Today the first acceptances for a number of the final Group 1 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival features were taken with the hopefuls heading towards the state’s richest race, the $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), cut from 137 to just 40.
The headline race of the winter, the 2013 Stradbroke Handicap is due to light up Eagle Farm on June 8 and which gallopers will be in Saturday week’s final field is becoming clearer.
The number one rated horse in the Stradbroke Handicap first acceptances and ballot is the Peter Snowden-trained dual Group 1 winner Epaulette.
Current favourite in the Stradbroke Handicap betting markets, the Golden Rose winning Commands colt enjoyed a big two length win in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) last Saturday.
It was an impressive effort and they are well fancied to score again in the Straddie despite their 56kg allocation.
Snowden has also accepted for Gold Coast Guineas winner Academus and another son of Commands Complicate who are due to face off in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) this Saturday seeking that Straddie ballot exemption on offer to the winner.
Other Stradbroke first acceptors in the Queensland Guineas field on the weekend include the Kelso Wood-trained Sizzling, Mick Price’s Al Aneed, Fred Best Classic runner-up Boban, Ferment and Reflectance.
Along with Saturday’s Queensland Guineas the other Queensland Oaks Day race offering a ballot free ride into the Straddie seven days later is then the $175,000 Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) where nine of the 17 final acceptors are still in the mix for the Group 1.
Some of the more notable QTC Cup hopes bound for the Stradbroke are BRC Sprint runner-up Mahisara, the Clarry Conners-trained Decision Time, Gerald Ryan’s Sebring Stakes winner Hot Snitzel and the Group 1 The Goodwood second placegetter Conservatorium.
Along with Epaulette, the other major players in the Stradbroke Handicap odds have also all accepted including Kelly Schweida’s BTC Cup runner-up Better Than Ready, one time favourite Your Song, Chris Waller’s class mare Arinosa, and the local Rob Heathcote-trained duo of Buffering who was second to Mid Summer Music in the race last year and last start Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup winner Solzhenitsyn.
Notable non-acceptors meanwhile that have dropped out of Stradbroke Handicap contention include Manawanui, Rain Affair, Tattersalls Tiara-bound Skyerush, Moment Of Change and the ill-fated Rangirangdoo.
The 2013 Stradbroke Handicap final field will be released Wednesday next week and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2013 Stradbroke Handicap First Declarations & Ballot
Eagle Farm Racecourse – 08/06/2013
|3||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||5||56kg|
|4||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||10||54.5kg|
|6||MY QUEST FOR PEACE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||7||54.5kg|
|8||HAPPY ZERO||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||13||54kg|
|9||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||14||54kg|
|10||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||12||54kg|
|11||YOUR SONG||Anthony Cummings||2||54kg|
|13||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||19||53.5kg|
|16||BETTER THAN READY||Kelly Schweida||11||52.5kg|
|18||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||25||52.5kg|
|19||RIVA DE LAGO||Chris Waller||22||52.5kg|
|20||SPIRIT SONG||Kelso Wood||8||52.5kg|
|21||STARTSMEUP||John, Daniel & Christopher Meagher||23||52.5kg|
|23||CELTIC DANCER||Noel J Doyle||28||52kg|
|24||JETSET LAD (NZ)||John Wheeler||35||52kg|
|25||LATIN NEWS||Bryan Dais||39||52kg|
|26||LISTEN SON||Tony Gollan||40||52kg|
|28||MISS STELLABELLE||Gai Waterhouse||31||52kg|
|29||PEAR TART||John P Thompson||16||52kg|
|30||SHE’S CLEAN||Chris Waller||26||52kg|
|32||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Mick Price||38||52kg|
|34||AL ANEED||Mick Price||33||50.5kg|
|37||FERMENT||John P Thompson||34||50.5kg|
|38||PERON||John P Thompson||37||50.5kg|
|39||REFLECTANCE||John P Thompson||36||50.5kg|
|40||SOOKIE||John P Thompson||29||50.5kg|