Big race jockey Glen Boss will go into Saturday’s Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm with an open plan after Srikandi drew near the outside at Wednesday’s barrier draw.
Srikandi came up with barrier seventeen in the original draw when the final field of eighteen plus five emergencies was finalised, but will jump from thirteen if the reserves don’t gain a start at final scratching time on Saturday morning.
The Ciaron Maher trained filly has the early speed to overcome the wide gate and has been able to lead or race on the pace in winning her last five starts.
And even though Boss expects her to again pounce out of the gates, he will wait and see how the race unfolds to determine if he goes to the front or takes a sit.
“She will lob in the first four,” Boss told the Herald Sun.
“Whether she wins or not, I can’t see her finishing any worse than third.”
Maher said that he and Boss would do plenty of work on the form in the lead up to Saturday and that Srikandi would be able to use her early speed to take up a prominent position.
“She has enough early speed to overcome it. Whether we take advantage of that we’ll do our form and take it from there,” Maher said.
After being the outright favourite for the Stradbroke Handicap leading up to the barrier draw, Srikandi has now been joined at the top of the market order by Hucklebuck with both three year olds marked at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
But Boss believes the bookmakers have got it wrong and doesn’t think the filly should be so high up in the betting coming up against some seasoned Group 1 performers.
“I believe the market reacted too strongly to her winning last start and pushed her into favouritism against horses like Hucklebuck, Red Tracer and Rebel Dane and even John O’Shea’s horse Knoydart that went super last start,” Boss said.
“I think they are overreacted to her because she is winning but you have to have a look at what she is beating and she is not beating much, but she is beating them easy.”
Boom filly Srikandi has made a dramatic rise up through the ranks, winning six of her seven starts, including her last five during this preparation which kicked off in January.
The Dubawi filly has continued to improved since arriving in Queensland and her three wins during the Winter Carnival have impressed the market framers who put her up as the Stradbroke Handicap favourite after leading all of the way in taking out the Group 3 $150,000 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) against the fillies and mares at Doomben on May 24.
On Saturday she will be taking on Group 1 winners Spirit Of Boom ($7.50), Rebel Dane ($7.50), Red Tracer ($10), Smokin’ Joey ($17), Famous Seamus ($19) and Temple Of Boom ($21).