One of two horses already assured a run in The Everest race this spring, Benjamin Smith’s gun mare In Her Time is one of the standout early nominations for the Group 1 $1,500,000 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) in Brisbane.
The Group 1 feature race nominations for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival closed on Tuesday including those for the state’s richest race, the Stradbroke Handicap run over 1350m this year at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday June 9.
The official Stradbroke Handicap nominations attracted 119 sprinters including last year’s runner-up In Her Time.
A now five-year-old daughter of Time Thief, In Her Time ran in last year’s Stradbroke and finished a close second at blowout odds behind the Godolphin-raced Impending.
She has done plenty right since including saluting in her own Group 1 sprint taking out Rosehill’s Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) first-up this autumn.
Her latest run saw her finish third to Trapeze Artist in Randwick’s Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 7 and In Her Time resumes on May 12 taking on Redzel in the Group 1 $700,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).
The reigning Stradbroke Handicap winner Impending is also entered for a shot at back-to-back wins in the feature since black Piranha (2009-10).
The Godolphin-raced, James Cummings-trained Lonhro four-year-old is undefeated at the Doomben track having also won last Saturday’s Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) first-up as the odds-on favourite.
The dominant Lindsay Park stable are in with ten Stradbroke Handicap nominations for 2018 including Blue Diamond winning filly Catchy who races in this weekend’s Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) against the older mares in Adelaide.
Other last start winners in the mix include Mark Newnham’s Hall Mark Stakes winner Burning Passion, the flying Darren Weir-trained Sapphire Stakes winning mare Quilista chasing her fourth on the trot in the Robert Sangster, Chris Waller’s Hawkesbury Guineas winning three-year-old Sambro and Pecans.
Pecans also saluted on Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day last Saturday, the Joe Pride-trained Skilled mare ridden to victory by Joshua Parr in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown (1300m).
Suitably impressed by the first-up win, Pride confirmed plans on Tuesday morning to target the Stradbroke Handicap with the now Tricolours Racing-owned Pecans this campaign.
“I’ve spoken to the owners and we are going to go for the Stradbroke,” Pride told AAP.
“There’s the Group 3 Dane Ripper on the same day but why not aim for the Group 1.
“She should get in with about 51 or 51 kilos and 1350 metres at Doomben will suit.
“I underestimated her. When we bought her it was to try to win a Saturday race.
“You always hope you’re buying a good one but she has amazed me.
“She’s a good, tough, lovely mare and is bright and happy after Saturday.”
Other notable Stradbroke Handicap nominated horses include Matthew Dunn’s track and distance specialist Care To Think, the Bjorn Baker-trained filly Champagne Cuddles who ran second in the Golden Rose and Flight Stakes in the spring, and the Andrew Noblet-trained dual Group 2 winning mare Super Cash.
The 2018 Stradbroke Handicap first acceptances are now open until May 30, 2018.