Defending champion Impending will lead out the field for the 2018 Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Impending scored his first Group 1 win in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap and goes into this year’s race on the back a Group 1 win after taking out the $700,000 Altus Traffic Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben on May 26.
A full field of sixteen plus five emergencies make up the final field for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap with the James Cummings trained Impending to carry the top weight of 57.5kg.
Impending, with Damian Browne booked to ride, has drawn barrier nine in the original draw but could jump from gate seven with two of the five emergencies drawn inside of him and Godolphin foreman Paul Reid is not too concerned with the draw.
“That is oaky. Two emergencies, the first two emergencies are drawn inside of him so he will start from seven if they don’t gain a run so that is a good barrier,” Reid said.
“Couldn’t be any happier with him.”
“He has done really well and had a nice gallop on Tuesday and all is good.”
“He worked really nice and he seems to like the Doomben track, so that is a real help.”
Impending has won twice over the 1350m at Doomben and Reid said that the Lonhro stallion has a great chance to win back to back Stradbroke Handicaps even with the top weight of 57.5kg
“He will be very competitive anyway and he will run well,” Reid said.
The Godolphin Team was looking to have two runners in the Stradbroke Handicap but their second stringer Osborne Bulls could only make second emergency.
Reid would have liked to see Osborne Bulls (barrier 4) in the final field but said that if the four year old fails to gain a start, he is certain to shine in the future.
“He is a horse on the way up, but it would have been his toughest test at the moment and it looks like he is well up to it. He is only in his second prep and there is still good things for him to come down the track,” Reid said.
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir was also banking on having two starters in the Stradbroke Handicap, but Voodoo Lad, (Chris Parnham, barrier 7) looks likely to represent the stable after Japanese import Danon Liberty came up as the first emergency spot with barrier 6.
The Bjorn Baker trained Champagne Cuddles has held her spot at the top of the Stradbroke Handicap betting after drawing the inside gate with lightweight jockey Corey Brown in the saddle again.
Champagne Cuddles only has to carry 50kg and showed that she up to Group 1 company with a last start third to Impending in the Kingsford-Smith Cup.
Final field for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m)
|1||341x23x121||IMPENDING||James Cummings||Damian Browne||9||57.5kg|
|2||x341x6x031||SANTA ANA LANE||Anthony Freedman||Ben Melham||3||55.5kg|
|3||x21419140x||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Liam Birchley||Jim Byrne||5||53.5kg|
|4||x360x31495||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||20||53.5kg|
|5||x257x145x0||VOODOO LAD||Darren Weir||Chris Parnham||7||53.5kg|
|6||290x2860x5||SPIETH (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||21||53.5kg|
|7||3475×38485||FOXPLAY||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||19||53kg|
|8||641241×289||MOST IMPORTANT||Tony Gollan||Mark Du Plessis||2||53kg|
|9||2234430×51||THE MONSTAR||Brett Cavanough||Skye Bogenhuber||8||52.5kg|
|10||x731x076x4||SHILLELAGH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||10||52.5kg|
|11||11x1112x67||CARE TO THINK||Matthew Dunn||Tim Clark||16||52.5kg|
|12||15330×3717||BURNING PASSION||Mark Newnham||Michael Cahill||15||52kg|
|13||0x188x1x04||SUPER CASH||Andrew Noblet||Jamie Kah||13||51.5kg|
|14||12x13x3503||INVINCIBLE GEM||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||17||51.5kg|
|15||3715×57911||PERAST||Paul Perry||Jeff Lloyd||12||50kg|
|16||1x32222x13||CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES||Bjorn Baker||Corey Brown||1||50kg|
|17e||x2x533x98x||DANON LIBERTY (JPN)||Darren Weir||–||6||51.5kg|
|18e||1121×13121||OSBORNE BULLS||James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||4||51.5kg|
|19e||8211313×71||MOSS ‘N’ DALE (NZ)||Peter Gelagotis||Anthony Darmanin||11||51kg|
|21e||x21812x312||I’M A RIPPA||Tony Gollan||–||14||51kg|