Aquis Farm will combine with Scone trainer Brett Cavanough and pay the late entry fee to ensure that The Monstar takes his place in the final field for the 2018 Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
The Monstar was not among the original nominations for the Stradbroke Handicap but after winning the Group 2 $175,000 Moreton Cup (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday, Aquis Farm stepped forward and will pay the $45,000 late entry to get the gelding into the field.
Once the late entry is paid, The Monstar will be guaranteed a spot because the winner of the Moreton Cup is exempt from the ballot for the Stradbroke Handicap.
Aquis Farm confirmed the payment of the late fee with the following tweet.
“Aquis are delighted to be able to support local Hunter Valley trainer @cavanoughracing and get #TheMonstar a late entry into next weekend’s #Stradbroke,” Aquis posted on Twitter.
“Brett has been a good supporter of Aquis and we are delighted to be able to reward supporters and help regional trainers.”
Cavanough was excited to have The Monstar announced as a Stradbroke Handicap runner and thanked Aquis Farm via twitter.
“We’re thrilled that @AquisFarm is giving us the opportunity to run #TheMonstar in the #Stradbroke, covering his late entry.
“The stable have been supporters of Aquis and it is great to see that support reciprocated. It is a dream of mine to win a Stradbroke,” Cavanough tweeted.
The good news is that The Monstar will get a start in the Stradbroke Handicap, the bad news is that the winner of the Moreton Cup, previously known as the QTC Cup, has never won the Stradbroke Handicap.
The Monstar was right at home on a soft 6 rated track at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday when he chalked up his ninth win on a rain affected track out a total of twelve overall wins, and with showers forecast for the latter part of the week, the seven year old looks certain to get another soft surface at Doomben this weekend.
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have slotted The Monstar in at $31 into the betting for the Stradbroke Handicap with the Bjorn Baker trained three year old filly Champagne Cuddles sitting at the top of the market order at $4.50.
Last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner and Kingsford-Smith Cup winner Impending is on the second line of betting at $5.50 just ahead of Care To Think at $6.50 and Perast at $7.50.
Early betting for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Champagne Cuddles, $5.50 Impending, $$6.50 Care To Think, $7.50 Perast, $8.50 Danon Liberty, $12 Invincible Gem, $14 Osburne Bulls, Santa Anna Lane, $16 Spieth, $18 Peaceful State, $21 Shillelagh, Voodoo Lad, $26 Crack Me Up, $31 Foxplay, Super Cash, The Monstar, $34 Burning Passion, Endless Passion, $41 or better the rest.