In a remarkable training effort from the young Warrnambool based Ciaron Maher last year’s beaten favourite Srikandi returned for a second shot at the Stradbroke Handicap 2015 and came away with the win this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Last year the daughter of Dubawi jumped the punters’ pick in Queensland’s richest race to run third behind River Lad in the $2 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap over 1400m at Eagle Farm.
This year the Stradbroke Handicap was run over an amended distance (1350m) at Doomben Racecourse and the now four-year-old Srikandi jumped as a $12 chance through Ladbrokes.com.au after two unplaced runs in the lead-up.
After winner the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast three back she had excuses when eighth in the BTC Cup at Doomben and then finished sixth last time out in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23.
Despite that form, Maher remained confident the mare could atone and be competitive in the Stradbroke Handicap after she put in a superb piece of work at the track on Tuesday.
“Her work was super on Tuesday,” he said.
The form of that hit-out was franked with Excellantes won the first on the Stradbroke Handicap Day card before Srikandi scored the upset in the big one thanks to an excellent ride from big race specialist Kerrin McEvoy.
“Kerrin gave her a super ride,” Maher added.
“He’s a big race jockey and I was wrapped to have him on (after Damian Browne couldn’t make the weight).”
Celebrating his first Stradbroke Handicap success, McEvoy took his time with Srikandi who was fast away from the inside alley, the barrier certainly boosting her chances according to Maher.
“The barrier draw was ideal,” he said.
“The rails position played into her hand.”
It was the sole Queenslander in the race, last year’s runner-up Temple Of Boom leading them around in the Stradbroke while the upset BTC Cup winner Hot Snitzel was also up on the speed but three deep while Srikandi was protecting the rails.
Also on the rails was Chris Waller’s Doomben 10,000 winner Boban racing midfield and being saved for a big finish.
Hot Snitzel moved up to lead into the turn for home from Srikandi who was starting to let down after her lovely run throughout, veteran Temple Of Boom also looking to be travelling well at that stage.
In a big finish Srikandi ($12) dug deep and held off Bernardini five-year-old Boban ($16) for the win while the John O’Shea-trained Doomben 10,000 third placegetter Generalife ($13) finished off another Group 1 trifecta in as many runs after doing all the work from the outside barrier.
Boban was very brave with the top weight in the Stradbroke, but all the credit had to go to the winner and her hoop McEvoy as well as Maher who pulled off a fantastic training effort to get Srikandi back to winning form.
“It was a great effort by the team to get her back up,” Maher said.
“It hasn’t gone really smoothly this preparation.
“We really targeted this carnival and it’s just a great carnival.
“The aim was to peak her today and fortunately it’s come on.
“It’s one of Australia’s best sprint races and to win it with this mare it’s just such a thrill.”
For all the best odds over the remainder of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival make sure you have an account open online at Ladbrokes.com.au who paid Best Tote or SP + 20% on all three Group 1s in Brisbane this Straddie Day!
2015 Stradroke Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 8 – 06/06/2015
|1||14||SRIKANDI||Ciaron Maher||Kerrin McEvoy||–||1||53kg||$12|
|2||1||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1.8L||6||58kg||$16|
|3||5||GENERALIFE||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||2L||15||54.5kg||$12|
|4||6||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||2.4L||11||54.5kg||$26|
|5||2||HOT SNITZEL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||2.5L||12||55.5kg||$17|
|6||3||SACRED STAR||Tony Pike||Zac Purton||2.7L||4||55kg||$8.50|
|7||10||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||3.7L||7||53.5kg||$21|
|8||4||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Chris Symons||3.8L||8||54.5kg||$31|
|9||16||DELECTATION||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||4L||9||52kg||$12|
|10||17e||LUMOSTY||Robert Smerdon||Corey Brown||4.1L||10||50.5kg||$6EF|
|11||12||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Tim Clark||4.3L||14||53.5kg||$101|
|12||9||KNOYDART||John O’Shea||James McDonald||4.5L||3||54kg||$9|
|13||13||EL ROCA||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Timothy Bell||4.8L||2||53.5kg||$41|
|14||8||CHARLIE BOY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Craig Williams||5L||5||54kg||$6EF|
|15||11||BLACK HEART BART||Vaughn Sigley||Glenn Smith||8.5L||13||53.5kg||$11|
|–||19e||FLAMINGO STAR (GER)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||–||0||–||–|
|–||20e||RIVA DE LAGO||Robert Heathcote||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||21e||TRIED AND TIRED||Leon & Troy Corstens||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||15||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Newitt||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||LORD OF THE SKY||Robbie Laing||Tommy Berry||–||0||–||–|
|–||18e||ROCK STURDY||Joseph Pride||Tim Clark||–||0||–||–|