Maher Sweats Stradbroke Weights With Azkadellia

Caulfield’s Ciaron Maher will talk to Racing Queensland ahead of Saturday’s 2016 Doomben 10,000 in regards to the impact a win in the weekend’s feature will have on the Stradbroke Handicap weights of his top fancied mare Azkadellia.


Azkadellia is top fancy for both this Saturday’s Doomben 10,000 and next month’s Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane. Photo: Steve Hart.

A super-consistent daughter of Shinko King, four-year-old Azkadellia is red hot favourite in all-in markets for the $750,000 Group 1 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10,000 (1350m).

Not having finished out of the money in her 10 most recent runs dating back to November of 2014, Azkadellia enjoyed her first Group 1 success after two earlier close calls this autumn with the two length victory in Randwick’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 9.

That followed on from a Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) second and third behind Chris Waller’s champion mare Winx in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).

Now Azkadellia is Brisbane-bound for the Doomben 10,000 on Saturday chasing another Group 1 success, but Maher is unconvinced the track will be 100% to her liking.

He believes the $1.33 million earner will be better suited to the roomier Eagle Farm course where he plans to take her on June 11 for a shot at Queensland’s richest race – the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).

The Doomben 10,000 odds at tell a different story, Azkadellia the short-priced $2.80 favourite ahead of Wednesday’s final field and barriers for the weight-for-age clash.

She also heads the all-in Stradbroke Handicap betting markets at $4.40 sitting just ahead of last Saturday’s The Goodwood winner in Adelaide Black Heart Bart ($5) and the BTC Cup champ this winter Malaguerra ($9).

Maher however would like a bit of a guide as to where his favourite sits in the Stradbroke Handicap weights currently and how a Doomben 10,000 win would affect her allocation for next month’s feature.

“The aim was always to have her as right as we could for the Straddie and that means having one lead-up run into it,” Maher told The Courier Mail.

“At this stage she’s definitely running in the 10,000.”

Sitting second behind Azkadellia in the latest Doomben 10,000 betting markets at $4.40 is the Chris Waller-trained Delectation who James McDonald is booked to ride.

Maher is yet to win the Doomben 10,000, but he prepared last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Srikandi who came off a sixth in the 10,000.

As for Waller he won last year’s Doomben 10,000 with Boban who scored the upset as a $16 roughie and shoots for back-to-back victories on Saturday with his Darley Classic winner from the spring.

Four-year-old Delectation is out to atone for his eighth in the BTC Cup on May 14, a race where he was defeated under two and a half-lengths.

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