Sydney’s top trainer Chris Waller could have uncovered a genuine Stradbroke Handicap hope for next month’s lucrative Brisbane feature following the easy all-the-way win of his smart six-year-old Strawberry Boy in the Lord Mayor’s Cup 2015.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding was the best backed runner in this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) over the Doomben mile on Doomben 10,000 Day and didn’t disappoint the punters.
The galloper hadn’t celebrated a win since a black type first-up at Hawkesbury over 1400m back in November last year, but that didn’t stop the money coming for him to win third-up in Brisbane.
Coming off a sixth when only beaten one and three-quarter lengths in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) on May 15, Strawberry Boy handled the short turnaround when improving over the same distance to lead all the way to the line in the Lord Mayor’s Cup in his Doomben debut.
Zac Purton had the ride and took the eventual winner to the front straight away after Strawberry Boy was the best out of the barriers from gate eight.
Also beginning well was the local Tony Gollan-trained Alma’s Fury who settled into second, going up with Strawberry Boy who crossed from his gate to set a solid pace.
It was a hot speed on in the 1600m showdown, Strawberry Boy not letting up extending his lead on the field with eventual last-past-the-post Estonian Princess moving into second with 900m to go while Addictive Habit settled third and Alma’s Fury got a lovely run fourth on the fence.
As they turned for home Strawberry Boy continued to sneak away while Alma’s Fury enjoyed the rails run now in third and Addictive Habit along with others started to pick up with the straight looming.
Nothing was going to catch the best backed runner in the race however as Strawberry Boy ($4) stormed away, sailing past his rivals to win by a big margin over the Team Snowden-trained Encosta De Lago mare Lucky Lago ($10) who went up to snare second on the fence and further franked the Scone Cup form having run fifth – one better than her conqueror in the Lord Mayor’s Cup.
Waller’s other runner, one-time favourite I’m Imposing ($4.60), did a good job to finish off the trifecta with the veteran nine-year-old finishing a further two and a half lengths away third on the back of his third in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 9.
Strawberry Boy is currently nominated for the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) back at Doomben Racecourse on June 6, and on the back of the dominant Lord Mayor’s Cup result could be seen racing in Queensland’s richest race next start.
Updated Stradbroke Handicap odds are due out shortly bookies around the country and will be hugely affected also by the results of the Doomben 10,000 later this afternoon, the race having produced five of the past 10 Straddie winners.
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2015 Lord Mayor’s Cup Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 4 – 23/05/2015
|1||3||STRAWBERRY BOY||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||–||8||59kg||$4F|
|2||11||LUCKY LAGO||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||2.5L||1||57kg||$9|
|3||2||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||4.8L||2||59kg||$4.40|
|4||1||ALMA’S FURY||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||5.2L||6||59kg||$17|
|4||5||EPIC||Kelly Schweida||Luke Tarrant (a)||5.2L||9||59kg||$16|
|6||8||BEWHATYOUWANNABE||Robert Heathcote||Hugh Bowman||5.4L||4||59kg||$19|
|7||7||ADDICTIVE HABIT (NZ)||Lee Somervell||Michael Cahill||7.2L||10||59kg||$31|
|8||4||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||8L||5||59kg||$5|
|9||6||SURPASS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Blake Shinn||10L||7||59kg||$51|
|10||9||GUNDY SPIRIT||Tony Gollan||Timothy Bell||10.2L||3||59kg||$17|
|11||10||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||13.7L||11||57kg||$7|