Srikandi has returned to winning form in the best way possible at Doomben this afternoon; completing a near-perfect performance to take out the featured 2015 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) with ease.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Kerrin McEvoy immediately led the daughter of Dubawi forward and settled in prime position on the heels of early leader Hot Snitzel; on the rails and at a good tempo.
Offered a clear racing line upon arriving at the final straight, Srikandi immediately put the foot down and comfortably charged clear of the main pack; mustering a typically brilliant turn of foot over the final 200m to finish well clear of Boban; consistent performer Generalife running on for third.
Trainer Ciaron Maher was understandably thrilled with Srikandi’s performance for a maiden Group 1 win in the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap and laid all the praise on the effort of his team and the ride produced by McEvoy.
“It was a great effort by the team to get her back up,” Maher said after the race.
“It hasn’t gone really smoothly this prep but they’ve done a lot of hard work.
“She worked super on Tuesday, the barrier draw was ideal, the rail position I though just played into her hand and Kerrin, a super ride.
“It was a shame Damien Browne couldn’t make the weight but all credit to Kerrin today.”
“She was just so well; out the back she was really bouncing and just looked right.
“She’d tightened up nicely and we aimed to sort of peak her today and fortunately it came off.
“It’s just great; she was so tough in this race last year. It’s one of Australia’s best sprint races and to win it with this horse it’s such a relief and i’m just so thrilled.”
McEvoy delivered a typically impressive performance aboard Srikandi for success in the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap and revealed he was confident of the positive result after allowing Hot Snitzel to do all the early work.
“It was nice to have that draw and she was able to begin sharply today,” McEvoy said.
“I was able to stay inside Blake (Shinn) on Hot Snitzel.
“I kicked through and sort of got rid of Blake and was so full of running. She wanted to lay a little bit but I just have her a tap of the left side at the 300 and she was full of running.”
The standout performer of the 2014 edition of the Brisbane Winter Carnival, Srikandi won the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) first-up this time but continued to drift in Stradbroke Handicap markets after only managing midfield finishes in both the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) and Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
EARLIER: The 2015 Stradbroke Handicap results should see Lumosty post a clear and convincing maiden victory at the highest level at Doomben this afternoon, if the attention she has been shown in betting markets this week is any indication.
Lumosty has returned to racing in exceptional condition this time; taking out the All Victorian Sprint Series Heat (1100m) by more than three lengths first-up before repeating the dose in the Listed Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington a fortnight ago.
Confirmed as the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap’s first emergency runner on Wednesday, the daughter of Fastnet Rock was instilled at a quote of $7 for success but has continued to cut drastically in to current odds of $4.60, particularly following the scratching of Lord Of The Sky on Friday morning.
The three-year-old has secured a total of four wins and three minors through her nine career starts so far but undoubtedly faces her biggest test to date if to produce a favourable 2015 Stradbroke Handicap result for Robert Smerdon.
Classy sprinter Charlie Boy ($6.50) has undoubtedly mustered career-best form to date over the Brisbane Winter Carnival and is offered an ideal opportunity to finish on the right end of 2015 Stradbroke Handicap results after being charged with carrying just 54kgs and allocated the central barrier 7.
Beginning his racing tenure under the guidance of Gerald Ryan, Charlie Boy has been transferred to the care of Peter and Paul Snowden for his winter campaign and has fast stamped his claims as one of the carnival’s standouts.
Booking his ticket north when finishing a credible fifth in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 18th, Charlie Boy arrived in Queensland for a comfortable win in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m); a race won by River Lad on his way to Stradbroke Handicap success in 2014.
Having since finished a close second in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), the son of Myboycharlie is sure to be delivered a gem of a ride by Craig Williams.
Perth raider Black Heart Bart interestingly figures as the only other runner currently given a single-figure odds chance of leading the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap results at a quote of $9.
Winning four-consecutive black type sprints in the West at the beginning of the year, the Blackfriars gelding proved he was up to Group 1 class when recovering from a poor start to finish a credible fourth in The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville three weeks ago.
Three-year-old Delectation and Godolphin hope Generalife share the fourth line of betting at $10 quotes, while any runner winning beyond Sacred Star ($12), Knoydart ($12), Srikandi ($12) or Boban ($14) will make for a particularly interesting set of 2015 Stradbroke Handicap results.