzhenitsyn last start when everything went Solzhenitsyn’s way so expect him to challenge strongly here.
New Zealand mare St Germaine is another who seems to be heading towards better things shortly after running fourth in the Lord Mayor’s Cup and then third last week in the Spear Chief Handicap. Drawn well here in barrier six and a chance to upset the favourites.
Race 3 – 1:10pm Security Daybreak Lover (1600m)
#2 Mental $1.65 from #9 Volkhere and #3 Biggles
It seems all Mental has to do is show up to the track and he wins here. The Peter Snowden-trained gelding is a class above his rivals and if not for a heavy track last start would’ve won the Queensland Guineas and be starting in the Stradbroke this weekend.
Robert Heathcote-trained Volkhere steps up here but produced an excellent effort to win last start while Biggles has won at Eagle Farm before.
Race 4 – 1:45pm Lightning Handicap (1000m)
#2 Adebisi $7.50 from #6 Seek And Find and #5 Excellantes
Adebisi has not placed in his last three starts but the Desleigh Forster-trained four-year-old drops back in class after the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000. Watch for him to set the early pace and provided he still has fuel in the tank following a long preparation he should be good enough to hang on at an ideal distance.
Seek And Find has not missed a place in his last five starts and he is drawn well in barrier six for another run here. Excellantes has won his past two starts and should again produce a good performance but the 1000 metres might be a touch short of ideal.
Race 5 – 2:20pm The TJ Smith (1600m)
#1 Sizzling bookmaker.com.au from #8 Boban and #4 Dances On Stars
Read our comprehensive TJ Smith tips article to discover why Sizzling will be too strong in the TJ Smith and record a fourth consecutive victory.
Race 6 – 3:00pm Queensland Derby (2400m)
#4 Vatuvei $4.60 from #2 Brambles and #18 Poste Restante
The Races.com.au team believe it will be a Moody one-two double in the Queensland Derby, read our Queensland Derby tipping guide to find out why!
Race 7 – 3:40pm Stradbroke Handicap (1400m)
#1 Buffering $7.50 from #6 Sea Siren and #16 Varenna Miss
We are tipping Buffering to step up and record a first ever Group 1 victory. Read our Stradbroke Handicap preview and tips to discover the reasons for putting our Stradbroke hopes in the Queensland sprinter.
Race 8 – 4:20pm Brisbane Cup (2400m)
#2 Mawingo $3.40 from #3 Lights Of Heaven and #8 Dance With Her
To find out why we think the German import Mawingo will just edge Lights Of Heaven, be sure to check out our Brisbane Cup tips article.
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