Stradbroke Handicap Winning Trends
How can the Stradbroke Handicap trends help us find a winner in the $350,000 Group 1 at Eagle Farm on Saturday?
The Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) is the marquee race of the Queensland carnival and has been won by some top gallopers over the years including Santa Ana Lane in 2018 and Private Steer in 2003.
Black Piranha was a two-time winner back in 2009 & 2010, as was Rough Habit, who claimed the race way back in 1991 and 1992. Last year, Trekking was the winner and the Godolphin galloper will be going for back to back this year.
The Stradbroke was held at Doomben in 2015 and 2017 but is back permanently at Eagle Farm with the surface of that track over most of its issues for now.
The favourite in early markets with Sportsbet is Dawn Passage at $4.50, while Trekking is at $7 in his quest to go back to back. Victorem is at $7.50 ahead of Exhiliarates at $9, while Hightail is at $11. Kementari, Tyzone and Vega One head the rest at $15.
A common theme of recent winners is that that they most won at decent odds. Trekking won as a $7 favourite in a compressed market last year but the seven winners prior to that paid higher than $10.
Picking a winner in the Straddie can tend to be a tad tricky because of the Handicap conditions of the race and the large fields. In order to take some of the guesswork out for you, we have analysed the Stradbroke Handicap trends since the year 2000 and it points to the following.
It is important to consider the odd roughie or two in this race as the average price of the winners since 2000 has been a very healthy $14.30.
Santa Ana Lane won at $14 in 2018 following Impending, who won at $21 in 2017. The others are Under The Louvre ($11 in 2016), River Lad ($31 in 2014), Linton ($26 in 2013) and Mid Summer Music ($31 in 2012).
Favourites have a moderate record in the Stradbroke and only four popular elects have saluted since 2000.
Black Piranha took out the first of his two Stradbrokes as a $4 chance in 2009, while Thorn Park ($5.50 in 2004) and Private Steer ($3.50 in 2003) both had the class to get the job done.
Trekking joined that group last year. Horses that are closer to the average winning price of $14.50 of winners this millennium are Vega One and Hightail (both $15).
Niccanova is $17. For those that are keen on the likes of Exhilarates, who has just 49.5kg, horses down in the weights tend to go well in the Stradbroke.
The average weight carried by the winners is 53kg. Niccanova and Ranier carry that this year. Trekking has been allocated top weight of 58kg.
No ‘toppie’ has won the Stradbroke this millennium. The highest weight that was carried to victory was 55.5kg by Black Piranha in 2010.
The average weight is low, due in part to the fact that five three-year-olds have won the race since 2000 including Impending in 2017, as well as Private Steer in 2003 and La Montagna in 2006.
That age group is just shaded by the four-year-olds as the most successful. Srikandi, Thorn Park and Show A Heart are among six horses aged four to have won since 2000, while horses aged six have also bobbed up in this race, winning it on four occasions.
The four-year-olds this year are Ranier, Vega One, Graff, Madam Rouge, Outback Barbie and Bam’s On Fire.
A lot of the pre-race talk this year has centred around the favoured runners drawing wide. Dawn Passage has drawn barrier 23 but will come into 18 after the removal of emergencies and/or scratchings. Trekking is in 22 but will come into 17.
For those considering a wager on one of those two or another horse that has drawn wide, keep in mind that double figure barriers have not been a disadvantage over the years.
While nine of the 20 winners have drawn between barriers 1 to 5 since 2000, a further nine have drawn double digits. Seven of those were in the outermost five barriers. Bam’s On Fire, Exhilarates, Graff and Hightail are among those that have drawn the inside.
Finally, the ideal lead up form for this race has been the Doomben 10,000 (1200m) with nine of the past 15 horses coming out of that race, including Srikandi, who placed 6th in 2015.
A change in scheduling saw the Doomben 10000 reduced from 1350m to 1200m in 2017 with the Kingsford Smith Cup (1350m) sandwiched between the 10000 and the Stradbroke.
There was a further change this year due to the coronavirus so we can’t really get a comparison on specific lead up races from previous years but 14 of the past 20 winners did have their previous run in Brisbane, while three were in Sydney and three at Morphettville.
Logic says that the key lead-up this year is the Victory Stakes (1200m) that was taken out by Victory at Eagle Farm ahead of Niccanova and Deep Image. Interestingly, only three Stradbroke winners since 2000 were last start winners.
Finally, it is interesting to note that Con Karakatsanis is the only trainer to have won the Stradbroke twice since 2000. Of the jockeys, only Danny Nikolic is a multiple winner. The Godolphin stable have won two of the past three editions of the race. Trekking, Kementari, Ranier and Exhilarates represent that stable this year.
Selections according to the Stradbroke Handicap trends
Look for one in double figure odds that isn’t too high up in the weights. Horses that have had their previous run in Brisbane that weren’t necessarily last start winners also fit the criteria.
Tyzone, Deep Image, Vega One and Outback Barbie fit that criteria and of that quartet, Vega One and Outback Barbie are in the right age bracket.