Brisbane trainer Kelso Wood doesn’t have the biggest team of horses but he’s set to have a strong presence in Saturday week’s $1.36 million Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm.
Wood trains three of the 40 horses who were paid up at first acceptance time on Wednesday and all members of the trio are likely to take their place in the field.
Recent stable addition Spirit Song is guaranteed a start as is three-year-old colt Sizzling. Wood’s third runner, BRC Sprint winner Belltone, currently sits in 18th spot in the ballot for the lucrative Queensland feature.
With 18 positions in the field, it would appear only bad luck would prevent Belltone gaining a start, with the winners of Saturday’s QTC Cup and Queensland Guineas exempt from the ballot.
Wood is certainly confident his in-form sprinter will make the field as he bypassed the option of running him in the QTC Cup.
Among those stepping out this weekend is Sizzling who will have blinkers applied in order to get his Stradbroke campaign back on track in the Queensland Guineas.
The Snitzel colt starred at last year’s winter carnival as a two-year-old but has failed to fire in two starts this campaign, finishing fifth in the Gold Coast Guineas and sixth in the Fred Best Classic.
Sizzling worked impressively with the gear applied at Doomben on Tuesday.
Darley trainer Peter Snowden has confirmed Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette will contest the Stradbroke but he is also hoping to have a three-pronged team.
Gold Coast Guineas winner Academus could sneak into the field with a few drop outs but fellow three-year-old Complicate most likely needs a Queensland Guineas victory in order to gain a start.