Sydney’s number one trainer Chris Waller and Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir dominate the nominations for the 2016 Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
The Brisbane Winter Carnival’s flagship race heads back to Eagle Farm this year after being run at Doomben in 2015 because of the a total track reconstruction at Queensland’s home of racing and the Brisbane Racing Club received one hundred nominations for the Stradbroke Handicap when entries closed today with late nominations accepted until 11am on Friday May 6, 2016.
Group 1 winners Japonisme, Delectation and 2014 Thousand Guineas winner Amicus head the Waller team of ten entries that also includes, Amovatio, Counterattack, Heart Testa, Religify, Sir Bacchus, Star Wondering and Strawberry Boy.
Japonisme claimed his Group 1 prize when he beat Keen Array in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on the first day of the four day 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival while Delectation was an upset winner over Chautauqua in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington a week later.
Group 1 winner Stratum Star heads Weir’s nine entries that include Black Heart Bart, Chivalry, La Passe, Rageese, Scarlet Billows, Sooboog, Stellar Collision and Tuscan Sling.
Stratum Star was able to claim his Group 1 trophy with a win in the $400,000 Anthea Crawford Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Lindsay Park Team of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig nominated five for the Stradbroke Handicap with Fast ‘N’ Rocking heading the rest of the team of Kay Jay’s Joy, Miss Promiscuity, Sheidel, and Wawail.
Early Stradbroke Handicap favourite Azkadellia is one of two nominated by Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher, the other being six year old mare Girl Guide.
Maher is looking to win back to back Stradbroke Handicaps after his mare Srikandi claimed victory last year when it was run over 1350m at Doomben.
Azkadellia heads the Ladbrokes.com.au market order at $4.80 and will head to Brisbane on the back of a last start win in the Group 1 $1m Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on the second day off ‘The Championships’ on April 9.
Second favourite Malaguerra ($5.50) is one of three horses entered by Lee and Anthony Freedman who has also nominated Hi World and Santa Ana Lane.
Malaguerra blotted his copy book with an out of character sixth to English in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 16 after winning his previous four starts, including an impressive win in Group 3 $150,000 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 26.
Cambridge trainer Tony Pike looks set to fly the flag for New Zealand with his Group 1 winners Sacred Star and Rangipo.
Dual Group 1 winning Kiwi sprinter Sacred Star looks set to make another trip to Brisbane for the Winter Carnival and is coming off a last start win Group 3 NZ$100,000 Darley Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 5.
Sacred Star was able to put two Group 1 wins back to back during the summer of 2015 with wins in the NZ$250,000 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham and in the NZ$200,000 NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.
While three year old Rangipo has had a freshen up since winning the Group 1 NZ$750,000 TV3 BMW NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 5.
The weights for the Stradbroke Handicap well be released on Monday, May 30, with the final acceptances being declared on Wednesday June 8, 2016.
Early market order for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Azkadellia, $5.50 Malguerra, $7 Black Heart Bart, $11 Music Magnate, $13 Artlee, Fell Swoop, Ghisoni, $17 Counterattack, Delectation, Sacred Star, Zebulon, $21 Admiral, Girl Guide, Japonisme, Spill The Beans, Star Wondering.