Local hope I’m A Rippa might be the outsider of the field and have a wide barrier but leading Eagle Farm trainer Tony Gollan is not writing off his chances in the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on his home track on Saturday.
I’m A Rippa drew barrier seventeen in the original draw but will move in four spots in the final eighteen horse field if all of the emergencies fail to gain a start and the five year old is currently marked at $91 at Ladbrokes.com.au with the only other runner at longer odds is the fifth emergency Siren’s Way at $151.
I’m A Rippa has abundant gate speed and will negate the wide barrier in the first 100m if jockey Jeff Lloyd lets the speedster take up his usual front running position.
Gollan is banking on a leader’s bias at Eagle Farm on Saturday and if that is the case expects I’m A Rippa to be in front for a long time.
“The barrier of seventeen is no help but he has won three stakes races in the past 12 months and is right down in the weights,” Gollan told AAP.
“Also if the track plays to leaders again he will be up there.”
I’m A Rippa led the field up in the Group 1 $800,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben on May 11 before fading to finish tenth, three and a quarter lengths from the winner The Bostonian and then set the pace again before finishing third behind Tyzone and Violate in the Group 3 $140,000 Bernborough Ascot BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben three weeks ago.
I’m A Rippa drops to 53kg in the Stradbroke Handicap, which 5.5kg less than he carried under the weight for age conditions in the Doomben 10,000 and Gollan can see this helping his chances.
The Tony Pike trained Kiwi galloper The Bostonian remains at the top of the Stradbroke Handicap market order at $4.80 and is trying to make it a clean sweep of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s Group 1 sprints after winning the Doomben 10,000 and the $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago.
On the second line of betting at $6.50 is the James Cummings trained Trekking who finished third in the Kingsford-Smith Cup while BRC Sprint winner Tyzone is the only other runner under the $10 mark at $9.50.