Seven O’Dea’s in-form local mare Jami Lady...
A guaranteed run in the 2020 Stradbroke Handicap field is up for grabs at Eagle Farm Racecourse this weekend with the inaugural edition of the $250,000 The Gateway (1400m) taking place.
Offering the winner a ballot free ride into the Group 1 $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap back at the same track and distance over the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, The Gateway 2019 is a set weights race for four-year-olds with a quarter of a million dollars also on offer.
The Gateway field originally attracted 11 final acceptors but with two early scratchings the line-up is down to nine in a now all-Queensland affair.
The Godolphin stable withdrew the James Cummings-trained Festival Stakes winner Ranier (3) who instead runs at Royal Randwick on Saturday in the Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) over the mile.
Fellow Sydney-trained Miss Fabulass (11) for Kris Lees is also out of The Gateway having drawn the outside barrier, the mare to instead stake her 2020 Magic Millions Cup claims as the favourite in the Listed $125,000 Lough Neagh Stakes (1300m) one race later on the Eagle Farm card.
Leading the updated The Gateway odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on the race that also serves as a nice lead-up into next month’s Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday on January 11 is Outback Barbie ($5 into $3.70).
The Tony Gollan-trained daughter of Spirit Of Boom is yet to win from three starts at the Eagle Farm track and is also a maiden at the distance after five attempts.
Still, the bookies are taking no chances with the now four-year-old who ran third in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January of 2018 as a juvenile and third again in the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at the start of the year.
Two back Outback Barbie won the Listed Keith Noud Quality (1200m) at her preferred Doomben track before a last start second when beaten narrowly by Chapter And Verse in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) from a wide barrier (12 of 15).
She presents fit third-up here with jockey Jim Byrne continuing associations, Outback Barbie facing a smaller field from a better gate with a winnable weight (55kg).
All going to plan this summer and Outback Barbie will return to the Gold Coast Magic Millions Day again in 2020 with a number of nice options including the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m).
There are five other single-figure fancies in The Gateway betting including the market mover Boomsara ($7 into $4.40) drawn the rains.
Prepared by former champion jockey Chris Munce, the Spirit Of Boom gelding beat Outback Barbie home when winning the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas back in January and will be out to do the same second-up here.
Fresh the four-year-old caught the eye from the widest alley (15) when under a half-length third in the George Moore and the rematch with the runner-up in that Outback Barbie on Saturday should be a tense affair.
Following closely at $4.80 is then the flying Stuart Kendrick-trained Tambo’s Mate who has won three of his four latest runs.
The Mossman four-year-old was runner-up to Outback Barbie in the Keith Noud before a last start Listed Tattersall’s Recognition Stakes (1350m) win at Doomben on November 23.
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