Newcastle’s Kris Lees will chase his maiden...
Saturday’s 2020 Stradbroke Handicap favourite Dawn Passage suffered an early blow on Tuesday afternoon drawing the extreme outside barrier for Queensland’s premier race at Eagle Farm.
A capacity field is engaged for this season’s Group 1 $350,000 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), one of only two elite level races taking place during the COVID-19 affected Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival for 2020.
With a full 18 starters plus five emergencies, there were 23 barriers drawn on Tuesday afternoon and the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained youngster Dawn Passage came up with the widest alley.
The in-form Dawn Approach colt remains favourite to extend his winning streak to four on the trot despite the wide barrier.
The three-year-old is on the quick back-up having won his way into the Stradbroke field via last weekend’s Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben.
That followed on from his back-to-back Rosehill wins in the Hawkesbury Guineas and Inglis Guineas, both contested over the 1400m distance of the Stradbroke.
Having carted 56.5kg to a dominant win last Saturday, Dawn Passage looks a genuine lightweight hope dropping back to just 50kg for the Group 1 with James Innes Jnr to ride.
Updated Stradbroke Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list Dawn Passage at an easing $4.60 to join Black Piranha (2009) as the only favourite to salute in the race since 2004.
Occupying the second line of Stradbroke Handicap betting at $7 is the defending champion Trekking for Godolphin out to emulate Black Piranha (2009-10) as the last dual winner.
The James Cummings-trained son of Street Cry was last seen winning Adelaide’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) and gives the weight away to his rivals on Saturday allocated 58kg.
Trekking too remains in favour with the punters despite having no luck barrier-wise, the horse to jump from 17 of 18 once emergencies come out having drawn 22.
Last year he won from barrier 8 of 17 carrying just 54kg.
“There is no doubt the barrier draw has opened the race right up,” Tom Hackett from Ladbrokes.com.au said on Tuesday.
“We are still keeping Dawn Passage safe, despite the wide barrier, but this does make Trekking’s task much more difficult.”
Drawing far more favourably with an ideal barrier nine meanwhile is the $7.50 third elect, last start Group 2 Victory Stakes winner at the track Victorem.
Prepared in Port Macquarie by Jenny Graham, the I Am Invincible five-year-old is currently stabled with Barry Lockwood at Eagle Farm and his Victory Stakes win over 1200m on May 23 was his second from four starts at the track.
The last of the current single-figure hopefuls and another for the powerhouse Godolphin stable, smart filly Exhilarates is at $9.50 carrying only 49.5kg from a gun barrier four draw.
She comes off two strong placings behind fellow Stradbroke hopefuls Hightail and Dawn Passage and with the ideal gate and weight stands a strong chance to turn the tables this weekend in tougher grade.
“She will be able to take up a nice position. She’s only got 49.5kg, she’s got a great barrier, we don’t see the 1400m as an issue. On the seven-day back-up like she did in the Magic Millions, it’s not a bad formula,” Godolphin’s Vin Cox told The Courier Mail.
2020 Stradbroke Handicap Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x81324x721||TREKKING||James Cummings||Michael Cahill||22||58kg||116|
|2||39x27x3358||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||Ryan Maloney||10||55.5kg||110|
|3||22x81412x2||NICCANOVA||Steve Tregea||James Orman||17||53kg||106|
|4||3104210×11||RANIER||James Cummings||Larry Cassidy||19||53kg||106|
|5||x2814x2x01||VICTOREM||Jenny Graham||Dale Smith||9||52.5kg||109|
|6||x86436x775||TYZONE||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Robbie Fradd||21||52.5kg||104|
|7||x578x568x4||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Justin Huxtable (a)||11||52.5kg||105|
|8||1x8211x449||VEGA ONE||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||20||52kg||102|
|9||306x010x04||CHIEF IRONSIDE (GB)||Kris Lees||Corey Bayliss (a)||14||52kg||103|
|10||40x3440x45||GRAFF||Kris Lees||Sean Cormack||2||52kg||103|
|11||213115×823||DEEP IMAGE||Robert Heathcote||Ms Stephanie Thornton||18||51.5kg||102|
|12||0x07x25x46||WINTER BRIDE||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Jake Bayliss||16||51kg||105|
|13||x41011x970||MADAM ROUGE||Chris Waller||Jason Taylor||13||51kg||104|
|14||00x1281x34||OUTBACK BARBIE||Tony Gollan||Mark Du Plessis||8||51kg||104|
|15||3321722213||BAM’S ON FIRE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Tegan Harrison||1||51kg||102|
|16||x156x28111||DAWN PASSAGE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||James Innes Jnr||23||50kg||100|
|17||x28x214x11||HIGHTAIL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Spriggs||5||50kg||96|
|18||1127x53x32||EXHILARATES||James Cummings||Taylor Marshall||4||49.5kg||96|
|19e||01x165x223||BACCARAT BABY||David Vandyke||Micheal Hellyer||3||51kg||102|
|20e||x88880x992||BRAVE SONG||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||12||51.5kg||102|
|22e||21x7574x55||MILITARY ZONE||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||15||51kg||99|
|23e||527×520640||DELECTATION GIRL (GB)||Kris Lees||TBA||6||51kg||99|
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