The 2015 Stradbroke Handicap form guide is currently experiencing huge attention from punters over every corner of the country as we continue winding towards the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s headline event at Doomben this afternoon.
The Stradbroke Handicap remains a challenging race to analyse from a betting standpoint but our team of form experts have studied each runner in detail to compile all the information you need to take a firm grasp on the capacity field.
A four-time Group 1 winner, Boban undoubtedly found career-best form to date over the 2013 Spring Carnival, in which he posted a perfect record of five wins from as many starts, including both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m). Having failed to produce much of a consistent run of form over the last 12 months, the son of Bernardini beat only one runner home in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on February 28th but returned to the winner’s circle with an impressive late effort in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at fortnight ago. Charged with carrying a race-high 58kgs this afternoon, Boban will leave from barrier 8 with Glyn Schofield aboard.
2. Hot Snitzel
Hot Snitzel began his racing career under the guidance of Gerald Ryan; posting a commendable seven wins and eight minors from 33 competitive starts for the Rosehill horseman. Having transferred to the care of Peter and Paul Snowden prior to his current prep, the son of Snitzel was given little hope for success in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) first-up on May 8th but produced a monumental turn of foot to break through for a maiden win at the highest level. Needing luck in running from barrier 16, Hot Snitzel’s chances are sure to be boosted by Blake Shinn.
3. Sacred Star
New Zealand-based raider Sacred Star has won two Group 1 races already this season and enters the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap off the back of a credible fifth in the Doomben 10,000. Posting a career total of eight wins and two minors over 24 starts, the Flying Spur gelding is a proven performer over track and distance and ran fifth in last year’s edition of the Stradbroke. Sure to receive a dream run from barrier 5, Hong Kong-based hoop Zac Purton has retained the ride on the five-year-old this afternoon.
4. Smokin’ Joey
Talented veteran Smokin’ Joey continues to produce for Mornington trainer Wez Hunter, but enters the Stradbroke Handicap off the back of a disappointing effort for 14th in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) three weeks ago. Running fourth in both the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in Perth over summer, the son of Encosta De Lago won the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) on February 14th before running a close second in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later. Having posted his only Group 1 victory to date at $41 odds, the seven-year-old cannot be written off in the Stradbroke Handicap.
One of two leading chances of success for John O’Shea and Godolphin in the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap, consistent performer Generalife will undoubtedly need luck in running from the outside gate but is more than capable of success with Hugh Bowman aboard. Returning this time for success in the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) on March 28th, the Lonhro gelding ran a pleasing fifth in the talent-rich Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) before completing an ideal Stradbroke Handicap lead-in when third in the Doomben 10,000.
6. Temple Of Boom
Local favourite Temple Of Boom is yet to find peak condition this campaign but will be suited by the conditions of the Stradbroke Handicap and a weight of just 54.5kgs. A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2012 edition of The Galaxy, the son of Piccolo capped an impressive 2014 winter preparation an agonizingly-close second in the Stradbroke.
7. Lord Of The Sky – SCRATCHED
Lord Of The Sky was the first horse scratched from the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap after injuring himself prior to transit.
8. Charlie Boy
Charlie Boy is considered by many as the great chance of beating Lumosty to the line in the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap, and his recent form definitely indicates something similar. Having transferred from the stables of Gerald Ryan to the care of Peter and Paul Snowden, the son of Myboycharlie ran fifth in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) on April 18th; taking out the key form-indicating Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) on May 9th before running a close second to Boban in the Doomben 10,000.
Godolphin’s second Stradbroke Handicap contestant this year, Knoydart has produced several typically good results this season and is sure to lay a great account for himself and jockey James McDonald from barrier 3 this afternoon. Having placed a competitive sixth in The Galaxy, the More Than Ready gelding arrived in Queensland for fourth in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) on April 25th; progressing to second in the BTC Cup and fourth in the Doomben 10,000 most recently.
10. Big Money
Big Money is a proven performer on the Doomben course but faces a monumental task in taking out the Stradbroke Handicap. Winning each of the Group 3 Healy Stakes (1200m) and Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) on a venture north through the 2014 winter, the Choisir gelding returned in summer for successes in both the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) and Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) and has finished mid-pack in the two Group 1 sprints this time.
11. Black Heart Bart
Perth raider Black Heart Bart has undoubtedly found career-best form to date this year and will prove tough to beat in the Stradbroke Handicap if he can overcome barrier 13. Winning each of the Listed Summer Scorcher (1000m), Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m), Listed Pinjarra Classic (1300m) and Listed Bunbury Stakes (1400m) consecutively, the son of Blackfriars was forced to settle at the rear of the field in the Goodwood three weeks ago but run well late for fourth.
Fontelina currently rates as the longest-odds chance of winning the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap at a quote of $101 and his form this time probably warrants the tag. Unlucky to finish second in several Group 1 tilts, Fontelina appeared to have returned in competitive form following a year in the paddock when fourth in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 6th but has since failed to make any impact whatsoever in three Group 1 starts.
13. El Roca
Kiwi four-year-old El Roca spent more than a year in the paddock with a string of minor ailments but has steadily built to the task over two starts this time. Group 1 placed twice in 2014, the Fastnet Rock entire failed to handle the late pace when eleventh in the BTC Cup first-up but clearly took benefit from the run when fifth in the Group 2 QTC Sprint (1200m) last weekend.
Srikandi was undoubtedly the standout performer of the 2014 Brisbane Winter Carnival and was installed as early Stradbroke Handicap favourite, but has continued to drift in markets after two disappointing starts. Having announced her return with an impressive win in the Victory Stakes, the daughter of Dubawi stood in the gates and failed to recover when eighth in the BTC Cup before a slightly more impressive effort for sixth in the Doomben 10,000.
15. Fast ‘N’ Rocking – SCRATCHED
Fast ‘N’ Rocking became the second horse scratched from the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap on Saturday morning.
Classy three-year-old Delectation appears primed for a maiden Group 1 win, is weighted exceptionally well at just 53kgs and is sure to lay a great account for himself with hall of fame jockey Glen Boss aboard. Ending a strong spring campaign second in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m), the Shamardal gelding returned this time for second in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) on February 7th, and while failing to fire in his next two starts, has won the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) and finished third in the Listed Ascot Handicap (1200m) most recently.
Having maintained status as clear favourite to win the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap despite initially figuring as an emergency runner, Lumosty carries career-best form into this afternoon’s feature race and will be very hard to beat with just 50.5kgs on her back. Returning for a three length victory in the All Victoria Sprint Series Heat (1100m) on May 9th, the Fastnet Rock filly repeated the dose in the Listed Straight Six (1200m) a fortnight ago but undoubtedly faces her biggest task to date in the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap.