The exact make-up of the Stradbroke Handicap 2015 field will be known at final acceptance stage on Wednesday morning so until then connections of smart three-year-old colt Time For War are sweating on the attrition rate for Queensland’s richest race.
A number of livewire chances for the $2 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m), running at Doomben Racecourse as one of three elite level features in Brisbane on Saturday, are far enough down the current order of entry to make them a 50-50 chance of making the starting line-up.
One of those is the Gerald Ryan-trained Sydneysider Time For War, the Snitzel colt right down in 31st spot on the Stradbroke Handicap ballot allocated just 50.5kg.
Runner-up in his opening two Queensland runs this campaign when three-quarters of a length off Nostradamus in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on Anzac Day and then second to Riva de Lago in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1300m) on May 16, Time For Ward failed to make an impression in Group 1 company last time out.
Having his first Group 1 run since finishing a well-beaten 14th to Brazen Beau in Flemington’s Coolmore Stud Stakes back in November last year, the three-year-old finished eight lengths away 13th behind the Chris Waller-trained Boban in the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23.
He will be out to atone for that run on Saturday back at the track, but whether that’s in the Stradbroke Handicap or in the $400,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) against his own age will be determined at final acceptance stage.
The Guineas is Plan B for the galloper who is yet to be tested over the mile.
His chances of making the Stradbroke Handicap field improved with a number of notable hopes confirmed as non-acceptors with Joe Pride’s Group 2 QTC Cup winner Ball Of Muscle, the Waller-trained Strawberry Boy last seen winning the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup over the Doomben mile and Gai Waterhouse’s Group 3 Fred Best Classic winning filly Najoom all out of contention.
There’s still a long way to go for Time For War however who will only just scrape in if he makes it at all for new connections who sent him back to Ryan from his three runs with the Sunshine Coast-based Stuart Kendrick.
“He was sold and the new owners asked me if I would take him back,” Ryan told AAP this week.
“He has been bought as a future stallion prospect at Kitchwin Hills.
“I think with the Stradbroke being over 1350 metres at Doomben this year it would be ideal for him.
“But we need a few more horses to come out to work our way up the order of entry.”
Early Stradbroke Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Robert Smerdon’s in-form filly Lumosty ($5) who is also in danger of missing out on a run.
Time For War can be found at the opposite end of the pre-field Stradbroke Handicap odds meanwhile paying $67 to not only make the field but beat home the class line-up as well.
To check out the full Stradbroke betting odds and options and enjoy access to Best Tote or SP + 20% on the three Brisbane Group 1s on Saturday, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!