Veteran galloper Strawberry Boy is ready to find his old form when he takes on the younger sprinters in the Listed $175,000 City Of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
Strawberry Boy is the winner of nine of his thirty-eight starts and trainer Matthew Dunn said the eight year old is showing him enough on the training tracks that he still has something there to mix it with the young guns.
“His run the other day was okay. He galloped with Perfect Dare this week and worked as well as him,” Dunn told The Courier-Mail.
“He’s a great big heavy horse that takes stacks of fitting up.”
“I don’t think he’s finished. He still has plenty of zest for racing.”
All of Strawberry Boy’s nine wins have come when he was allowed to dictate the pace and Dunn thinks he will be able to get that opportunity again in the Eye Liner Stakes after drawing barrier one in the capacity sixteen horse field.
“I think Tegan (Harrison) will suit him. If she can put the handlebars down and hold the fence, he’s a much better horse when he can get to the front and dominate,” Dunn said.
Harrison takes over the reins from Kerrin McEvoy who was aboard Strawberry Boy for his first run for Dunn when twelfth to Deploy in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascot Green Moreton Cup (1200m) at Doomben on June 3.
While Dunn has plenty of confidence that Strawberry Boy can bounce back for win number ten, but the reality is that the Redoute’s Choice eight year old, the oldest runner in the Eye Liner Stakes, hasn’t visited the winner’s stall in two years since his victory in the Listed $100,000 The Wayne Wilson Mile (1600m) at Doomben during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Carnival when trained by Chris Waller.
Dunn is the fourth trainer to put the finishing touches on Strawberry Boy who began his career under Gai Waterhouse before being transferred to Peter Moody in Melbourne and then to Waller in Sydney.
Strawberry Boy is listed as one of the outsiders of Eye Liner Stakes at $34 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Team Snowden trained Acatour as the $5 favourite in a wide open betting race.
On the second line of betting at $5.50 is the Toby Edmonds trained The Virginian ahead of Strawberry Boy’s stablemate Perfect Dare at $7.50.