Improving five-year-old Henwood is being considered for a shot at the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s Stradbroke Handicap 2014 next month although it would be a notable class rise for the Victorian galloper.
Trainer John Sadler was forced to look at a possible trip to sunny Queensland for the state’s richest prize, the $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), with Henwood after their win last weekend at home.
The Savabeel gelding caught the eye with a gutsy one length victory in a 1400m handicap at Flemington last Saturday, overcome barrier 12 of 14 with Glen Boss in the saddle.
It was the up-and-coming sprinter’s sixth career win at start number 19, and one that promised better things to come.
Whether they’re good enough for a Stradbroke Handicap campaign however is still questionable according to Sadler who won the race 12 months ago in an upset with 25-1 chance Linton.
“The chances are he’s probably not good enough for a Stradbroke and may not have done enough to get a run but we’re discussing it,” Sadler told AAP.
He’s hoping he’s wrong however and that the galloper proves better than their trainer’s current opinions, but there is a back-up plan.
If not a trip to Brisbane then Henwood will stay in Melbourne for the Winter Championship Series.
“If he doesn’t go to Queensland he’ll be set for the Winter Championship,” Sadler confirmed.
The bookies don’t rate Henwood any kind of chance in the Brissy Group 1 meanwhile with Henwood paying $101 in the latest Stradbroke Handicap odds.
Those markets are led by the Gary Portelli-trained Sydneysider Rebel Dane ($6) who has their lead-up in the Doomben 10,000 Saturday week, Tony Gollan’s BTC Cup runner-up Spirit Of Boom ($6.50) and beaten BTC Cup favouirte Buffering ($7) who was run down for third.
The next round of 2014 Stradbroke Handicap acceptances close on May 28 followed by the final field out on June 4.
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