Post-barrier markets for Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap 2014 are now out with Phillip Stokes’ visiting Adelaide three-year-old Hucklebuck the surprise new favourite.
Markets for this year’s $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) were thrown upside down after the top fancies for the classic all suffered nasty barrier draws.
Former favourite Srikandi drew gate 17, into 13 with emergencies out, making it a tough maiden Group 1 for the lightly-raced filly who shoots for her seventh win on the trot.
Second pick pre-field was then Gary Portelli’s Sydney raider Rebel Dane who will jump from the outside barrier (18) after drawing 22 and 23 going to the fifth emergency Scream Machine who is very unlikely to get a run.
Hucklebuck meanwhile came up trumps with the inside alley for jockey Dom Tourneur.
The inside alley has produced two Stradbroke Handicap winners since 1983 and the bookies reacted accordingly slashing the price of Hucklebuck to be the next.
The Elvstorem gelding now sits top of the Stradbroke Handicap odds at a quote of $5, the youngster also getting in a very light 51kg.
Winner of the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in February, Hucklebuck was last seen running fourth in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) on May 17 and should enjoy the roomier track at Eagle Farm.
Even though on paper barrier one looks ideal, it is a gate that in a big 18-starter field the young horse will have to work from to stay out of trouble and not get swamped.
Following closely now as the $6 second pick is then fellow three-year-old Srikandi also on 51kg with Glen Boss staying on after riding the Victorian filly for her three Queensland wins leading up to this.
While Srikandi has a wide barrier, 13 (with emergencies out) isn’t an impossible draw for her after she jumped form that same gate to win the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) comprehensively last start.
Despite the bumper field just two other Stradbroke hopes are under double figures to win with top weights Spirit Of Boom (58kg) and Rebel Dane (56.5kg) both paying $7.50.
Tony Gollan’s Doomben 10,000 champ Spirit Of Boom has the big weight but is perfectly positioned in barrier six giving Michael Rodd every opportunity to slot into a nice position before swooping late.
They certainly look a genuine shot at a good price to finish their career on a high and win the Stradbroke at their third attempt, Gollan confident they’re in a much better spot than they were when fourth 12 months ago.
Rebel Dane meanwhile has Tommy Berry in the saddle after Boss opted to ride Srikandi over Portelli’s California Dane four-year-old who comes via a close Doomben 10,000 fourth.
Other notable hopes just outside the top four in betting then include Chris Waller’s reigning Tattersall’s Tiara winner Red Tracer ($10), the Tony Pike-trained QTC Cup winner from last weekend Sacred Star ($12) out wide in 20, the Darley-owned Knoydart ($13) and BTC Cup winner Famous Seamus ($15).
See below for the current Stradbroke Handicap 2014 odds, prices available online now at Ladbrokes.com.au who are set to offer Best Tote or SP + 20% markets on the race later in the week!