The weekend’s feature race favourite Big Duke...
Tony Pike’s dual Group 1 winner in Brisbane this prep, The Bostonian could come into barrier six at best for his shot at an elite-level winter treble on Saturday at Eagle Farm in a capacity 2019 Stradbroke Handicap field.
Queensland’s richest race, the Group 1 $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) drew the full 18 starters plus five emergencies with gun Kiwi raider The Bostonian retaining favouritism in betting after his barrier 10 draw.
Winner of the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) and Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at double-figures this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, the in-form Jimmy Choux four-year-old is topping Stradbroke Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to keep the winning streak going.
If all the Stradbroke Handicap emergencies come out, the well-backed gelding will come into barrier six for his shot at the history books and punters can currently get him at $4.60.
Michael Cahill continues his association with the The Bostonian on Saturday with the 57kg topweight looking to set a modern-day weight carrying record in the Straddie.
Despite the weight, Pike is full of confidence heading into Stradbroke Handicap Day having described The Bostonian’s barrier draw as the “perfect gate”.
“Perfect gate and everything seems to be going right and he will be in the race for a long way,” the Cambridge-based horseman said.
“He is flying at the moment. Couldn’t fault his work on Tuesday morning and the barrier, he is probably going to start from gate six if the ballots come.”
Not only is The Bostonian out to be the first winner of the big three Group 1 winter races in Brisbane, he is also out to take his flawless strike-rate in Queensland to six-from-six.
“I don’t know what it is with Queensland, he just loves the place,” Pike said on Wednesday.
“He was pretty bright and well this morning so really happy. “
Post barrier draw there are just two other single-figure hopes in the Stradbroke Handicap betting markets including the early mover, Trekking in from $6 to $5.50 despite a barrier 13 draw.
Kerrin McEvoy rides the Godolphin-raced Street Cry four-year-old once more having been aboard for his close third when under a length beaten in the Kingsford-Smith Cup results.
Trekking drops from 59kg to 54kg for his rematch with The Bostonian and there is money to suggest the weight advantage will be enough to see him turn the tables.
The other best in betting at $9.50 is the Toby Edmonds-trained Tyzone from the Gold Coast who made the field after a number of other horses, including CF Orr winner Manuel, failed to pay first acceptances.
Drawn in gate 12, which could become eight come jump time, the Written Tycoon five-year-old comes off a strong 1.75 length Doomben win from May 18 in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m).
Out to $15 Stradbroke Handicap odds, Despatch is drawn the inside alley with barrier one as Tony McEvoy’s last start Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) winner in Adelaide looks to do the double and extend his winning streak to five on the trot.
Also coming up with an inside draw jumping from barrier two is Pretty In Pink ($14), the John O’Shea-trained Sebring filly having earned her spot in the field with success in last weekend’s Group 2 Moreton Cup (1200m).
It will be a tough seven-day turnaround for the three-year-old lightweight who carries just 49.5kg against the older horses, but the stable is keen to give her the chance to emulate the also O’Shea-trained Private Steer (2003) who won the Stradbroke as a filly.
For the complete Stradbroke Handicap 2019 field, barriers, form guide and latest odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Eagle Farm Race 8 on Saturday.
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