A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Ace interstate hoop Craig Williams is booked to partner the Robert Smerdon-trained Grand Dreamer when the light weight hope takes on a field of better fancied stayers in Saturday’s 2017 Brisbane Cup.
Caulfield horseman Smerdon has a host of exciting gallopers taking to the Doomben track on Stradbroke Handicap Day including a possible two runners – Hooked and three-year-old Oak Door – in the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m).
Smerdon won last year’s Stradbroke Handicap when the feature ran over 1400m at Eagle Farm with Under The Louvre and, while Hooked is confirmed a start in 2017, the horseman is hoping for a high attrition rate to also be represented in the line-up by Oak Door.
In one of the meeting’s key support acts, Smerdon also hopes to make an impact with an outside hope saddling-up Grand Dreamer in the $300,000 Group 2 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2200m).
Williams is on standby for the ride on Oak Door in the $350,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) over the Doomben mile if the Group 2 winning Commands colt doesn’t making the Stradbroke Handicap starting line-up.
Smerdon has also booked Williams to partner his Brisbane Cup hope Grand Dreamer, the Grand Reve six-year-old racing at Doomben for the first time in the handicap clash traditionally run over 2400m at Eagle Farm.
Brisbane Cup weights have been scaled 4.5kg and Grand Dreamer gets in on just 53kg.
The gelding rises a half-kilo from the 52.5kg he carried to a one length win in a Benchmark 90 at Sandown-Lakeside over the mile and a half on May 27 when ridden by apprentice Ben E Thompson.
Saturday marks Grand Dreamer’s 35th time to the races, but the galloper is as yet untested in black-type company.
In the latest pre-field Brisbane Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Smerdon’s stayer is a $26 shot.
Heading the Brisbane Cup weights with 59kg is Nick Olive’s four-year-old Not A Single Doubt mare Single Gaze who won last weekend’s Group 2 PJ O’Shea Stakes over the same track and distance carrying 57kg.
Single Gaze occupies the second line of all-in Brisbane Cup betting at $4.50 just below the $4 favourite Neverland from the Victorian stables of Darren Weir.
Big Brown mare Neverland is in with just 53kg, the former Perth-trained galloper out to break a notable drought going back to November of 2015.
Runner-up to Star Exhibit in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Eve, her latest run produced a close fifth behind upset winner Kaiser Franz in Eagle Farm’s Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) in the wet on May 27.
While nominated for a shot at back-to-back feature wins this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, Rob Heathcote’s wet-tracker Kaiser Franz is a $41 roughie in the latest Brisbane Cup markets.
Check out the latest Brisbane Cup 2017 racing odds before the markets firm with Wednesday’s final acceptances online now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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