The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The punters are starting to shy away slightly from the best in Stradbroke Handicap 2019 betting this weekend at Eagle Farm with an early move on the Patrick Payne-trained Widgee Turf for the Brisbane feature.
Due to run as Race 8 at 3:35pm (AEST), this season’s Group 1 $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) features a capacity 18 runners and the current market mover backed in from $14 to $10 is Turffontein five-year-old Widgee Turf.
Having his first run in Queensland, the Plumpton-trained gelding comes off a tidy 1.25 length win at Caulfield from April 27 when carrying 58kg to victory in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Mile (1600m).
On Saturday the ultra-consistent galloper is drawn wide (16) but is tipped to overcome the gate dropping to 54kg and back to 1400m for his acid test taking on the Group 1 horses here.
Widgee Turf was ballot out of Stradbroke contention last winter and Payne is thrilled to have a well-weighted shot in the time-honoured classic this year.
“He is perfectly handicapped to get into the field this year,” Payne told Racenet this week.
“With these big handicaps, it is the perfect time to try and do something a bit clever with him in either the Doncaster or the Stradbroke.
“The key with him is soft ground. I am not sure if the Stradbroke is going to be very wet but that was the long-term plan.
“Because he has had a pretty easy winter, he has pulled up from it well and he rarely runs a bad race.”
Heading the Stradbroke Handicap weights and odds at $4.80 and easing is the flying Tony Pike-trained The Bostonian, the Kiwi raider shooting for the Group 1 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival treble.
The Jimmy Choux four-year-old won both the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) and Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at generous odds thanks to two brilliant rides by hoop Michael Cahill.
Cahill retains the ride and will be out to emulate the magic again on Saturday aboard The Bostonian who must set a modern day weight carrying record with the 57kg on his back in the Stradbroke Handicap field.
Pike however is unfazed by the as-predicted weight for his stable ace who is undefeated in the sunshine state having also won three on the trot in Queensland last season.
“When he was here last time he basically won three races in the space of three weeks,” Pike told AAP.
The other single-figure hopefuls are the Godolphin-raced Trekking ($6.50) and Tyzone ($9.50) drawn side-by-side in barriers 12 and 11 respectively.
Street Cry four-year-old Trekking won back-to-back races in NSW before his brave third when under a length beaten in the Kingsford-Smith Cup on May 25.
He carried 59kg that start, equal with The Bostonian at weight-for-age, but meets his last start conqueror in the rematch far better in the weights coming right back to 54kg with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride.
Tyzone meanwhile is the best-backed of the Queensland horses in this year’s Stradbroke race, the five-year-old son of Written Tycoon coming off the big win in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) on May 18 at Doomben.
“A lot of people were saying Tyzone was suspect at 1350m or 1400m but I think he put that to bed with his win in the BRC Sprint,” Tyzone’s Gold Coast-based trainer Toby Edmonds said.
“But to be honest I never had any doubts in my mind.
“When I got this horse Jeff [Lloyd] did a lot of the early work with him and he was convinced he would get a mile.
“With that in mind, I always knew I could aim at something like a Stradbroke.”
For the full Stradbroke Handicap 2019 odds and betting promos this weekend visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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