Ciaron Maher’s progressive mare Srikandi will head straight to the sunshine state for an assault on the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival 2015 Group 1 races after a winning trial at Cranbourne on Tuesday morning.
The now four-year-old daughter of Dubawi travelled to Queensland last season for a successful assault with a trio of black type wins before her brave third behind River Lad (1st) and Temple Of Boom (2nd) in the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) as a $5 pop.
She is again targeting Queensland’s richest race, the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap held at Doomben Racecourse on June 6, but this year the more furnished galloper will try to pick up a number of other Group 1 races on her way.
This morning Maher lined her up an 800m open trial at Cranbourne, Ben Melham guiding her to a three-quarter length win over the Robert Smerdon-trained Lumosty in 45.82 seconds.
“She trialled well, Ben said she felt good underneath him,” Maher told Racenet.
“She’s had a few jumpouts at home before this but she had a long time off.”
It was a smooth performance and one that has her trainer confident in sending her straight to Queensland where her first run this time in will be at the Gold Coast on April 25 in the $175,000 Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m).
From there it will be onto Doomben for the winter majors.
“After that she will head to the BTC Cup, the Doomben 10,000, the Stradbroke and the Tatts Tiara,” Maher said.
“She kicked off her campaign at the Gold Coast last time and it suited her.
“She’s still got a bit of improvement in her, we’re aiming to peak her in the Stradbroke.”
The $500,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) runs on Doomben Cup Day on May 9 this year followed by the Stradbroke a month later and then the fillies-and-mares-only $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) back at the Gold Coast on June 20.
To date Srikandi has won six of her eight starts for a 75% win rate she’ll be looking to add to when she returns off her lengthy break where she’s matured well physically.
“She’s a big strong solid mare that takes a bit of work and she’s noticeably a lot stronger,” Maher said.
“She’s more furnished, looks super and I’m very happy with her.”
Early Stradbroke Handicap odds at bookmakers around the country are led by Our Boy Malachi who returns in Sydney this weekend at Randwick in the $150,000 Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m).
Srikandi meanwhile can be found further down the markets at double figures but still under $20 to win, her price set to come in if she comes back and wins first-up at the Gold Coast later this month.
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