Eagle Farm trainer Kelso Wood admits that his three year old Into The Red will need an enormous amount of luck on Saturday in the Group 2 $350,000 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1400m) at Eagle Farm if he is to win and gain entry into the Stradbroke Handicap.
Wood is keen to run Into The Red in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm but will need to win the Queensland Guineas to guarantee a start next week.
The winner of the Queensland Guineas is exempt from the ballot for the Stradbroke Handicap and with Into The Red currently number twenty-two in the order of entry, would need to win to make the final field of eighteen.
Wood has been content with the way the Not A Single Doubt colt had been shaping up during the Winter Carnival until Wednesday when number nineteen popped up beside his name in the Queensland Guineas field.
“This time in he’s had no interruptions and is a far more mature horse, but that barrier devastated me,’’ Wood told The Courier-Mail.
“I’m keen to get him to the Stradbroke, but we need plenty of luck from out there. If we go forward it could be a disaster.’’
Wood recalls when he took Into The Red to Sydney in the Spring for the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill in September but after drawing out, Michael Cahill pushed forward before the colt faded in the straight to finish last of sixteen to Zoustar.
“It’s like Sydney all over again. He drew bad down there and we elected to go forward on him and it stuffed up his whole summer,” Wood said.
“I probably shouldn’t have gone down there with him because he was still immature, but it shows how much I think of him.”
Into The Red has had two runs leading into the Queensland Guineas and ran fifth to Dothraki in the Group 3 $125,000 Attwood Marshall Lawyers Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) at the Gold Coast on May 3 before finishing second to Havana in the Group 3 $125,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben two weeks ago.
While Into The Red has drawn the car park and has been marked a $21 chance, the Paul Messara trained Havana has drawn beautifully at four and will probably jump from two with two of the emergencies drawn inside, and is on the second line of betting at $5.50.
Adelaide colt Hucklebuck is the $4.60 favourite for the Queensland Guineas with Ladbrokes.com.au and trainer Phillip Stokes expects the three year old to strip a much fitter race horse this week after over racing and knocking up when fourth to Havana in the Fred Best Classic.
Hucklebuck is number fourteen in the Stradbroke Handicap order of entry and Stokes will decide after the Queensland Guineas if he goes around next week while Havana at number twenty-three will have to win on Saturday to gain a place in the Stradbroke field.