Sacred Star gets 1kg penalty for Stradbroke Handicap, Bell to ride

QTC Cup winner Sacred Star has received a 1kg penalty for the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Sacred Star is penalised 1kg for the Stradbroke Handicap after winning the QTC Cup at Eagle Farm.

Sacred Star is penalised 1kg for the Stradbroke Handicap after winning the QTC Cup at Eagle Farm. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Brisbane jockey Timothy Bell will be aboard Sacred Star again on Saturday after the Kiwi sprinter gained an automatic entry into the Stradbroke Handicap after his win in the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.

The Tony Pike trained Sacred Star has been re-handicapped to 53kg but will carry 53.5kg when the weights are raised half a kilogram at final acceptance time on Wednesday with the Doomben 10000 winner Spirit Of Boom to carry the topweight of 58kgs.

The Cambridge trainer is keen to run the four year old in the Stradbroke Handicap and will give him the go ahead if he pulls up in good order from Saturday’s win.

“We will roll the dice in the Stradbroke as long as he pulls up well; that is what we are here for and we have to have a go,” Pike said.

“We will be there having a crack at it.”

“That will take a bit of freshness out of him; he was little bit keen early and was closer to the speed than normal.

“He does have a tendency to get there and think the job is done and the faster they go, the harder he has to hit the line and the later he gets there, the better he is.”

Bell wrapped up a career best day at Eagle Farm on Saturday and as well as winning on Sacred Star, scored his first Group 1 victory on Toowoonba filly Tinto in the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) as well as steering Sir Moments to a narrow win in the Group 2 $350,000 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1400m).

The in-form jockey was quick to snap up the Stradbroke Handicap ride on Sacred Star in search of his second Group 1 victory, leaving the ride on River Lad vacant before being claimed by Damien Oliver.

Bell was aboard the Natalie McCall trained River Lad when the six year old put himself into Stradbroke Handicap contention with an all the way win in the Group 3 $125,000 Darley BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 17.

Sacred Star is now a $13 chance for the Stradbroke Handicap with Ladbrokes.com.au who have smart Melbourne filly Srikandi the $4.60 favourite.

The Gary Portelli trainer Rebel Dane is on the second line of betting at $6.50 ahead of Adelaide three year old Hucklebuck at $7, Red Tracer at $8.50 and Spirit Of Boom at $9.

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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