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Stradbroke Handicap start for Boban up for discussion

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A start for Doomben 10,000 winner Boban in the $2m Stradbroke Handicap will be made at the end of the week after trainer Chris Waller has had a chance to discuss the weight situation with connections.

Glyn Schofield salutes the crowd as he returns to the mounting yard after winning the Doomben 10,000 at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Glyn Schofield salutes the crowd as he returns to the mounting yard after winning the Doomben 10,000 at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Boban was allocated the topweight of 58kg for the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap on June 6 which will be run at Doomben this year with the distance reduced from 1400m to 1350m because of the major track reconstruction still in progress at Eagle Farm.

Waller has two options for Boban, the five year old can stay in Queensland and lead the field out in the Stradbroke Handicap or go to the paddock before being prepared for another Spring Carnival campaign.

“I am 50-50 on whether to run Boban,’’ Waller told The Courier-Mail.

“If it was a $750,000 race, he wouldn’t be running with that weight. But given (it is) a $2 million race, it is worth some serious thought.

“If we think he can run in the top three, he will be running. But that decision will not be made until later in the week after a chat with the owners.’’

Boban recorded his fourth Group 1 win when he came from near the tail of the field to beat Charlie Boy and Generalife in the $750,000 Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.

That was the Bernardini gelding’s first visit to the winner’s stall since winning the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Boban’s other two Group 1 wins were during the 2013 Spring Carnival when he took out the $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick and the $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

If Waller decides against running Boban in the Stradbroke Handicap, the weights would have to be raised 2.5kg so Hot Snitzel, now weighted on 55.5kg, can carry the mandatory top weight of 58kg.

Trust In A Gust , 56.5kg, and River Lad, Hucklebuck and Lucky Hussler on 56kg have all been ruled out of the Stradbroke Handicap because of injury.

Brilliant Melbourne filly Lumosty has been weighted on 50.5kg and at the moment is thirty-first in the order of entry but connections are hopeful that enough runners above her will fall by the way side and she could sneak into the final sixteen.

The Robert Smerdon trained Lumosty has returned to the race track in outstanding form with two runaway wins down the Flemington straight in the $80,000 All Victorian Sprint Series Heat 2 (1100m) on May 9 and in the Listed $120,000 The Straight Six (1200m) on May 23.

While wildcard Najoom could be added to the Stradbroke Handicap entries if her connections decide to pay the late entry fee of $30,000 by Wednesday, May 27.

Najoom became exempt from the ballot for the Stradbroke after she scored a stunning win in the Group 3 $125,000 Sita Australia Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben forcing her owners to decide if she is to take her place in Queensland’s number one feature sprint.

Lumosty is currently at the top of the market order at $7 for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the West Australian sprinter Black Heart Bart, Generalife and Najoom at $8.

Doomben 10,000 runner up Charlie Boy is the next in the betting at $10 in front of Boban, Bring Me The Maid, Delectation and Knoydart all at $13.

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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