The 2015 Stradbroke Handicap nominations have been released and 111 horses remain a chance of making the final field of 16 for the Group 1 event that will be held at Doomben on June 6.
A number of leading trainers from right around Australia have included horses in the Stradbroke Handicap nominations and Chris Waller and leading local trainer Tony Gollan both have six hopefuls in the Group 1 event.
Waller is still chasing his first win in the Stradbroke Handicap and he has included Boban, Catkins, Delectation, Flamingo Star, Strawberry Boy and You’ll Never in the nominations for the race.
Connections are still desperate to win a Group 1 with Catkins and she is a chance of running in the Stradbroke Handicap before she has what could be the final race start of her career in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20, while Boban is set to return to the races in either the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 9 or the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23.
Gollan also has a chance of having six runners in the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap and Alma’s Fury, Gundy Spirit, Hijack Hussy, Temple Of Boom, Traveston Girl and Whiskey Allround could all contest the Group 1 event.
Temple Of Boom finished a narrow second behind River Lad in the Stradbroke Handicap last year and he looms as Gollan’s most likely winning chance, while Traveston Girl returned to racing with a fast-finishing third in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Another trainer that is likely to have multiple runners in the Stradbroke Handicap is Joe Pride, who has included a number of progressive sprinters in the entries for the race.
Kuro has produced a mixed bag of performances during his autumn campaign and will need to improve on his eighth place finish in the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) to be any chance, while the likes of Ball Of Muscle, Craftiness and Rock Sturdy have proven that they are capable of performing well at Group level.
The Godolphin operation is yet to taste success in the Stradbroke Handicap, but they are likely to have a strong hand in the 2015 edition of the race after they included Generalife, Knoydart, Sarajevo and Transcript in the nominations.
Generalife returned to winning form when he took out the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 and he was far from disgraced when fifth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 18, while Knoydart has performed well without winning in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m), Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) and Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m).
The BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000 are always the key lead-up races to the Stradbroke Handicap and all 22 of the horses that have been included in the BTC Cup nominations as well as the 55 horses in the Doomben 10,000 nominations are a chance of contesting the Group 1 event.
Other notable horses in the Stradbroke Handicap nominations include Bring Me The Maid, Gregers, Politeness, Lucky Hussler, Trust In A Gust, Thump, Scissor Kick, Prince Harada, Vain Queen, Under The Louvre and Trust In A Gust.