The final field of acceptances for Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap 2014 has been announced with the capacity field of 18 starters plus five emergencies led by new 58kg top-weight Spirit Of Boom.
Set to run as Eagle Farm Race 8 at 3:40pm, weights for this year’s $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) were raised half a kilo after the withdrawal of original 59kg top-weight Buffering.
With ‘The Buff’ out of the Stradbroke Handicap field the task of carrying the heaviest allocation falls to fellow Brisbane galloper Spirit Of Boom, one of two in the race for young trainer Tony Gollan along with Temple Of Boom.
Sequalo six-year-old Spirit Of Boom, to be ridden by Michael Rodd, has contested the past two Stradbrokes and is out to improve on their fourth behind Linton from last year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Since then they’ve won two Group 1 races, the William Reid in Melbourne and their Doomben 10,000 last time out in front of a home crowd.
In the 10,000, a race that has produced six of the past 10 Stradbroke Handicap winners, Spirit Of Boom narrowly nudged out their half-brother Temple Of Boom.
Seven-year-old Temple Of Boom, who will race on unlike Spirit Of Boom who retires to stud after the Stradbroke, has 56kg for Saturday’s clash with apprentice Tegan Harrison in the saddle.
Following Spirit Of Boom in the Stradbroke Handicap field and weights meanwhile with 56.5kg is the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane.
The Sydney-based California Dane four-year-old was favourite in futures betting but has been occupying the second spot after their fourth in the Doomben 10,000.
It was a brave run, Rebel Dane beaten under a length, and one Portelli tips them to improve on as they get to the roomier course at Eagle Farm.
The only horse shorter than Rebel Dane in the latest Stradbroke Handicap odds meanwhile is Ciaron Maher’s in-form Dubawi filly Srikandi.
A late entry from connections after her win in the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 24, Srikandi has won all but one of her seven starts with her six most recent track appearances being successful.
The Glenlogan was her third Queensland win on the trot too and also the third time jockey Glen Boss rode her to victory.
Boss has retained the ride for her acid test on Saturday then, Srikandi dropping from 57kg last start down to just 51kg in the Stradbroke.
There are a number of other last start winners aside from Spirit Of Boom and Srikandi in the Stradbroke Handicap field this year including the Wez Hunter-trained Smokin’ Joey (55.5kg).
The Encosta De Lago six-year-old become a Group 1 winner in Adelaide back on May 10 with their The Goodwood victory, an effort they’ll be looking to repeat in Brisbane with Ben Melham retaining the ride.
Sacred Star meanwhile won their start in the Stradbroke just last Saturday when Tony Pike’s visiting Kiwi-trained four-year-old returned down under to take out the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm.
After much anticipation over which horse would make the cut as the 18th and final confirmed Stradbroke starter, the lucky galloper to scrape in was the Phillip Stokes-trained Hucklebuck (52.5kg).
A Chris Munce mount, the visiting Adelaide youngster won two on the trot in February including the Group 3 CS Hayes at Flemington and returned at Doomben on May 17 running fourth behind Havana in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m).
Fred Best Classic winner Havana meanwhile is the third emergency and will need some luck to get into the field.
Another recent Group 1 champion looking to make it a winter double in the Sunshine State meanwhile is the Noel Mayfield-Smith-trained Famous Seamus (56kg).
The Elusive City five-year-old scored a nice BTC Cup win, defeating Spirit Of Boom (2nd) and Buffering (3rd), back on May 10 but failed when ninth in the Doomben 10,000 last time out.
Also allocated 56kg for Saturday is the Chris Waller-trained Red Tracer, the Dane Shadow mare vying for her third Group 1 win.
She took out the Tattersall’s Tiara over this track and distance last year and was last seen running third in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in Sydney in late April.
Waller is also represented in the race by outside chance Velrosso who is second-up here.
See below for the full Stradbroke Handicap 2014 final field, jockeys and weights with the barriers set to be drawn live from 10:30am.
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2014 Stradbroke Handicap Final Field
Eagle Farm Race 8 (3:40pm) – 07/06/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||124×221221||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||0||58kg|
|2||x14157x254||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Tommy Berry||0||56.5kg|
|3||135×390519||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Ryan Wiggins||0||56kg|
|4||1x211x1303||RED TRACER||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||0||56kg|
|5||805×866142||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison (a)||0||56kg|
|6||0120×80361||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Ben Melham||0||55.5kg|
|7||2624x12x71||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||Damien Oliver||0||55kg|
|8||57181×8780||CONSERVATORIUM||Gary Kennewell||Joe Bowditch||0||54kg|
|9||8x111532x1||SACRED STAR||Tony Pike||Timothy Bell||0||53.5kg|
|10||30×1113325||KNOYDART||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||0||53.5kg|
|12||117x5165x5||VELROSSO||Chris Waller||Larry Cassidy||0||52.5kg|
|13||43x5111x53||EMBLEMS||John O’Shea||Chad Schofield||0||52.5kg|
|14||10×6453261||REPARATIONS||Anthony Freedman||Daniel Moor||0||52.5kg|
|15||D5x1400x00||LUCKY HUSSLER||Kent Fleming||Jason Taylor||0||52.5kg|
|16||000312466x||SCORPIO QUEEN||Kris Lees||–||0||52.5kg|
|17||1×211111||SRIKANDI||Ciaron Maher||Glen Boss||0||51kg|
|18||1312x118x4||HUCKLEBUCK||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||0||51kg|
|19e||24x755x342||MASTHEAD||Chris Waller||Chris Munce||0||52.5kg|
|20e||0x2120x520||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood||–||0||51kg|
|22e||2111×5352||BELLE DE COEUR||Luke Price||–||0||52.5kg|
|23e||0397496×36||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||–||0||52.5kg|