Linton Could be Surprise 2013 Stradbroke Handicap Starter

John Sadler-trained gelding Linton could be aimed at the Group 1 2013 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in June after an impressive win at Morphetville on Saturday.

Linton could head to the Stradbroke Handicap after an impressive win at Morphettville. Photo: Jenny Barnes.

The six-year-old finished strongly to claim the Listed Holdfast Insurance Handicap, leaving Sadler hopeful he can rediscover the form that made him a Group 1 performer in previous preparations.

Linton hasn’t shown his best recently but in the 2011 autumn was second in the Australian Cup and third in the BMW.

“We all know he is a Group 2 winner at 2500m. He is capable of running that journey, but he is a good, smart galloper,” Sadler told TVN.

“I just think in a short race that would be a pressure race like the Stradbroke that he would be finding the line hard.”

Linton’s next outing is likely to be in the Group 3 2013 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphetville.

Sadler believes the key to the Galileo grey pushing on to bigger things is keeping him fresh.

“I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel with him but it suits the horse to be kept fresh,” he said.

With an increased prize of $1 million up for grabs for the Stradbroke winner this year, Queensland’s richest race is expected to receive strong entries.

Also pressing claims for a Stradbroke campaign on Saturday was Better Than Ready who comfortably won the Listed Mick Dittman Plate at Eagle Farm.

The More Than Ready colt showed his potential to be a Group 1 contender when fifth in the Newmarket Handicap in March.

“Let’s be honest, he has to lift a bit to be winning a race like the Stradbroke, but he got the job done and in the end it was pretty soft,” trainer Kelly Schweida said.

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