In a gutsy and surprising 2013 Stradbroke Handicap result at Eagle Farm Racecourse gallant grey galloper Linton charged home from last to first to run down local champion Buffering denying the Group 1 bridesmaid yet another elite level trophy.
Going too early in the $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) the Rob Heathcote-trained Buffering had the crowd cheering as jockey Damien Browne tried to get them across for their first Group 1 win at attempt number 16 in an all-the-way effort.
It wasn’t to be however with the Mossman five-year-old finishing second again in Queensland’s richest race having also been the Stradbroke Handicap runner-up last year to Mid Summer Music.
“Full credit to this horse he was tenacious and under 58 (kilos) he tried his hear out,” a disappointed Browne said after losing the Stradbroke.
While it was a heart breaking result for Buffering’s connections those in camp Linton were overwhelmed with how well the John Sadler-trained Galileo six-year-old did to take out the one million dollar first prize in the Stradbroke after being about 10 lengths off them approaching the turn.
The form on Linton, who jumped a $26 shot, was actually quite good too as they came off back-to-back Adelaide wins most recently in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) in early May.
Linton also trialed sensationally a couple of weeks back at Flemington when second to the overseas-bound Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress.
“He trialed the other day with Shamexpress down the straight and I tweeted it out to show people the trial,” Tory Corstens from Malua Racing said after the Stradbroke victory.
“The lead was there but not sure if anyone saw it.”
It was that nice form plus the addition of blinkers today that aided Linton in their brave Stradbroke journey which saw them travel from near last up on the inside gap all the way to the front in a beautiful ride from Nick Hall.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had a Group 1 victory so it’s good to be back,” Hall said.
“He’s going as good as he’s ever gone.”
After weaving their way through their rivals in a flash of grey Linton eventually hit the ahead of Buffering while multiple Group 1 winning mare Streama was an eye-catching third finishing off the winning Stradbroke Handicap trifecta.
“It’s a special moment he’s such a wonderful horse,” Corstens said.
“He’s the kind of horse the public always love.
“People always ask me how Linton’s going.
“It was really, really nice to see him get a Group 1 today.
“He’s a beautiful animal, he’s kind, he’s a real favourite with the whole crew.”
Formerly prepared by Robert Hickmott who had them in ace form in 2011 when second in the Australian Cup and third in The BMW, Linton has been with new connections for around 18 months now and the big Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival victory was a huge reward for the work of Sadler who has had them on track for the Straddie for around a year.
“We’ve had him for a year and a half now and it’s been very good,” Corstens said.
“John Sadler is an absolute marvel.
“I always wanted to set this guy for an Australian Cup but John said I think he can win a Stradbroke.
“All credit goes to John…he picked this race about 12 months ago.”
Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette meanwhile was never in the race after getting away second last from a wide gate and finishing up near the back of the pack.
Linton will likely be bought back for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival this time perhaps targeting some of the shorter distance races over seven furlongs or just over as opposed to the big cups like they have in other years.
There’s still one more Group 1 meeting left for the season and then it’s looking ahead for the spring Group 1’s – futures odds for which are already open at our number one recommended bookie bookmaker.com.au.
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2013 Stradbroke Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Eagle Farm Race 8 – 08/06/2013
|1||6||LINTON||John Sadler||Nicholas Hall||–||16||54.5kg||$26|
|2||1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||0.8L||4||58kg||$6.50|
|3||4||STREAMA||Guy Walter||Glen Boss||1L||11||54.5kg||$11|
|4||9||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Cahill||1.1L||1||54kg||$13|
|5||3||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||Michael Rodd||1.9L||13||56kg||$17|
|6||11||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||2.1L||5||54kg||$31|
|7||18||SIZZLING||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||2.3L||14||52kg||$8|
|8||12||YOSEI||Stuart Webb||Ms Michelle Payne||3.1L||7||53.5kg||$31|
|9||16||SPIRIT SONG||Kelso Wood||Michael Walker||3.4L||6||52.5kg||$31|
|10||2||EPAULETTE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||3.9L||17||56kg||$6.50|
|11||15||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Jim Cassidy||4.2L||3||53.5kg||$12|
|12||10||HAPPY ZERO||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||4.4L||10||54kg||$101|
|13||14||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Glen Colless||4.9L||12||53.5kg||$61|
|14||8||YOUR SONG||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||5.3L||8||54kg||$5F|
|15||5||MY QUEST FOR PEACE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5.4L||18||54.5kg||$51|
|16||13||BELLTONE||Kelso Wood||Christian Reith||6.7L||2||53.5kg||$17|
|17||7||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||Hugh Bowman||6.9L||9||54.5kg||$21|
|18||17||BETTER THAN READY||Kelly Schweida||Craig Newitt||7.7L||15||52.5kg||$9|
|–||22e||CELTIC DANCER||Noel J Doyle||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||23e||MISS STELLABELLE||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Byrne||–||0||–||–|
|–||21e||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||Timothy Bell||–||0||–||–|
|–||19e||RIVA DE LAGO||Chris Waller||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||20e||CONSERVATORIUM||Gary Kennewell||Joe Bowditch||–||0||–||–|