The pinnacle of racing in Queensland this season is the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap this weekend where money has started to come in again for young Victorian filly Srikandi.
After drawing wide in barrier 17, possibly into 14 with emergencies out, for Saturday’s $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) the Ciaron Maher-trained Dubawi three-year-old was knocked off top spot in betting for the Eagle Farm classic.
Young Srikandi eased out from her pre-post Stradbroke Handicap price of $4.60 to $6 with concerns she’d find the double digit barrier tough going when stepped up to Group 1 company for the first time.
Having earned her shot at Queensland’s richest race after winning her six latest starts on the trot, most recently the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) at Doomben, Srikandi is firming again for her big test.
She’s back into $5 with punters looking at the ease of her Glenlogan win from a similarly wide barrier (13) when carrying 57kg.
Glen Boss stays on for Saturday and is also confident she will run top three at least dropping back six kilos to the 51kg minimum for the Stradbroke.
Srikandi shares top spot in the Stradbroke Handicap odds now with Hucklebuck who was the big market firmer after drawing barrier one.
Another three-year-old taking on the older more experienced sprinting types here, Phillip Stokes’ Elvstroem gelding has Group 3 winning form in Melbourne and comes off a fourth in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) from May 17.
The price on the third pick has then remained steady at $7.50 with the Tony Gollan-trained Spirit Of Boom looking to win the Straddie in their swansong start and go out a triple Group 1 champ.
They certainly have had the ideal lead-up winning the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) last time out, and are a gun at Eagle Farm, but they must handle the 58kg top weight to get the job done.
Markets have then eased slightly on the only other single figure chance in the race with Rebel Dane out from $7.50 to $8.
Gary Portelli’s California Dane four-year-old also comes via the 10,000 having finished under a length away fourth, but they’ll jump from the outside barrier so will need to be really working home hard to put themselves in the top three from that gate.
Red Tracer is next best in betting then at $10 to overcome her wide barrier (16) and win her second Group 1 over this track and distance with the Chris Waller-trained mare having won the Tattersall’s Tiara last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The most notable Stradbroke Handicap market mover meanwhile is Knoydart in from $13 to $11.
Drawn in 14, into 11 with emergencies out, the Darley-owned More Than Ready four-year-old ran fifth in the Doomben 10,000 for trainer John O’Shea last time out.
They had 59kg that day and so will relish the drop back to 53.5kg for the Stradbroke, enough to suggest they could make up the one and three quarter length separating them and the winner Spirit Of Boom that day.
Big easers who the punters are abandoning are then Tony Pike’s QTC Cup winner Sacred Star ($12 out to $17) drawn wide with barrier 20 (into 16) and BTC Cup champ Famous Seamus ($15 out to $19).
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for our insider Stradbroke Handicap 2014 betting tips to go up shortly.
In the meantime get behind your early selections online now at Ladbrokes.com.au where you’ll have access to Best Tote or SP + 20% bonus markets on your Straddie winnings this weekend!