Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher is hoping the forecast rain arrives this week to boost the chances of his top class filly Srikandi in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Srikandi has been installed the favourite for the Winter Carnival feature sprint after winning her last five starts and also has a perfect record on rain affected tracks with two from two on the heavy.
“The forecast the whole time is for rain, but nothing ever comes. She’ll be even better suited on a wet track,” Maher told the Herald Sun.
“She’s two from two on heavy tracks. She flies on them and it will also help her with her light weight.”
Srikandi scored at her first race start on a heavy track at Cranbourne in September last year and then showed her liking for the soft ground again when she won the first of her Winter Carnival hat trick victories when she ploughed through the mud in the Listed $150,000 Turangga Farm Silk Stocking (1200m) at the Gold Coast on May 3.
But the Dubawi filly is just as good on top of the ground scoring with ease against the fillies and mares in the Listed $100,000 Designline Graphics Juanmo Stakes (1200m) on May 17 and the Group 3 $150,000 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) on May 24 both at Doomben.
Big race jockey Glen Boss has been aboard Srikandi all through the Winter Carnival and Maher is very pleased that the top rider will stick with her in the Stradbroke Handicap.
“It’s a real vote of confidence. Glen was pretty impressed with her and I think he was also swayed by her weight of 51kg,” Maher said.
Maher admits that he is a bit surprised at the way Srikandi has improved since arriving in Brisbane and the filly was only included as a late nomination for the Stradbroke Handicap after connections paid the late entry fee of $23,100 following her win in the Glenlogan Park Stakes.
“She’s just thrived up here. When I brought her up here, I didn’t think the Stradbroke was a possibility,’’ Maher said.
“She had always shown good ability but she’s gone to another level. She hasn’t left an oat and hasn’t missed a piece of work.”
Srikandi heads the Stradbroke Handicap market order with Ladbrokes.com.au at $4.60 with second favourite Rebel Dane at $6.50 and Adelaide three year old Huckelbuck at $7.
Top racemare Red Tracer from the Chris Waller stable is next in the betting at $8.50 with Doomben 10000 winner Spirit Of Boom at $9.
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