Perennial placegetter Tom Melbourne looks like carrying the hopes of the Chris Waller stable in the 2019 Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Tom Melbourne is one of three Waller trained horses among the first acceptances but is the only one guaranteed of making the final Stradbroke Handicap field with Ringerdingding and Star Of The Seas way down in the order of entry.
Tom Melbourne has gained a cult following because of his ability to loom up in the straight, only to be relegated to the placegetter’s stalls when the judge calls a halt.
The eight year old has seventeen placings from forty four starts and has been in the runner’s up stall at his last two outings in the Listed $1250,000 Members’ Handicap (1600m) at Doomben on May 11 an in the Group 3 $140,000 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) at Eagle Farm on May 25.
“We are likely to have Tom Melbourne in the Stradbroke and still nominated are Ringerdingding and Star Of The Seas and we fully realise they may not gain starts,” Waller told AAP.
Ringerdingding is also nominated for the Group 2 $350,000 Ascot Green Queensland Guineas (1600m) while Star Of The Seas in entered in the Listed $125,000 The Wayne Wilson (1600m) at Eagle Farm and in the Racing To Win Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
“If that’s the case Ringerdingding will still run on the day in the 1600 metre Queensland Guineas while Star Of The Seas may stay in Sydney.”
Pre-post betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Tom Melbourne marked at $26 for the Stradbroke Handicap while the in-form Kiwi sprinter The Bostonian is the $5 favourite for the Brisbane Winter Carnival’s premier race.
The Tony Pike trained The Bostonian is looking to make it a hat trick of Group 1 wins during the Brisbane Winter Carnival after victories in the Group 1 $800,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben and in the Group 1 $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm.
Early betting for the 2019 Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 The Bostonian, $7.50 Trekking, $9 Tyzone, $11 Spright, $12 Despatch, Home Of The Brave, $13 Encryption, Endless Drama, $15 Widgee Turf, Pretty In Pink, $21 Irithea, $26 Dollar For Dollar, Manuel, Princess Posh, Quilista, Ringerdingding, Tom Melbourne, Viridine, $31 or better the rest.