Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Talented three year old filly Champagne Cuddles remains the favourite for Saturday’s Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben after drawing barrier one.
The final field for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap is made up of sixteen runners plus five emergencies with last year’s winner Impending to carry the number one saddlecloth with 57.5kg while number sixteen Champagne Cuddles will only have to carry the lightweight of 50kg with Corey Brown in the saddle.
Impending, with Damian Browne booked to ride, has drawn barrier nine in the original draw but could jump from gate seven with two of the five emergencies drawn inside of him and Godolphin foreman Paul Reid is not too concerned with the draw.
“That is oaky. Two emergencies, the first two emergencies are drawn inside of him so he will start from seven if they don’t gain a run so that is a good barrier,” Reid said.
“Couldn’t be any happier with him.”
“He has done really well and had a nice gallop on Tuesday and all is good.”
“He worked really nice and he seems to like the Doomben track, so that is a real help.”
Impending has won twice over the 1350m at Doomben and Reid said that the Lonhro stallion has a great chance to win back to back Stradbroke Handicaps even with the top weight of 57.5kg
“He will be very competitive anyway and he will run well,” Reid said.
Impending’s stablemate Osborne Bulls failed to make the field and is the second emergency with barrier four.
“He is a horse on the way up, but it would have been his toughest test at the moment and it looks like he is well up to it. He is only in his second prep and there is still good things for him to come down the track,” Reid said.
The Darren Weir trained Japanese import Danon Liberty (barrier 6) also failed to make the final sixteen and is the first emergency, leaving the master trainer with only one runner, Voodoo Lad, who drawn barrier seven with Chris Parnham to ride.
Anthony Freedman’s Group 1 Goodwood winner Santa Ana Lane has drawn nicely at barrier three with Ben Melham to ride while the Chris Waller stable will have three runners, Endless Drama (Glyn Schofield, barrier 20), Foxplay (Michael Walker, barrier 19) and Shillelagh (Michael Dee, barrier 10).
The Lindsay Park trained Spieth has drawn the outside gate at twenty-one, but will jump from sixteen when the makeup of field is finalised at scratching time on Saturday morning.
Spieth has 53,5kg with Melbourne’s premiership leading jockey Craig Williams booked to ride.
The Bjorn Baker trained Champagne Cuddles has held her spot at the top of the Stradbroke Handicap market order and is the $4.60 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au, just ahead of Impending at $5 and the other lightly weighted three year old Perast at $8.
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