Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The Brisbane race fans are rolling up in droves to Eagle Farm Racecourse today for the action of 2014 Stradbroke Handicap Day, and to help you finish the day on top we’ve got our best bets of the day detailed right here.
Racing at Eagle Farm kicks off with the two-year-old sprinters facing off in the $100,000 Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) at 11:30am.
In fact the opening four races on the card are all Listed status before the Group events kick off at 1:45pm with the fillies and mares taking their spots for the $200,000 Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) where Cosmic Endeavour is new favourite after the early withdrawal of Catkins.
Three Group 1 races headline the action with the JJ Atkins (Race 6) for two-year-olds, the Queensland Derby (Race 7) for the three-year-olds and then the meeting’s showcase event – the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) stealing the show as Race 8 at 3:40pm.
The punters won’t be tuning out immediately after the Straddie however with the closing race on the card worth sticking around for at 4:20pm when some class stayers face off in the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
So who should you back and who should you sack with your Stradbroke Handicap Day bets?
In The Big One (Race 8) – 2014 Stradbroke Handicap
#1 Spirit Of Boom ($7.50)
While they money has been steady for the favourite Srikandi ($5) getting in on the 51kg lightweight, and for market mover Knoydart now right into $8 to take it out for Darley, we’re sticking with the best horse in the race. Tony Gollan’s dual Group 1 champion is the local’s sentimental bet, but they are also a livewire chance despite their 58kg top weight. They deserve the kilos based on their sensational lead-up, including the Doomben 10,000 last time out, and if they get the right run from Michael Rodd in gate six they’ll take some beating in the finish on the nice firm track today.
Better Than Bank Interest (Race 6) – 2014 JJ Atkins
#1 Brazen Beau ($2.10)
Chris Waller’s sensational young colt is on the drift after coming in as tight as $2 to win, but we’re sticking with them and think they’ll salute for the favourite backers in the juveniles’ feature. Drawn ideally in gate four, Nash Rawiller stays on, missed the kick by two lengths but were only beaten a quarter length last start, get more distance and will be right up there throughout the mile so expect them to atone.
Best Upset To Win (Race 5) – 2014 Dane Ripper Stakes
#1 Driefontein ($7)
While seven dollars isn’t real rough there’s still three shorter than Gai Waterhouse’s classy four-year-olds in the markets, including her stablemate and race favourite Cosmic Endeavour ($4.80), so if Driefontein returns to winning form here it will be an upset in the Dane Ripper. She won the Group 1 Robert Sangster in Adelaide two back but has bummed out at elite level, including in the Doomben 10,000 when seventh last start, since then. She gets the right track conditions here, goes up in distance which she should handle, down in class, up against her own kind for the first time since March when beaten four lengths by Red Tracer, plenty to like and suggest she’ll be bouncing back.
Best Roughie To Place (Race 7) – 2014 Queensland Derby
#1 Amexed ($15)
They’ve come in slightly over the past 24 hours from $17 but still think this is a super juicy price for this local Pentire gelding from the Doomben 10,000 winning stables of young Gollan. They beat many of these home in the Rough Habit two back before their fourth in the Grand Prix Stakes. Chance to finish a little closer this time up against a similar field, drawn out a little wider this time (barrier nine) but think over the mile and half that will actually suit. Watch for them at the end snaring a top three spot.
Lay Of The Day (Race 8) – 2014 Stradbroke Handicap
#17 Srikandi ($5)
She’s in flying form no doubt having won her past six races on the trot with her only defeat being her race debut, but there’s a lot more for Ciaron Maher’s three-year-old filly to handle here than she’s faced before. Last time out she posted her third straight Queensland win, leaving her unbeaten in the sunshine state, taking out the Glenlogan Park Stakes with ease over 1350m in Brisbane. Up in distance but that will be a non-issue. Down in weights with a big advantage from 57kg to 51kg, but a light weight isn’t all there is to a Straddie win. She’s against an open-age and sex and class field here, she’s drawn wide (barrier 14) and faces plenty of tough rivals. Think she’ll be brave but swamped and out of the money.
Last Of The Day (Race 9) – 2014 Brisbane Cup
#1 Moriarty ($4)
They’re the defending champ and won this last year on the back of a fourth in the Eagle Farm Cup, a race Waller’s honest six-year-old won last Saturday. They’re in better form this year, get a firm track, love Eagle Farm, love the 2400m and have Rawiller aboard. Need to handle gate eight (of 11) but time to overcome, and hold off Zephyron ($3.60) who has four kilos less than them with 55.5kg, but if they handle those and the top weight (59.5kg) then they’ll go back-to-back and set up for another good spring.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change
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