The money continues to roll in for Ciaron Maher-trained favourite Azkadellia to win another Group 1 Queensland’s richest race, the Stradbroke Handicap 2016 at Eagle Farm Racecourse this afternoon.
This year’s $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) is set to run as Race 9 on the extended 10-race program and features a class line-up of 18 sprinters.
All the early money in Stradbroke Handicap betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is on Shinko King four-year-old Azkadellia, the Melbourne-trained mare out to win Maher successive editions of the race following the success of fellow mare Srikandi last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Srikandi (2015) won the Stradbroke off a sixth in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), the same race Azkadellia placed a close second in this season.
After opening at $4 to go one better at the roomer Eagle Farm track this weekend, Azkadellia has since been heavily backed right into $3.40 favouritism after coming up trumps with barrier five for jockey Damien Oliver.
Oliver rode the Stradbroke Handicap winner River Lad (2014) two years ago and was also in the saddle in Sydney on April 9 when Azkadellia took out the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick before Mark Zahra had the 10,000 mount.
If successful for the punters this afternoon, Azkadellia will become the first Stradbroke Handicap winner to salute since Black Piranha (3/1) for his first in 2009.
Just three other runners are also under $10 for the win including the $6.50 second favourite Black Heart Bart for Darren Weir, the Blackfriars five-year-old coming off a win in Morphettville’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m).
He is charged with carrying the 58kg top weight this afternoon as he attempts back-to-back Group 1 victories, Brad Rawiller aboard the former Perth-trained galloper.
History is against him for the win under those kilos, but he still has to be considered based on his gun lead-up form and his excellent 1400m record of five wins and three seconds from nine previous runs over the distance.
Rounding out the single-figure hopes in the latest Stradbroke Handicap odds are then the Chris Waller-trained colt Counterattack ($8) out in barrier 14, which hasn’t produced a winner since Rough Habit (1991), and the Doomben 10,000 winner Music Magnate ($9).
The ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira rides Redoute’s Choice colt Counterattack in the place of James McDonald who was in the saddle of the top youngster for his lead-up win in Doomben’s Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) on May 21.
Counterattack drops from 57kg that run, where he overcame a nasty barrier 15 draw to win, to just 52.5kg on the weekend so comes right into contention to become the first three-year-old Stradbroke champion since Sincero (2011).
Music Magnate meanwhile is shooting for a Group 1 Brisbane double not achieved in over 30 years, the Bjorn Baker-trained Written Tycoon four-year-old having defeated Azkadellia home by a half-length in the 10,000 last time out for his sixth win at start number 12.
He’s eased out in his price for the rematch from $6 to $9, so represents good value in barrier three with last year’s winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy booked for the ride.
See below for the latest Stradbroke Handicap 2016 betting odds, fixed win prices courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au!