Stradbroke Handicap 2013 Field Takes Shape

Following the Queensland Oaks Day race results from the weekend the final field for this Saturday’s major, the iconic 2013 Stradbroke Handicap, is beginning to take shape.

Belltone

Belltone (pictured) is now assured of a Stradbroke Handicap 2013 start along with stablemate Sizzling. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Local horseman Kelso Wood won’t only be happy with the fact his smart colt Sizzling ran the ideal lead-up with their Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) victory, but that his other hopeful Belltone has also now secured a start.

Brahms seven-year-old Belltone was on the edge of a start in the capacity 18-horse field for the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), one of three Group 1 showdowns at Eagle Farm Racecourse this weekend, sitting 18th on the Stradbroke Handicap order of entry.

With two races on Oaks Day offering a Stradbroke ballot exemption to the winner however there was a chance that Belltone could be pushed out of contention for their Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival grand final.

However the Queensland Guineas victory by their stablemate Sizzling, now $6 co second fancy in the Stradbroke Handicap odds, didn’t change the ballot as they were already inside the top 18.

The other ballot exemption race was then the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) won by Galah who isn’t a Stradbroke entry, the Peter Snowden-trained Redoute’s Choice four-year-old to be kept for other minor races.

Snowden however is already very well represented in this year’s Stradbroke preparing the current $5 favourite Epaulette who was last seen winning the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) by an easy two lengths on May 25.

Belltone then remains on the 18th line in the ballot.

It is also likely that with the defending Stradbroke Handicap winner Pear Tart (16th) to be retired the horse that is 19th on the ballot, the Noel Mayfield-Smith-trained Famous Seamus.

A $51 outside in the betting, Elusive City gelding Famous Seamus won back-to-back Listed features in Queensland earlier this season including the Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) on the Gold Coast but were found out in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 18 when 12th to Belltone, albeit beaten only four lengths.

Other horses meanwhile sitting just outside an assured spot on the Stradbroke ballot that will be waiting with fingers crossed for another non-acceptor inside that top 18 then include the Anthony Cummings-trained Fontelina (20th) and Snowden’s other hopeful Academus (21st).

Fontelina is currently rated a $19 chance for the race, the Testa Rossa four-year-olds’ last run being a Scone win in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) on May 18.

Cummings will also be represented in the Stradbroke Handicap field this year by $6 fancy Your Song.

The Fastnet Rock colt was former favourite in the futures markets after their emphatic first-up victory in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) in the mud by five lengths on May 11.

They eased out in the markets however after running four lengths away sixth to Epaulette in the Doomben 10,000.

Lonhro three-year-old Academus, first-up winner of the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m), meanwhile missed out on the ballot exemption over the weekend when two lengths away fourth in the Guineas but Snowden is hoping they can sneak in.

“I think Academus would be a great chance in the Stradbroke dropping to 52kg,” Snowden said.

Connections of Hot Snitzel ($61) have also confirmed they will be paying the Stradbroke final acceptance this week despite their seventh in the QTC Cup, the Snitzel four-year-old beaten under a length but assured of a run sitting 14th on the ballot.

“At this stage we will be paying up for him,” their trainer Gerald Ryan said on Sunday.

See below for the latest 2013 Stradbroke Handicap ballot and entries.

Final acceptances for the classic are to be taken on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.

Now is the time however to lock in the generous pre-field odds on your favourites so visit bookmaker.com.au now and Place Your Bets!

2013 Stradbroke Handicap Ballot

# Horse Trainer Ballot Weight
1 BUFFERING Robert Heathcote 3 58kg
2 EPAULETTE Peter Snowden 1 56kg
3 SOLZHENITSYN (NZ) Robert Heathcote 5 56kg
4 DECISION TIME Clarry Conners 10 54.5kg
5 LINTON John Sadler 9 54.5kg
6 MY QUEST FOR PEACE (IRE) Peter G Moody 7 54.5kg
7 STREAMA Guy Walter 4 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
12 BELLTONE Kelso Wood 18 53.5kg
13 FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ) Noel Mayfield-Smith 19 53.5kg
14 FONTELINA Anthony Cummings 20 53.5kg
15 YOSEI Stuart Webb 6 53.5kg
16 BETTER THAN READY Kelly Schweida 11 52.5kg
17 CONSERVATORIUM Gary Kennewell 24 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
22 ARINOSA Chris Waller 17 52kg
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
27 MAHISARA Paul Messara 27 52kg
28 MISS STELLABELLE Gai Waterhouse 31 52kg
29 PEAR TART John P Thompson 16 52kg
30 SHE’S CLEAN Chris Waller 26 52kg
31 SIZZLING Kelso Wood 15 52kg
32 SMOKIN’ JOEY Mick Price 38 52kg
33 ACADEMUS Peter Snowden 21 51.5kg
34 AL ANEED Mick Price 33 50.5kg
35 BOBAN Chris Waller 32 50.5kg
36 COMPLICATE Peter Snowden 30 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 Gai Waterhouse 29 50.5kg