Last Saturday’s Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup winner Clearly Innocent will carry the top weight for the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 10.
The Kris Lees trained Clearly Innocent was allocated 55.5kg when the weights for the Stradbroke Handicap were released today, but that mark will be raised by 1.5kg so the five year old can carry the mandatory 57kg top weight because Black Heart Bart, who was given 58.5kg top weight by the Handicapper, has been announced as a non-runner.
Black Heart Bart finished a fading nine lengths fifth to Clearly Innocent in the Group 1 $700,000 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) on the shifty Eagle Farm track last Saturday and trainer Darren Weir has sent the multiple Group 1 winner for a break before preparing him for a Spring Carnival campaign.
“He is off to Washpool (Lodge) this morning (Sunday) to have three weeks off and then he’ll get back into it for the spring,” Weir told RSN’s Correct Weight program.
Hugh Bowman rode his twelfth Group 1 winner on Australian soil for the 2016 – 2017 racing season when he steered Clearly Innocent to victory in the Kingsford-Smith Cup and Lees will be happy that the five year old has plenty of weight to allow the champion jockey to take the mount again in the Stradbroke Handicap.
“I hope he just gets enough [weight] for Hughie to ride,” Lees said after the Kingsford-Smith Cup on Saturday.
The Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic was also allocated 55.5kg but the 2017 Group 1 Goodwood winner has also been sent for a spell prior to being prepared for the Spring.
The Gary Moore trained Takedown was given 55kg along with Group 1 winners English from the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable and 2016 Doomben 10,000 winner Music Magnate while Rebel Dane has got 54.5kg.
Takedown, English, Rebel Dane and Fell Swoop with 53.5kg are also all unlikely to run in Stradbroke Handicap.
Trainer Chris Waller’s top three contenders for the Stradbroke Handicap are Counterattack, with 53kg, Japonisme and Religify with 52.5kg.
Betting for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au has Clearly Innocent as the $4 favourite ahead of Counterattack at $9 and Jungle Edge at $10.
Early betting for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Clearly Innocent, $9 Counterattack, $10 Jungle Edge, $11 Ulmann, $15 Impending, Mackintosh, New Universe, $17 Burning Force, Derryn, In Her Time, Tactical Advantage, $21 Niccanova, Splurge, The Virginian, $26 Bonny O’Reilly, Eckstein, Fabrizio, Hey Doc, Rageese, $34 or better the rest.