It’s Queensland racing’s biggest day of the year and 2013 Stradbroke Handicap day is certainly highly anticipated.
With $1 million going to the winner in the day’s feature sprint, the race has attracted a star-studded line up but it’s not the only highlight on the program.
The Queensland Derby presents an intriguing group of three-year-olds and the JJ Atkins is the major juvenile race of the winter.
While Stradbroke day is always the most anticipated of the winter carnival, it is traditionally the toughest for punters.
With big, even fields across the program doing the form hasn’t been easy but plenty of winning chances means there is value to be found.
Race 1 – Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m)
#7 Missy Longstocking ($3.30)
#9 Hallside Rose
#8 Vienna Queen
Dropping back to 1200m in easier grade, Missy Longstocking can return to the winner’s circle here. One of the best juvenile sprinters in the state and has top jockey Damian Browne to do the steering.
Race 2 – Listed Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m)
#12 Someday ($4)
Someday battled gamely for fifth from a wide draw last start and will get a better time of it here from barrier eight. The stable has the best strike rate in the country and Kelso Wood always has them firing at carnival time. Really promising horse.
Race 3 – Listed Daybreak Lover (1600m)
#3 Limes ($9)
#12 Saint Or Sinner
Academus is a $2.70 favourite but at the price am happy to go with Darley’s second runner. Limes has always shown promise but has really hit his straps since being gelded and was a strong winner in the Hawkesbury Guineas last start.
Race 4 – Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m)
#3 Satin Shoes ($7.50)
#13 Diamond Earth
#2 River Lad
Satin Shoes is an out-and-out short-course specialist and gets that here. Coming off a strong win in the Ortensia Stakes at Scone. Think the Scone Carnival form is good and taking Diamond Earth for second after a one-length win in the Denise’s Joy Stakes.
Race 5 – Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m)
#12 Fire Up Fifi ($5.50)
#6 Miss Stellabelle
#1 Red Tracer
Fire Up Fifi is backing up just one week after a strong win at Listed level last week and can produce again here. One of the most consistent horses in Robert Heathcote’s stable, she’ll be hitting the line hard on her home track.
Race 6 – Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m)
#3 Vilanova ($5.50)
#2 Sir Moments
Keen on Vilanova to capitalise on two strong lead-ups as he steps up to the mile. For more detail on why I like the Chris Waller-trained colt, see JJ Atkins tips.
Race 7 – Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m)
#14 Ali Vital ($34)
At the big price, happy to take an each-way punt on Ali Vital in the Derby. Rises in class considerably but is on an upwards spiral, handles all conditions and will run a strong 2400m. Big win in the Brisbane mid-weeks last start.
Race 8 – Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m)
#8 Your Song ($4.80)
Had to take a three-year-old given how well they have been going this year and have settled on BTC Cup winner Your Song. Respectfully opposing my colleague in these Stradbroke Handicap tips who is keen on Better Than Ready. Has the best draw of all the three-year-olds in this race and with Robl back on I expect him to be ridden quieter than the frantic way he went out in the Doomben 10,000.
Race 9 – Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m)
#4 Quintessential ($6)
#1 Voila Ici
#17 Less Is More
The 57.5kg is a big weight for a mare in this race but 2400m at Eagle Farm looks perfect for Quintessential. In terrific form and can repeat the effort of last year’s Brisbane Cup winner Lights Of Heaven by backing up a week after winning the Eagle Farm Cup. Plus, her trainer has a killer moustache as discussed in these Brisbane Cup tips.
No matter who you are backing on Stradbroke day, make the most of your betting at bookmaker.com.au who have great odds on all the Queensland carnival action!
Home of the $500 bonus bet, the Australian-owned bookie also have a special Stradbroke Handicap promotion where they will refund your stake up to $100 if your horse runs second or third to a Queensland-trained runner!