The last Group 1 race of the season in Australia...
Liam Birchley’s in-form summer sprinter-miler Crack Me Up has opened clear favourite to take out the Brisbane Handicap 2017 at Doomben Racecourse this weekend.
Due to run as Race 8 at 4:48pm (AEST), this season’s Listed $100,000 Brisbane Handicap (1600m) has drawn a smart field of 15 hopefuls.
The latest Brisbane Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au feature four single-figure hopefuls including the dominant $2.30 top fancy Crack Me Up drawn a treat in barrier four.
Flying hoop Matthew McGillivray retains the ride on the Mossman four-year-old after guiding Crack Me Up to a one and a quarter length victory at the track a fortnight back in the Listed $100,000 Recognition Stakes (1350m).
Crack Me Up rises from 54kg that win, his third in four starts, to 56.5kg on the weekend but looks well-suited to the extra metres boasting a consistent 1600m record of two wins and two seconds from five previous runs over the mile.
Occupying the second line of Brisbane Handicap betting this summer racing season at $7.50 is the widely-drawn Zahspeed out in gate 13.
Tegan Harrison has the ride on Toby Edmonds’ Gold Coast galloper, the six-year-old coming off a lead-up run over 1800m at Rosehill Gardens from November 25.
Down in weight to Saturday’s 54kg minimum, Zahspeed won his other previous start at the Doomben track early last month over the mile by over two lengths and is tipped to be a danger again returning to the 1600m in Brisbane.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 for the win are then Cantbuybetter and Hopfgarten drawn in barriers three and seven respectively.
Cantbuybetter is prepared in Toowoomba by Ben Currie and chases his first win since mid-May when taking out Doomben’s Listed Members’ Handicap (1600m).
He has finished in the money just once since and needs to be improving on the luckless 11th behind Crack Me Up in the Recognition Stakes from a wide barrier (14 of 16).
One of Brisbane’s premier trainers Rob Heathcote, of Buffering fame, saddles-up Mossman seven-year-old Hopfgarten on Saturday as the gelding has his 55th career start.
Hopfgarten is a Doomben specialist and was far from disgraced when two and a half lengths back third in the Recognition Stakes last time out.
Again the old warhorse gives the weight away to his rivals carrying 59kg, but it is the Helen Page-trained Rudy carrying the most with 60kg.
Rudy is a $15 chance to overcome the kilos and salute, the son of Red Dazzler having carted the same weight first-up when fifth in the Recognition Stakes.
That race looks the form line to follow into Brisbane’s mile feature on the weekend and the extra metres will suit Rudy as he boasts winning form up to 2200m.
He is undefeated over 1600m at Doomben and will be fitter second-up after his first win since carrying 59.5kg for his last run in the winter at Doomben in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m).
Check out the full Brisbane Handicap 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below with all the top summer racing odds and offers for this weekend available online through Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Brisbane Handicap Field, Barriers & Odds
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