Adelaide three year old Hucklebuck is the new favourite for the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday after coming up with the coveted inside barrier at today’s draw.
Hucklebuck has firmed into $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au leapfrogging Melbourne filly Srikandi who is now out to $6 after holding the top spot overnight at $4.60.
Srikandi’s connections were shattered when the filly came up with gate seventeen but will jump from thirteen if the emergencies don’t get a run.
“Probably a little wider than what I had hoped for,” Srikandi’s trainer Ciaron Maher said.
“Was hoping for one to ten. It is what it is.”
“From there you would think she would roll forward in some fashion.”
“But the leaders don’t have a great record in the race, but just ride her where she is comfortable I’d say. Just depends on the speed.”
“From the barrier I would like her to sit in the one one or something like that but there a probably a few other people that want to be there as well.”
“Both of the jockeys that rode her, both said that she would be better ridden with a sit so Bossy will just have to that work out when she jumps.”
Jockey Dom Tourneur will have no problems from the inside gate and will be able to bury Hucklebuck in on the fence in the first half a dozen and get him to settle just behind the pace before working into the clear in the straight.
Hucklebuck had a tendency to over race in the lead at his first run this campaign but leading Morphettville trainer Phillip Stokes knows that run would have taken the edge off of him and he should be able to settle nicely in the Stradbroke Handicap.
Hucklebuck will drop to the minimum weight of 51kg and will appreciate the 6kgs drop from the set weights of the Group 3 $125,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 17 when he was over taken in the straight when fourth to Havana.
“I said first-up over 1350 that way of going that he was always going to be vulnerable and the moment got to him and he pulled a bit hard,” Stokes said.
“He was just found wanting later, but he has had a couple of gallops since and has trained on nicely.
“He is still on top of his game. I am happy with the way that the horse has done up there and hopefully he will give a good account on himself.”
Doomben 10000 winner Spirit Of Boom has also firmed in the betting after drawing barrier six and is now on the third line at $7.50 with Rebel Dane who has drifted slightly after drawing the horror twenty-two gate.
Spirit Of Boom’s stablemate Temple Of Boom has gone for a bath in the betting after drawing eighteen and is now marked at $19 after being a $10 chance overnight.
While Michael Rodd on Spirit Of Boom will be able to get a good run snuggled in among the first half of the field, Tegan Harrison will be hoping to find some cover on Temple Of Boom who has been showing plenty of speed at his last few starts.
The Tony Gollan trained pair are racing in outstanding form and filled the quinella in the Group 1 $650,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 24 with Spirit Of Boom getting the better of his stablemate in the run to the line.
Chris Waller’s trio all drew poorly with Red Tracer coming up with barrier sixteen, pushing her price at $10 while Masthead is a $21 chance from barrier fifteen and Velrosso is marked at $26 after coming up with gate twenty-one.
QTC Cup winner Sacred Star with in-form jockey Tim Bell to ride has remained fairly solid in the betting at $12 after drawing out wide at barrier twenty.