The Stradbroke Handicap favourite Dawn Passage is looking to get a free ride in to the Group 1 sprint with a win in the Group 3 $125,000 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 30.
Dawn Passage is the $6 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $350,000 The Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 6 but the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained three year old is number 37 in the order of entry with only 50kg.
The winner of the Fred Best Classic for the three year olds is exempt from the ballot for The Stradbroke Handicap as well as escaping a penalty and co-trainer Adrian Bott said that was the likely lead up race for Dawn Passage to secure a place in the final field for the Queensland Winter Carnival’s premier race.
“We are realistic in that if we want to go to the Stradbroke then it (the Fred Best) is probably the path we will have to take,’ Bott told Racenet.
“I haven’t done too much work just yet on what’s above us in the order and what’s likely and what’s not likely but he may have to win the Fred Best to get into the Straddy.”
A run in the Fred Best Classic will only give Dawn Passage a week to get ready for The Stradbroke Handicap but Bott is not concerned about backing up the colt in seven days.
“The owners were a bit concerned about the back-up but I said I wouldn’t be worried, it is probably actually a positive,” Bott said.
“We have had great success in doing it and we wouldn’t be afraid to do it if it was necessary.
“If it was going to be detrimental to his chances in the Straddy, well, then he just wouldn’t be there, full-stop.
“We wouldn’t be afraid of the back-up by any means.”
Last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Trekking is sharing the second line of betting at $8 with the Tony Gollan trained Vega One and heads back to Queensland in great form after scoring a last stride win in the Group 1 $400,000 The Furphy Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville last Saturday.
Vega One is exempt from the ballot after winning the $250,000 The Gateway (1400m) at Eagle Farm on December 14 and also gets in with the light weight of 52kg.
Early betting for the 2020 The Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Dawn Passage, $8 Trekking, Vega One, $13 Hightail, $15 Kementari, $17 Outback Barbie, The Inevitable, $19 Exhilarates, $21 Ranier, Rocha Clock, Tambo’s Mate, Victorem, $26 Fituese, Phaistos, $31 Deep Image, Emerald Kingdom, Grand Piano, Military Zone, Savatiano, Soxagon, Tactical Advantage, $34 or better the rest.