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A rank outsider to figure in the 2014 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 7th, trainer Chris Waller has revealed he would seriously consider backing-up well-trialled gelding Masthead in Brisbane’s headline race if successful in this weekend’s Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm.
Currently featured in position 27 on the order of entry for the Stradbroke Handicap, Masthead would likely have to win the QTC Cup to ensure a spot in the final field and gain the ballot-free entry offered alongside the $175,000 prize pool.
Having also been included in nominations for the Octagonal Handicap in Sydney on Saturday, Waller said Brisbane is a far-better option for the Written Tycoon gelding this weekend.
“It is not the reason that he is running in the race, he is running in the race to win some good prizemoney, but if he did win it would be something that we would discuss,” Waller told Racing Ahead.
“We thought about it prior to accepting with him on Wednesday, about running in the Stradbroke, and we thought that he is probably not quite good enough to win and not the right horse to be backing up within a week, but we decided that we would send him there anyway to see how we go.
“Both of his runs since being back from Singapore have been pretty good and hopefully he can peak tomorrow,” Waller said.
“It is the right race for him, he has drawn ok and Glen Boss is on board with a nice light weight.”
Claiming a total of four wins and 14 places from 24 competitive race starts to date, Masthead began his racing career under the care of champion trainer Lee Freedman in 2010, and has since passed through the stables of Anthony Freedman and completed a tenure in Singapore with Michael Freedman prior to arriving at Waller’s Rosehill stables at the conclusion of 2013.
Finishing third in the Hawkesbury Rush Quality (1100m) first-up and third in the Listed Star Stakes (1300m) last time out, Masthead is yet to appear in early betting markets for the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap, but is currently offered as outright second-favourite for success in the QTC Cup at even $6 odds.
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