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Clearly Innocent is an easing favourite for Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap 2017 after the Kingsford-Smith Cup winner draw the second outside barrier in a capacity field for the Group 1 at Doomben in Brisbane.
Due to run as Doomben Race 8 at 3:40pm (AEST) on the biggest meeting of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) has a decreased capacity of just 16 starters with the race moved from Eagle Farm.
Drawn barrier 20 and set to start from gate 15 of 16 is the Kris Lees-trained Clearly Innocent to be ridden by Hugh Bowman.
The progressive Not A Single Doubt five-year-old chases a third win on the trot at his first Doomben run having last been seen winning the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago.
Clearly Innocent saluted in the lead-up with Bowman in the saddle by an impressive three lengths and is five-from-six over the distance.
He comes back from 59kg at weight-for-age to 57kg as the Stradbroke Handicap top weight.
History is against him though with no Stradbroke Handicap winner since Rough Habit (58.5kg) for his second in 1992 having carried more than 56kg to victory.
The other best out of the Kingsford-Smith Cup results backing-up in the rematch with Clearly Innocent this weekend are runner-up Jungle Edge and Chris Waller’s third placegetter Counterattack.
Mick Bell’s dual Group 3 winner this time in, Jungle Edge has been in flying form over the season taking advantage of the Heavy rated tracks in Sydney and Brisbane.
Two back he won the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) carrying 58kg for the two and a quarter-length win over the same track and distance as this year’s Stradbroke.
He was then three lengths beaten after a hard run from the outside barrier (13 of 13) in the Kingsford-Smith Cup and comes back to 55.5kg with Kevin Forrester to ride this Saturday.
The key to Jungle Edge’s outstanding recent form however has been mud tracks, so with Doomben currently rated a Good (4) he will be at long odds to post his first win on a firm track.
Waller is yet to prepare a Stradbroke Handicap winner but is in with three chances in the 2017 edition led by the ultra-consistent Counterattack.
A four-year-old son of Redoute’s Choice, the stallion was runner-up to Redzel two back in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) before his distant third beaten nearly seven lengths in the Kingsford-Smith Cup.
He is better suited under handicap conditions getting into Saturday’s Group 1 on 54.5kg and jockey Opie Bosson will get the run of the race from barrier two as Counterattack chases his first win since the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at this track and distance in May of last year.
Waller’s two other Stradbroke Handicap horses are Good Project and the rails-drawn Mackintosh both racing first-up on the weekend and getting in on 54.5kg and 53.5kg respectively.
Also in with three chances of a maiden Stradbroke Handicap win is Darren Weir.
Weir’s best home is Ulmann coming off a third to Jungle Edge in the BRC Sprint.
Ulmann, to be ridden by Luke Nolen on 53.5kg from gate eight, is joined by stablemates Burning Front coming off a Group 3 mile win in Adelaide and Rageese who suffered a blow drawing wide in barrier 19 (possibly into 14).
See below for the full Stradbroke Handicap 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and weights with updated betting to be released shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Stradbroke Handicap Field & Barriers
Doomben Race 8 (3:40pm) – 10/06/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11x640x911||CLEARLY INNOCENT||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||20||57kg||–|
|2||28×5313512||JUNGLE EDGE||Mick Bell||Kevin Forrester||7||55.5kg||–|
|3||2411111411||BURNING FRONT||Darren Weir||Ben Allen (a)||12||54.5kg||–|
|4||2602×80223||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Opie Bosson||2||54.5kg||–|
|5||x377x0472x||GOOD PROJECT||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||9||54.5kg||–|
|6||x70x9x2012||HOOKED||Robert Smerdon||Noel Callow||16||54kg||–|
|7||05x11115x5||IN HER TIME||Benjamin Smith||Dean Yendall||17||53.5kg||–|
|8||110x13540x||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||1||53.5kg||104|
|9||4062538×29||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Ronnie Stewart||5||53.5kg||104|
|10||1152136×13||ULMANN||Darren Weir||Luke Nolen||8||53.5kg||102|
|11||x54219x700||RAGEESE||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||19||53.5kg||102|
|12||3021×87539||KAEPERNICK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||TBA||15||53.5kg||101|
|13||6x15162x52||EGYPTIAN SYMBOL||Bjorn Baker||Glyn Schofield||10||53.5kg||99|
|14||4x013421x3||GOLD SYMPHONY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Jim Byrne||11||53.5kg||99|
|15||37×4318136||DERRYN||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||21||53kg||–|
|16||3314×64334||IMPENDING||Darren Beadman||Corey Brown||18||52.5kg||–|
|17e||1613x66x14||THE VIRGINIAN||Toby Edmonds||TBA||14||53.5kg||97|
|18e||1x6211x111||BONNY O’REILLY (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||TBA||6||53.5kg||96|
|19e||8x587x8425||YESTERDAY’S SONGS||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||4||53.5kg||96|
|20e||2152427428||TOO GOOD TO REFUSE||Desleigh Forster||Robbie Fradd||13||53.5kg||94|
|21e||63211419×4||OAK DOOR||Robert Smerdon||TBA||3||52kg||89|
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