Doomben 10,000 winner Sea Siren has been given a tough task to take out the Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 after receiving a 1.5kg penalty for her history making win at Doomben on Saturday.
The John O’Shea trained Sea Siren became the first filly to win the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and her re-handicapped weight of 54kg is likely to be to be pushed up even further with the announcement that topweight Black Piranha has pulled up sore after Saturday and won’t run in the Stradbroke.
Under the rules, the topweight must carry a minimum of 58kg, forcing the weights to be raised 1 kilo, leaving Buffering with the 58kg topweight and Sea Siren with 55kg.
Sea Siren will have to set another record if she is to carry 55kg to victory in the Stradbroke, the race which was her Winter Carnival target and O’Shea will have to have serious discussions with connections to decide on a start in the $1m sprint.
“We brought her to Brisbane to see if she would be competitive in the Stradbroke. Three year old fillies traditionally have been very competitive in this race particularly when they have good Group 2 form in Sydney in the Autumn. She’s probably ended up a little better than we anticipated,” O’Shea said after the filly’s gutsy Doomben 10,000 win.
But O’Shea said that Sea Siren is not a certain starter in the Stradbroke and he will leave the final decision up to her owner, Keith Biggs.
“There are no guarantees she will run,” O’Shea said.
“If Keith says she is not running, then she definitely won’t run.
“He is going to take a lot of convincing but a decision probably won’t be made until next week after she gallops on Tuesday.
“There’s a lot of variables to consider and one of them is to have a happy owner.
“For me the criteria to run in the Stradbroke is to have a happy horse and then a happy owner.”
Trainer Con Karakatsanis said that dual Stradbroke Handicap winner Black Piranah will be out of action for least six months after suffering a sesamoid injury in the Doomben 10,000 when he tailed the field home.
But Karakatsanis could still have a Stradbroke runner if Riva de Lago can force his way into the field with a penalty if he can win on Saturday in the Group 2 $175,000 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Riva De Lago is heading to Brisbane after beating Torio’s Quest in the $120,000 Yarraman Park – Horsepower Open Handicap at Scone on May 18.
The Encosta De Lago four year old is on the improve and at his previous run in Sydney ran a fair fifth to Tiger Tees in the Listed $100,000 Carolyn Griffin Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 28.
While trainer Robert Heathcote will saddle up Buffering in the Stradbroke, his other Group 1 performer Woorim is being sent to the spelling paddock after several below par performances.
The Oakleigh Plate winner started favourite when seventh to Sea Siren in the Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 12 then was beaten over seven lengths when he finished tenth to Sea Siren again in the Doomben 10,000.
Three year old Pampelonne has also been sent to paddock after missing a place behind Sea Siren on Saturday while Anthony Freedman’s Smokin’ Joey is out of Stradbroke contention after pulling up with a hamstring injury and needing time off.