The jewel in the crown of the Brisbane winter carnival is here with the running of the time-honoured Stradbroke Handicap. With the Group 1 JJ Atkins also shining brightly on the stunning program, this meeting is a must for all racing and sporting fans! Join our experts as they preview Queensland’s premier race day.
Eagle Farm Race 6
Numerian is knocking on the door. The Holy Roman Emperor gelding was disappointing in the Queen Elizabeth before snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the Doomben Cup. The rising eight-year-old will roll forward and make his own luck from barrier two, and if his rivals give him an easy time in front, he will look the winner on straightening. He will give a good sight!
Huetor was brilliant late in the Doomben Cup. He defended his title gallantly, and he looks well placed to continue on his winning ways on Saturday. The Archipenko gelding will eat up every inch of the 2200m, and with even luck in transit, I expect him to be there when the whips are cracking. The awkward barrier is the primary concern.
Without A Fight was a brilliant winner first-up in the Lord Mayors Cup. The Teofilo gelding has previously won second-up and is building an impressive career record. The step out in distance is advantageous, and he has been well-supported in early betting. The step up in class is his biggest obstacle.
Suggested Bet: Numerian @ $4.60
Eagle Farm RACE 7
Tannhauser has a sense of timing about him. He was well supported at a decent price first-up, and he saluted accordingly. The step out to a mile looks ideal at this stage of his preparation, and he can drift back and find his feet from the middle gate. The Chris Waller and James Mcdonald combination will attract market support, and the Dundeel colt looks the one to beat. Hard to toss!
Californian is over the odds. The Justify colt has been luckless this campaign, and his form is better than it looks on paper! He has been screaming out for the mile all campaign, and with a change in fortune, I expect him to figure in the finish. I am unsure if barrier 1 is advantageous for his style and racing pattern.
Azula will have supporters after back-to-back victories. The Maurice filly will roll forward like the majority of Gai Waterhouse trained runners, and if she doesn’t spend too much petrol early crossing from barrier eleven, she may prove hard to run down. The mile will suit, and the 55kg looks luxurious for the talented two-year-old. She needs to avoid the early-speed battle!
Suggested Bet: Tannhauser @ $6.00
Eagle Farm Race 8
#18 Hawaii Five Oh
Hawaii Five Oh was a brilliant last-start winner of the Fred Best over 1400m. The start prior, he was a dominant winner of the Hawkesbury Guineas, and he looks ominous here, jumping from barrier 3. Under handicap conditions, he drops to 49.5kg, and if he can get a clean start, the I Am Invincible colt will get the box seat and the run of the race. The form around the boom horse Yellow Brick speaks volumes, and if he sees daylight on straightening, he will look the winner inside the final furlong. The rise in class is a slight query.
Think About It has the picket fence next to his name! The So You Think gelding is a winning machine, and he is going through his grades impressively. He tasted Group 1 glory for the first time last start in the Kingsford Smith Cup, and if he can overcome an awkward barrier on Saturday, he can get the job done again! He could be the real deal!
Cardinal Gem is racing in great spirit. The Choisir gelding put two consecutive wins together at Sandown before racing admirably at Doomben. His record at the distance must be respected, and he should be rock-hard fit at this stage of his preparation. From barrier six he can sit midfield with cover, and if he is presented at the right time, he is a genuine threat. I am unsure how many peak performances he has left for the preparation.
Suggested Bet: Hawaii Five Oh @ $5.00
Eagle Farm Race 9
#15 Opal Ridge
Opal Ridge will start one of the shortest-priced favourites of the meeting. The Rubick filly will was an eye-catching winner last start at Scone, and the flood of early money tells me she is cherry ripe to make it back-to-back wins. The promising three-year-old is building an impressive career record, and if she can find a spot in the running line from the carpark draw, I wonder if they can hold her out. This is her biggest test!
Ekaterina can run a drum at cricket-score odds. The Russian Revolution filly savaged the line late at her latest outing, and the step out to 1300m looks ideal. If she can drift back from barrier sixteen without losing too much ground during the race’s early stages, she can storm over the top of her rivals late. The class rise and the wide gate are her biggest obstacles.
Roots will have supporters after a little freshen-up. The Press Statement mare is resuming after a successful autumn campaign, and her best form reads incredibly well for this event. She can box seat from barrier two, and if she sees daylight on straightening, she can threaten. Her first-up record speaks volumes, and she has a winning association with the trip. Over the odds!
Suggested Bet: Opal Ridge @ $2.40