Rob Heathcote’s always honest sprint star Buffering heads the early markets for next month’s 2013 Stradbroke Handicap, the Mossman five-year-old after that elusive Group 1 win this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
To date Buffering has contested 13 Group 1 races around Australia producing seven minor placings but no wins as yet.
Heathcote is confident that can change this season after the gelding enjoyed a blistering 3.5 length win in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on April 27.
They will next contest the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm this Saturday taking on Sydney sprinter Rain Affair in a race they missed due to injury 12 months ago.
From there Buffering will take all the usual stepping stones to their grand final with the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 25 heading into the $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) back at Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 8.
Buffering has contested the past two Stradbrokes finishing fourth to Sincero in 2011 before their second behind Peter Moody’s upset winner Mid Summer Music last winter on the back of his second to Sea Siren in the Doomben 10,000.
Our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au opened their pre-field Stradbroke Handicap odds this week and it is Buffering sitting top of the markets at $6.50, a price that is sure to firm if they break their Group 1 duck in the BTC Cup this Saturday.
Following Buffering in the latest Stradbroke Handicap betting are then two other single figure fancies with the Peter Snowden-trained Golden Rose winner Epaulette ($7.50) and Peter Moody’s Barley A Moment four-year-old Moment Of Change ($9).
Commands colt Epaulette was third to the now retired All Too Hard in last year’s Caulfield Guineas coming back this season with a nice first-up third behind superstar mare Black Caviar in the TJ Smith Stakes in Sydney.
They were last seen running a disappointing sixth to All Too hard in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 27, an effort they will be out to improve on when they hit the sunshine state.
Moment Of Change meanwhile is also a Group 1 winner having taken out the Sir Rupert Clarke stakes in Melbourne last September, and they also resumed this time in with a Group 1 second to Black Caviar when runner-up to his then stablemate in the Lightning Stakes down the Flemington 1000m.
The talented gelding was also a close second to Shamexpress in the Newmarket Handicap on March 9 before something went amiss in the Canterbury Stakes next start, Moment Of Change finishing dead last behind Pierro.
Just in double figures for the Straddie are then Kelly Schweida’s locally-trained More Than Ready colt Better Than Ready ($13) who became a triple stakes winner on April 20 winning the Listed Mick Dittman Plate (1000m) at Eagle Farm, and fellow Brisbane galloper Sizzling ($14).
The Kelso Wood-trained Snitzel colt Sizzling has an outstanding record with six wins and four minor placings from 14 starts, the bulk of which have been at home including their undefeated winter prep last year that finished with the Group 1 TJ Smith over the Eagle Farm mile.
Sizzling resumed last Saturday at the Gold Coast but had a horror run to finish a luckless fifth to Academus in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) with plenty of improvement to come.
Other notable hopes looking to improve their position in the markets between now and Stradbroke Handicap Day include the four $15 chances with Chris Waller’s flying grey mare Arinosa ($14) who has won her past tow Group starts in Sydney, BTC Cup second favourite Rain Affair ($15) last seen finishing second in the All Aged Stakes, Buffering’s lesser fancied stablemate Solzhenitsyn ($15) and the now Moody-trained Strawberry Boy ($15) who won their debut for their new trainer at Flemington over the weekend.
Also under $20 in the current odds are John O’Shea’s reigning BTC Cup – Doomben 10,000 double winner Sea Siren ($15) who was ninth in last year’s Stradbroke and who is still looking to regain form after a tough overseas run last December in Hong Kong, and Snowden’s Gold Coast Guineas winner Academus ($18).
Full 2013 Stradbroke Handicap odds can be accessed now at bookmaker.com.au where you can also Pick Your Own Odds on all the majors once final fields are released!
2013 Stradbroke Handicap Odds
Eagle Farm Racecourse – 08/06/2013
|MOMENT OF CHANGE||9.00|
|BETTER THAN READY||13.00|
|STEPS IN TIME||21.00|
|NO LOOKING BACK||26.00|
*Odds are All-In, Fixed Win, Top 22 only and subject to change @ bookmaker.com.au