Eagle Farm is set to host one of Brisbane’s biggest racing days of the year today with three Group Ones, two Group Two’s and three listed races set down for the 2011 Stradbroke Handicap day.
The track staff at Eagle Farm have produced a perfect Good 3 racing surface for the feature race day, with the penetrometer reading 4.2.
However how long the track stays a Good 3 will depend on the weather. It is a gloomy morning in Brisbane and the Bureau of Meteorology is reporting that there is a chance of showers developing in the afternoon.
There are 26 confirmed scratching’s for the race meet, with 16 emergencies being withdrawn.
In the first race of the day Flying Jet and Santa Maura have been taken out of the field as have emergencies Tomarney, Warlady, Moroccan Dancer and Tycoon’s Heart.
The second race of the day is the Lightning Handicap over 1000m and there are three confirmed scratching’s. Borsha’s Mark, Another Takeover and Sarge in Charge have been declared non-runners.
There is an important scratching in race three, the Strawberry Road Handicap. The Roger James trained Firebolt has been withdrawn. Firebolt was favourite for the race and leaves Hugh Bowman with one less chance to ride a winner before he goes to England on a six wide riding tour. She Rules for Alan Jones has also been taken out.
The Group Two Brisbane Cup and the TJ Smith are clear of scratching’s.
Quarterbar was scratched from the Queensland Derby yesterday because of a tendon injury, which meant that first emergency From London secured a start. With just one scratching from the final field the John Sadler trained The Chevron was unable to gain a start in the Group One Derby, meaning the three year old is a confirmed starter in the Brisbane Cup. Emergencies Peck, King Usain and Underthebonnet have also been confirmed as non-runners.
The final field is intact for the Group One Stradbroke Handicap meaning the five emergencies have been scratched. Lady’s Angel was first emergency, however the filly has been confirmed as a starter in the June Stakes at Randwick.
Barry Baldwin has made the decision to scratch Demanding Miss from Group Two Queensland Guineas after the filly drew gate 22. First emergency Wabeel is also a non-runner meaning second emergency Upsala gets a start in the race. The bottom three emergencies have also been withdrawn from Guineas.
There are three confirmed riding changes for today’s Stradbroke Handicap meeting. In the first race of the day, the Lancaster Stakes, Matthew Palmer has been declared as the rider for Lick Em Lolly. In the Lightning Handicap Jason Maskiell will ride Lotsamoola, while in the Brisbane Cup, Kiwi hoop Michael Walker has been declared as the rider for Persian Star.
Following last week’s meeting at Eagle Farm the rail will be out three meters the entire circuit for all races.