Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Flying New Zealand horseman Tony Pike is still left with three possible runners including race favourite The Bostonian following this week’s first acceptances for the Stradbroke Handicap 2019.
Queensland’s richest race, this season’s Group 1 $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) runs at Eagle Farm on June 8 and 41 sprinters remain in the mix after first declarations on Wednesday.
Of those, three hail from the Cambridge stables of Pike who paid up for The Bostonian, Endless Drama and Ever Loyal.
Updated Stradbroke Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have in-form Jimmy Choux four-year-old The Bostonian as the clear $5 favourite following the gelding’s outstanding Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival to date.
The Bostonian won the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at blowout odds two back before surprising again with a gutsy victory in last Saturday’s Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m).
The Kingsford-Smith Cup success took his record to a perfect five-from-five in Queensland and has him carrying the 57kg top weight in the Stradbroke Handicap field as he attempts the treble.
Endless Drama is currently rated a $17 shot in futures Stradbroke Handicap betting and the seven-year-old Lope De Vega stallion will get in on 54kg.
He too ran in the Kingsford-Smith Cup and finished just 1.75 lengths back sixth to his stablemate in a run that has convinced Pike to press onto the Stradbroke.
Fifty-one kilo light-weight Ever Loyal meanwhile sits 35th on the Stradbroke ballot and is an unlikely $81 roughie for the stable after a disappointing 11th in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 18.
Of the 41 Stradbroke Handicap first acceptors for 2019 there is just one other single-figure chance in the current markets along with The Bostonian, the bookies also keeping Trekking safe in betting at $8.
The Godolphin stable and James Cummings have four Stradbroke Handicap horses still in the mix led by Street Cry four-year-old Trekking who ran a brave third when under a length beaten in the Kingsford-Smith Cup results.
He carried 59kg in that weight-for-age clash and will benefit from the handicap conditions of the Stradbroke for his rematch with The Bostonian, Trekking allocated 54kg.
The other Godolphin first acceptors for the $1.5 million feature are Kingsford-Smith Cup scratching Home Of The Brave (56kg), Group 1 placed Lonhro colt Encryption (52kg) out to improve on a Kingsford-Smith ninth and Viridine (53.5kg) who is favourite for this Saturday’s Group 2 Moreton Cup (1200m) at Doomben.
Other noteworthy first acceptances sitting high-up the all-in Stradbroke Handicap odds include the Tony McEvoy-trained Despatch ($10) and the best-fancied mare in the mix Spright ($10).
Four-year-old Written Tycoon gelding Despatch (54.5kg) sits equal first on the Stradbroke Handicap ballot with The Bostonian having won his last three starts on the trot at home in Adelaide including the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 18.
Hinchinbrook mare Spright (53.5kg) meanwhile is Hawkesbury-trained by Garry Frazer, the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes winner coming off a third in The Goodwood when drawn the outside barrier (16 of 16) with 56.5kg on her back.
The official Stradbroke Handicap 2019 field and barriers are announced by Racing Queensland next Wednesday, June 5, making now the time to check out the generous pre-field markets open at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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