The Kris Lees trained Clearly Innocent heads the weights for the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 10 after first acceptances were taken today.
Initial top weight Black Heart Bart was not among the twenty-seven first acceptances for the Stradbroke Handicap, leaving Clearly Innocent stranded at the top of the weights with 55.5kg which will be increased by 1.5kg to the mandatory 57kg top weight when the final acceptances are taken on June 7.
Clearly Innocent earned favouritism for the Stradbroke Handicap with a dominant win in the Group 1 $700,000 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) on a shifty Eagle Farm track last Saturday.
The Stradbroke Handicap which is traditionally run at Eagle Farm has been transferred to Doomben because of the way the new Eagle Farm racing surface has failed to perform up to expectations and came in for a lot of criticism following last weekend’s meeting.
Kingsford-Smith Cup runner up Jungle Edge is also a first acceptor for the Stradbroke Handicap but Cranbourne trainer Mick Bell is not happy with Racing Queensland’s decision to move the Group 1 sprint across the road.
Jungle Edge is a noted wet tracker and handled the heavy 8 rated Eagle Farm track well and Bell was looking forward to getting the six year old back there on Saturday week for the 1400m contest.
“I’ve got my horse up in Queensland on good faith and just because the track doesn’t suit some high-profile trainers, now we are having to move to Doomben,” Bell told racing.com.
“My horse likes conditions at Eagle Farm and that is why I am here.
“If the tracks are rock hard, I have the option of going elsewhere. The same applies to other trainers who have horses who don’t like the track at Eagle Farm.
“There is nothing wrong with the safety of the track, we got through the meeting on Saturday, Clearly Innocent won a Group 1 fair and square.
“Are they going to go back and say his win doesn’t count now as it was on an inferior surface?”
“I’m here now, we are going to run but I’m not impressed and think the principle of moving the meeting to suit those who have whinged isn’t right,” Bell said.
While Weir didn’t accept with Black Heart Bart, the leading Victorian trainer still has three horses in contention for the Stradbroke Handicap, the in-form Burning Front, Ulmann and Rageese.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller also has three first acceptors with Kingsford-Smith Cup third placegetter Counterattack, Railway Stakes runner up Good Prospect and Group 2 winner Mackintosh.
Randwick co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden are looking to win to the two big Group 1 sprints of the Brisbane Winter Carnival and have Gold Symphony and Attention among the first acceptances for the Stradbroke Handicap.
Team Snowden kicked off their Winter Carnival campaign in great styale when Redzel led all of the way to win the Group 1 $700,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1200m) at Doomben on May 13.
Last year’s Stradbroke Handicap third placegetter and first up Chief De Beers winner The Virginian and stablemate Sylpheed are still in contention for Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds.
First acceptances for the 2017 Stradbroke Handicap
|1||11x640x911||CLEARLY INNOCENT||G||5||Kris Lees||1||55.5kg|
|2||28×5313512||JUNGLE EDGE||G||6||Mick Bell||2||54kg|
|3||37×4318136||DERRYN||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||3||51.5kg|
|4||2411111411||BURNING FRONT||G||6||Darren Weir||4||53kg|
|6||x377x0472x||GOOD PROJECT||H||5||Chris Waller||6||53kg|
|8||05x11115x5||IN HER TIME||M||4||Benjamin Smith||8||52kg|
|10||110x13540x||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||G||4||Chris Waller||10||52kg|
|14||3021×87539||KAEPERNICK||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||14||52kg|
|15||6x15162x52||EGYPTIAN SYMBOL||M||4||Bjorn Baker||15||52kg|
|16||4x013421x3||GOLD SYMPHONY||G||4||Peter & Paul Snowden||16||52kg|
|18||1613x66x1||THE VIRGINIAN||G||4||Toby Edmonds||18||52kg|
|19||18x587x842||YESTERDAY’S SONGS||G||6||Michael Moroney||19||52kg|
|20||25531120×2||SNOOPY||G||4||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||20||52kg|
|22||2152427428||TOO GOOD TO REFUSE||H||4||Desleigh Forster||22||52kg|
|23||210x5240x4||ATTENTION||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||23||50.5kg|
|24||63211419×4||OAK DOOR||C||3||Robert Smerdon||24||50.5kg|
|25||11x6211x11||BONNY O’REILLY (NZ)||M||4||Bjorn Baker||25||52kg|
|26||24×1111381||TACTICAL ADVANTAGE||G||3||James Cummings||26||50.5kg|