A number of horses heading towards the $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm Saturday week will be fitted with blinkers for their attempt at winning Queensland’s richest race.
After a promising Randwick trial in the wet on Monday the talented Guy Walter-trained mare Streama has been confirmed as one galloper that will have the cups added to her gear for the Straddie after wearing blinkers for her third to Princess Layla in the 1050m hitout.
A dual Group 1 winner as a three-year-old during the 2011 – 12 racing season, the rising five-year-old Stratum mare has been in good form this time in but has played second fiddle to her progressive stablemate Appearance.
Streama was seventh to Appearance in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) third-up in March and was the bridesmaid again on Golden Slipper Day crossing a length away third to the Commands four-year-old in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m).
Last start Streama took on a crack field in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on a muddy Heavy (10) Randwick track on April 20 and finally was able to finish off better than Appearance (7th) when a good fourth to Sacred Falls.
Glen Boss was aboard for the Doncaster, as well as making a special trip from Melbourne for yesterday’s trial, and will retain the ride on Streama for the Stradbroke on June 8 where the mare has been allocated 54.5kg – one kilogram more than in the Doncaster.
“I was pleased with the trial although unfortunately the track was heavy,” Walter said.
“Glen was happy and he confirmed he will ride her in the Stradbroke and the blinkers will be on.”
In the latest Stradbroke Handicap markets Streama pays around $21 with last Saturday’s Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette (56kg) the $4.40 favourite.
Walter also confirmed the Stradbroke would be the last race on Streama’s winter program before sending her out to prepare for a spring return ruling out the season’s final Group 1 race – the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 22.
The Tattersall’s Tiara is however on the cards for the fellow Walter-trained Skyerush who was beaten just a long neck by Pear Tart in the race last year.
The Superjet seven-year-old won back-to-back Group races at Randwick in April including the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1600m) on Sydney Cup Day.
“We will stick to the original plan to run Streama in the Stradbroke and Skyerush in the Tatt’s Tiara with Blake Shinn to ride,” Walter said.
“Streama will go for a rest and get ready for the spring.”
Another Stradbroke chance that could be fitted with blinkers is then the locally trained Kelso Wood galloper Sizzling.
After two below par runs this time in when fifth in the Gold Coast Guineas and sixth in the Fred Best the Snitzel colt worked much sharper with blinkers on at Doomben yesterday morning.
Their regular trackwork rider Patricia Gesler was so impressed with the effort she will recommend they wear them this Saturday when they look to return to form in the $350,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) – the winner of which is exempt from Stradbroke ballot.
“The blinkers made a difference when he jumped and hit the ground running,” Gesler said.
“With the blinkers today he jumped and he was concentrating and really switched on.”
Sizzling is a $14 chance for the Stradbroke which will definitely be put on the agenda with a big run in the Guineas.