Trainer John O’Shea will have to study the weights thoroughly for the Stradbroke Handicap before confirming a start for his star filly Sea Siren.
Weights for the Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 were released today and the lightly raced Sea Siren received 52.5kg, 3kgs under weight for age and 2kgs above the minimum.
The topweight was awarded to the Chris Waller trained Albert The Fat after the Group 1 winner ran a much improved race when just over two lengths behind Atlantic Jewel when fourth in the Group 1 $400,000 Ticketek All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 28.
O’Shea always had the Stradbroke in his sights with Sea Siren after beating ATC Oaks winner Streama in the Group 2 $175,000 Patinack Farm Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18.
The Randwick trainer sent Sea Siren out for a short break after finishing second to Streama in the Group 2 $175,000 Patinack Farm Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 10 with a second Stradbroke Handicap in mind after winning the $1m race in 2003 with his super filly Private Steer.
“We have always targeted the Stradbroke, but it’s all down to the weights,” O’Shea said.
“Sea Siren is a big, tough Fastnet Rock filly but she’s no Private Steer.”
“It’s no coincidence the quality three-year-old fillies in Australia at the moment are by Fastnet Rock. His progeny are so strong and tough. They just raise the bar.”
Sea Siren shot to outright Stradbroke favouritism after evergreen jockey Jim Cassidy booted her home on Saturday in the Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben.
The Fastnet Rock filly heads the betting at $8, just ahead of the Robert Heathcote trained Buffering at $9 with Mental on the third line at $10.
Cassidy received a six meeting suspension for careless riding in the first race of the day at Doomben but will be back in time to rode Sea Siren if she takes her place in the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 26 prior to the Stradbroke.
Sea Siren was only having her sixth race start in the BTC Cup and her first at weight for age and Cassidy is one person who will be pleased with the Stradbroke weight because he would have had to returned to a strict diet if the three year old filly received anything under the 52.5kg.
Buffering, who missed a run in the BTC Cup due to a hoof injury should be right to run at Doomben in two weeks, was allocated 57kg for the Stradbroke, 2kg under weight for age.
While two time Stradbroke Handicap winner Black Piranha was given 57.5kg, he is way done the order in betting at $41 after not having won a race since saluting in the $1m Handicap last year.