Stradbroke Handicap Tips & Preview
Group 1 racing takes place at Eagle Farm on Saturday and our form expert has previewed the QLD showpiece event and given his best Stradbroke Handicap Tips.
Similar to the JJ Atkins, we see a field of 18 coming through 10 different form races.
Trekking brings the strongest last start performance going 7.9 lengths quicker than standard BM when taking out the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
He also has the highest rated career performance having gone 16.8 lengths quicker than standard when winning the Schillaci Stakes (1100m) in October last year.
He’s the reigning Stradbroke champ but will have to carry 4kg more this time around and has copped a terrible gate and will jump from barrier 17 of 18.
Dawn Passage rates next best and drops a massive 7kg on his last start win, but like Trekking, he was done no favours at the barrier draw and has the widest gate to contend with.
Exhilarates caught the eye running on for 2nd behind Dawn Passage, and she drops 5.5kg, but I think she had every chance last start and I’m not sure she has the class of Dawn Passage.
STRADBROKE HANDICAP WINNING BARRIERS
Oddly, in the past 36 years, the outside barrier (18) has produced four winners which is equal highest with barrier 3.
And considering many of those Stradbrokes were run with less than capacity fields, you can fairly argue barrier 18 is clearly the most successful gate.
The rest of the barriers have an even spread of winners, so barriers seem of little importance in the Stradbroke.
However, it does serve as a warning not to dismiss Dawn Passage for simply drawing wide.
It’s also interesting to note that no horse has won from barrier 2 in that period, and Graff will jump from gate 2 on Saturday.
WHO WILL WIN THE STRADBROKE HANDICAP?
James Cummings holds an extremely strong hand with Trekking, Rainier and Exhilarates, and it wouldn’t surprise to see any of his trio win.
Bam’s On Fire is my best roughie for the race and I’d like to see her go forward with the light weigh from the inside gate.
She went 11.3 lengths quicker than standard when winning at Caulfield two starts back, and that’s the highest career figure of any runner over 1400m.
She went back to the rear in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) and finished off gamely for 3rd place.
The step back up in trip suits with just 51kg on her back if she can go forward and give them something to catch.
However, I’m with Dawn Passage as my top pick.
He also has a peak performance over 1400m when going 11.1 lengths quicker than BM three starts back.
I love Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-prepared runners on the quick back-up when they are rock-hard-fit and lining up in their target race.
The map is tricky and it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll end up, but with a bit of luck in running, Dawn Passage looks hard to beat.
Stradbroke Handicap Tips
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