Newcastle’s Kris Lees will chase his maiden...
A capacity final field of winter hopefuls will face off at Eagle Farm on Saturday in the Stradbroke Handicap 2020 with the line-up led by the Godolphin-raced topweight Trekking.
Last start winner of the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide, the James Cummings-trained Street Cry five-year-old Trekking carries 58kg on the weekend in this year’s Group 1 $350,000 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
The reduced prize money due to COVID-19 hasn’t put a dent in the class of the Stradbroke Handicap field and Trekking will be out to add to his strong record at Eagle Farm.
Last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival the horse ran under a length third behind The Bostonian in the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) before his 1.75 length victory in the Stradbroke.
He rises four kilos from his winning weight 12 months ago, but remains one of the early favourites in Stradbroke Handicap betting at $5 through Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s barrier draw.
If successful on Saturday, Trekking will become the first back-to-back Stradbroke Handicap winner since Black Piranha (2009-10).
Cummings and the Godolphin stable saddle-up a total of four runners in the event with Trekking joined by in-form Lonhro four-year-old Ranier chasing a third win on the trot, the hit-and-miss 2018 Randwick Guineas winner Kementari and exciting filly Exhilarates.
Taylor Marshall is booked to ride Exhilarates who gets into the Stradbroke carrying just 49.5kg, the three-year-old daughter of Snitzel coming off two good runs this time in.
First-up on May 16 she was third in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) before her last start second at Doomben in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) when carrying 55kg.
She will be flying with the lightweight on the weekend and faces her two most recent conquerors with the Gold Coast Guineas winner Hightail and Fred Best Classic champ Dawn Passage the other two three-year-olds in this year’s Stradbroke field.
Peter & Paul Snowden opted to withdraw Hightail from last weekend’s Fred Best Classic field after the Stradbroke first acceptances revealed their talented Written Tycoon gelding was assured of a run in Queensland’s premier race.
Dawn Passage meanwhile will be on the quick back-up after winning the Stradbroke Handicap ballot exemption via a dominant display in the Fred Best Classic, the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Dawn Approach colt the new favourite.
Pre-barrier Stradbroke Handicap odds have Dawn Passage on top at $4.40, the flying youngster chasing a fourth win on the trot have also recently won the Hawkesbury Guineas – Inglis Guineas double at Rosehill.
The other best fancied of the Stradbroke Handicap acceptors is the Jenny Graham-trained Victorem ($10), the I Am Invincible five-year-old currently stabled at Eagle Farm with Barry Lockwood.
Victorem showed his affinity for the track on May 23 winning the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) in an upset and drops from 56.5kg to just 52.5kg on the weekend as he shoots for the double.
2020 Stradbroke Handicap Final Field
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barriers (TBA)||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x81324x721||TREKKING||James Cummings||Michael Cahill||0||58kg|
|2||39x27x3358||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||Ryan Maloney||0||55.5kg|
|3||22x81412x2||NICCANOVA||Steve Tregea||James Orman||0||53kg|
|4||3104210×11||RANIER||James Cummings||Larry Cassidy||0||53kg|
|5||x2814x2x01||VICTOREM||Jenny Graham||Dale Smith||0||52.5kg|
|6||x86436x775||TYZONE||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Robbie Fradd||0||52.5kg|
|7||x578x568x4||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Justin Huxtable (a)||0||52.5kg|
|8||1x8211x449||VEGA ONE||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||0||52kg|
|9||306x010x04||CHIEF IRONSIDE (GB)||Kris Lees||Corey Bayliss (a)||0||52kg|
|10||40x3440x45||GRAFF||Kris Lees||Sean Cormack||0||52kg|
|11||213115×823||DEEP IMAGE||Robert Heathcote||Ms Stephanie Thornton||0||51.5kg|
|12||0x07x25x46||WINTER BRIDE||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Jake Bayliss||0||51kg|
|13||x41011x970||MADAM ROUGE||Chris Waller||Jason Taylor||0||51kg|
|14||00x1281x34||OUTBACK BARBIE||Tony Gollan||Mark Du Plessis||0||51kg|
|15||3321722213||BAM’S ON FIRE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Tegan Harrison||0||51kg|
|16||x156x28111||DAWN PASSAGE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||James Innes Jnr||0||50kg|
|17||x28x214x11||HIGHTAIL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Spriggs||0||50kg|
|18||1127x53x32||EXHILARATES||James Cummings||Taylor Marshall||0||49.5kg|
|19e||01x165x223||BACCARAT BABY||David Vandyke||Micheal Hellyer||0||51kg|
|20e||x88880x992||BRAVE SONG||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||0||51.5kg|
|22e||21x7574x55||MILITARY ZONE||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||0||51kg||99|
|23e||527×520640||DELECTATION GIRL (GB)||Kris Lees||TBA||0||51kg||99|
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