Precious Gem gets another shot at a G1 in Stradbroke Handicap

Robert Sangster Stakes winner Precious Gem will get another chance to win a Group 1 before she goes to stud when she lines up in the $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Precious Gem, above, is one of the outsiders of the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Precious Gem, above, is one of the outsiders of the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Henry Dwyer trained Precious Gem was able to claim her initial Group 1 trophy when she beat Sheidel in the Group 1 $400,000 UBET Classic (Registered as Robert Sangster Stakes) (1200m) at Morphettville on May 7.

The six year old was then sent through the sale ring at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale at the Gold Coast last week and was snapped up by the China Horse Club for $825,000 as a future breeding prospect.

Dwyer was able to retain the valuable mare in his stable to prepare her for the Stradbroke Handicap but said that she will be better suited against the fillies and mares in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm in two weeks later.

Dwyer admits that Precious Gem had missed a little bit of work while she was being prepared for the sales and even though he thinks she will perform well in the Stradbroke Handicap, it will top her off nicely for the Tattersall’s Club Tiara.

“She missed a little bit of work through the sales process and the big wet here on Saturday so she is underdone,” Dwyer told Racing.com’s Racing Ahead on RSN 927.

“(But) she’s close enough to the mark to run well.”

“If she can track one of (Azkadellia or Under The Louvre) into the race and finish somewhere near them then that’d be a really good run going towards the Tatts Tiara.”

“It’d be a pass mark if she could finish in the first half of the field.”

Precious Gem also has to overcome the outside barrier in the capacity eighteen horse field but Dwyer is hoping that late in the day out wide might be the place be.

“She’s a mare that goes back anyway, so we’ll be doing that again and riding for luck,” Dwyer said.

“She needs everything to go right in races which, fortunately for us, it has her last couple of starts.

“She’s going to need a lot of luck on Saturday.

“The only saving grace maybe that a lot of people are saying on this new track they will probably chop it out by that stage of the day, as they do with most new tracks.

“If they are getting off the rails, it’s probably not as much of a disadvantage as it otherwise would’ve been.”

Precious Gem, with Tim Clark to ride, has been rated as one of the outsiders of the Stradbroke Handicap field and is listed at $41 with Ladbrokes.com.au.

The Ciaron Maher trained Azkadellia seems to have come through with a perfect preparation and has plenty of supporters forcing her price into $3.60 to be a clear cut favourite ahead of The Goodwood winner Black Heart Bart at $5.50 and Chris Waller’s three year old Counterattack at $7.

Market order for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Azkadellia, $5.50 Black Heart Bart, $7 Counterattack, $9 Music Magnate, Malaguerra, $12 Kaepernick, $13 Under The Louvre, $18 Delectation, $21 Takedown, Artlee, $26 Charlie Boy, Hooked, $41 Precious Gem, $61 Sacred Star, Charmed Harmony, $67 Big Money, $81 Two Blue, $101 The Virginian.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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