Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
Thirty sprinters are still in contention following the first acceptances for the 2018 Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 9.
The non-acceptance of the original top weight Le Romain has seen Kingsford–Smith Cup winner Impending (57.5kg) head to the top of the weights and the top of the order of entry for the 2018 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival’s premier race.
Trainer Kris Lees has abandoned a Stradbroke Handicap start for Le Romain who has returned to his Newcastle base, leaving Impending at the top of the thirty 1st acceptances for the Stradbroke Handicap.
As well as Le Romain, several other high profile sprinters are absent from the first acceptances’ list and include the Doomben 10,000 winner English, Galaxy winner In Her Time and Lindsay Park’s dual Group 1 winner Vega Magic.
Equal number one in the order of entry for the Stradbroke Handicap is the Anthony Freedman trained Santa Ana Lane (55.5kg) and Paul Perry’s three year old Perast (50kg).
Santa Ana Lane heads to Queensland after winning the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 19 while Perast gained exemption from the Stradbroke Handicap ballot for his win against his own age in the Group 3 $150,000 Sky Racing Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir has four horses in the top eighteen in the order of entry among the first acceptors, Lucky Hussler (4th), Voodoo Lad (12th), Peaceful State (16th) and Danon Liberty (18th) while Handsome Thief, twenty-sixth in the order of entry, could leap frog his stablemates and be exempt from the ballot for the Stradbroke Handicap if he can win the Group 2 $175,000 Moreton Cup (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Bjorn Baker’s brilliant three year old filly Champagne Cuddles is also among the first acceptances and is number seven in the order of entry and with only 50kg sits at the top of the Stradbroke Handicap market order at $4.40 with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of Impending at $4.80.
Champaign Cuddles put in a terrific Stradbroke Handicap trial with an eye catching third behind Impending and Le Romain in the Group 1 $700,000 Altus Traffic Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
The final field for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap will be released on Wednesday, June 6.
Early betting for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.40 Champagne Cuddles, $4.80 Impending, $8 Perast, $9 Care To Think, $14 Danon Liberty, Invincible Gem, Peaceful State, Santa Ana Lane, Osburne Bulls, $18 Spieth, $21 Shillelagh, Voodoo Lad, $26 Crack Me Up, Foxplay, $31 Burning Passion, Super Cash, $34 Endless Drama, $41 Hansome Thief, I’m A Rippa, Invincibella, Lucky Hussler, Moss ‘N’ Dale, Pecans, $61 or better the rest.
First Acceptances for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m)
|2||x341x6x031||SANTA ANA LANE||G||5||Anthony Freedman||1=||55.5kg|
|4||5x6001056x||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||8||Darren Weir||4||56kg|
|6||x731x076x4||SHILLELAGH (NZ)||M||6||Chris Waller||6||52.5kg|
|7||1x32222x13||CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES||F||3||Bjorn Baker||7||50kg|
|8||x21419140x||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||G||4||Liam Birchley||8||53.5kg|
|9||0x188x1x04||SUPER CASH||M||5||Andrew Noblet||9||51.5kg|
|10||x360x31495||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||H||6||Chris Waller||10||53.5kg|
|11||12x13x3503||INVINCIBLE GEM||M||4||Kris Lees||11||51.5kg|
|12||x257x145x0||VOODOO LAD||G||6||Darren Weir||12||53.5kg|
|13||290x2860x5||SPIETH (NZ)||H||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||13||53.5kg|
|14||641241×289||MOST IMPORTANT||G||5||Tony Gollan||14||53kg|
|15||11x1112x67||CARE TO THINK||G||4||Matthew Dunn||15||52.5kg|
|16||312×172011||PEACEFUL STATE||C||3||Darren Weir||16||50.5kg|
|17||15330×3717||BURNING PASSION||G||6||Mark Newnham||17||52kg|
|18||x2x533x98x||DANON LIBERTY (JPN)||H||6||Darren Weir||18||51.5kg|
|19||1121×13121||OSBORNE BULLS||G||4||James Cummings||19||51.5kg|
|20||8211313×71||MOSS ’N’ DALE (NZ)||G||5||Peter Gelagotis||20||51kg|
|21||5x877x2411||FRENCH EMOTION||M||6||Chris Waller||21||51kg|
|23||6×11113127||WIDGEE TURF||G||4||Patrick Payne||23||51kg|
|25||0x21812x31||I’M A RIPPA||G||4||Tony Gollan||25||51kg|
|26||1×32721617||HANDSOME THIEF (IRE)||G||5||Darren Weir||26||51kg|
|28||8485313×11||SIREN’S FURY||M||4||Jason Coyle||28||51kg|
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