Tony Gollan’s Doomben 10,000 winner Spirit Of Boom was the big winner at this morning’s 2014 Stradbroke Handicap barrier draw coming up with gate six for their swansong race before retiring to stud.
The locally-trained Sequalo six-year-old carries the 58kg top-weight in Saturday’s $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and so a favourable barrier was crucial to their chances.
Shooting for their third Group 1 and second elite level on the trot after taking out the Doomben 10,000 last time out, Spirit Of Boom is set to firm dramatically in the post-barrier Stradbroke Handicap odds.
They won the 10,000 from an inside barrier two draw but get more room at Eagle Farm and should be able to stay out of trouble, even if they come into five with the emergencies out, in the big 18-starter Stradbroke Handicap field.
“Anything inside seven I was happy with so six definitely fits the bill,” a beaming Gollan told Sky Racing World after the barrier draw.
“He’ll be forward, mid-field, hopefully gets the runs at the right time and gets a shot at them.”
Spirit Of Boom ran fourth to upset winner Linton in the Stradbroke Handicap last year from the inside alley but is a much improved horse since then according to Gollan.
“He over-raced a little last year and hasn’t done that since,” he said.
“The good alley was really important for (jockey) Michael (Rodd) and with the big weight he’s just got to take his time and hopefully get the last shot at them.
“I won’t be complaining about the distance. I think he’ll run it out perfectly and he loves this track, he loves Eagle Farm.”
Spirit Of Boom’s half-brother Temple Of Boom, narrow runner-up in the Doomben 10,000 last time out, didn’t have as much luck in the draw however coming up with gate 18, possibly into 14.
“A lot of the speed’s drawn out there with him,” Gollan said looking at the positives.
“The way he’s been jumping and putting himself into the race, I don’t think she (jockey Tegan Harrison) will have to drive him, he’ll put himself up in the first four or five.
“He’s going great and has got a new lease of life so I think he’ll run terrific.”
There’s every chance Spirit Of Boom will now firm into favouritism in the Stradbroke Handicap odds too after the former top fancies suffered blows with bad barriers including Srikandi in barrier 17.
Jockey Glen Boss has his work cut out for him with Ciaron Maher’s in-form filly that might now be forced to race off the speed despite being a noted frontrunner.
The three-year-old daughter of Dubawi came up to Brisbane from Melbourne to chase a bit of Black Type and has been flying winning all three of her Queensland runs including the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) last time out where she was also drawn wide with barrier 13 of 14.
The worst hit in the Stradbroke barriers today meanwhile was former second favourite Rebel Dane, Gary Portelli’s Sydney-based California Dane four-year-old in the second widest barrier (22 into 17).
Carrying the second heaviest weight (56.5kg), Rebel Dane comes off a fourth to Spirit Of Boom in the Doomben 10,000 but doesn’t look like they’ll be rated to turn the tables with that wide draw.
While on paper Rebel Dane’s barrier is a disaster, historically barrier 18 is actually the most successful Stradbroke gate since 1983 producing four winners and will belong to the Sydney visitor on Saturday if all the emergencies come out – last emergency Scream Machine drawing barrier 23.
Last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Linton meanwhile jumped from barrier 16 of 18, the gate drawn this year by Chris Waller’s dual Group 1 winning mare Red Tracer.
It will be the Tony Pike-trained Kiwi raider Sacred Star, formerly prepared in Sydney by Waller, however who gets barrier 16 if the five emergencies fail to gain a start.
They made the Stradbroke Handicap field after winning a ballot exemption with their QTC Cup victory last Saturday, Pike a bit disheartened with their draw for the weekend.
“We’ll do our best and it’s up to (jockey) Tim (Bell) now,” he said.
“It’s always nice to draw a barrier but from that barrier he’s going to have to go back a few spots further.”
Along with Red Tracer, winner of last year’s Tattersall’s Tiara, Waller also accepted for Velrosso who is drawn even wider with 21 and the first emergency Masthead (barrier 15) who will be ridden by Chris Munce if they make the field.
Also drawn wide is Natalie McCall-trained BRC Sprint winner River Lad (barrier 19).
Horses that had better luck with their Stradbroke Handicap gates and who come into contention for Queensland’s richest race now include The Goodwood winner Smokin’ Joey (barrier three) who is probably more suited to a wider barrier, the Darley-owned Emblems (barrier eight) and BTC Cup winner Famous Seamus (barrier 10).
Check out the full 2014 Stradbroke Handicap barriers below with new markets going up shortly at our number one recommended bookie Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on your Straddie winnings this year!
2014 Stradbroke Handicap Barriers & 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||6||58kg|
|2||x14157x254||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Tommy Berry||22||56.5kg|
|3||135×390519||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Ryan Wiggins||10||56kg|
|4||1x211x1303||RED TRACER||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||16||56kg|
|5||805×866142||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison (a)||18||56kg|
|6||0120×80361||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Ben Melham||3||55.5kg|
|7||2624x12x71||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||Damien Oliver||19||55kg|
|8||57181×8780||CONSERVATORIUM||Gary Kennewell||Joe Bowditch||2||54kg|
|9||8x111532x1||SACRED STAR||Tony Pike||Timothy Bell||20||53.5kg|
|10||30×1113325||KNOYDART||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||14||53.5kg|
|11||3992017×40||BELLTONE||Kelso Wood||Eddie Wilkinson||4||53.5kg|
|12||117x5165x5||VELROSSO||Chris Waller||Larry Cassidy||21||52.5kg|
|13||43x5111x53||EMBLEMS||John O’Shea||Chad Schofield||8||52.5kg|
|14||10×6453261||REPARATIONS||Anthony Freedman||Daniel Moor||13||52.5kg|
|15||D5x1400x00||LUCKY HUSSLER||Kent Fleming||Jason Taylor||11||52.5kg|
|16||000312466x||SCORPIO QUEEN||Kris Lees||TBA||12||52.5kg|
|17||1×211111||SRIKANDI||Ciaron Maher||Glen Boss||17||51kg|
|18||1312x118x4||HUCKLEBUCK||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||1||51kg|
|19e||24x755x342||MASTHEAD||Chris Waller||Chris Munce||15||52.5kg|
|20e||0x2120x520||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood||TBA||5||51kg|
|22e||2111×5352||BELLE DE COEUR||Luke Price||TBA||7||52.5kg|
|23e||0397496×36||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||TBA||23||52.5kg|