The 2019 Stradbroke Handicap is off limits for three year old Military Zone who will instead be aimed towards the $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on November 2.

Military Zone, above, will be set for the 2019 Golden Eagle at Rosehill. Photo by Steve Hart.

Military Zone, above, will be set for the 2019 Golden Eagle at Rosehill. Photo by Steve Hart.

Military Zone gained an exemption from the ballot for the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 after winning the Group 3 $150,000 Nuturf Fred Best Classic (1400m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday but connections have opted to put the three year old away with the a Spring Carnival campaign preferred.

Military Zone was only allocated 50kg for the Stradbroke Handicap when the eights were released on Monday but co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden and syndicate managers Triple Crown Syndications are happy to bypass the Group 1 Handicap and chase the larger purse at set weights for the four year olds in the Spring.

“Certainly a race like the Golden Eagle is in the back of the mind. There’s a nice $7.5 million carrot there as a 4yo race over 1500m which could be right up his alley,” Triple Crown’s Chris Ward told Weekend Big Sports Breakfast team.

“It’s a good dilemma to be in with the horse and we’d had our eye on the Stradbroke for a little while.”

“But we don’t want to over do things with him at this stage. He’s not the finished product at the moment and it’s a case of either going one more or pulling up stumps, and at this moment in time I think we’re best off pulling up stumps. I think there’s a lot in store for him in the future.

“We’ve had a very high opinion of him from for a long time. He’s been one of those who has showed nice ability from day one and keeps progressing.”

Military Zone is the winner of five of his ten starts and looked strong at the finish of the 1400m of the Fred Best Classic against his own age when he took his prizemoney earnings to over $460,000.

Pre-post betting at for the Golden Eagle has Military Zone marked at $13 behind Tassie super star Mystic Journey who heads the betting at $4.60.

The Golden Eagle for the four year olds is a new race on the Racing New South Wales Calendar and will be run for the first time at the end of the 2019 Sydney Spring Carnival and will be an addition to the ‘Golden’ race series at Rosehill that includes the Group 1 $3.5m Golden Slipper (1200m) for the two year olds and the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) for the three year olds.

Early betting for the 2019 Golden Eagle at $4.60 Mystic Journey, $5.50 Brutal, $6 Arcadia Queen, $7.50 Classique Legend, Sunlight, $13 Military Zone, $15 Ringerdingding, Zousain, $17 Behemoth, Graff, Nakeeta Jane, Roheryn, Verry Elleegant, $21 Amphitrite, Avantage, Fasika, Trope, $26 or better the rest.

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.