Big Fields Could Spell Doom for Doomben on Stradbroke Day

This weekend’s racing at Doomben presents some true challenges so far a picking a good punt is concerned.

The Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350 m) will have a full field. Champagne Cuddles holds the top line, quoted of Ladbrokes at $4.20. The three-year-old Bjorn Baker filly is certainly consistent, if it is not too soon to say that of a nine times jumper. She has not failed to place in any of her starts, so her 100 percent win/place figure is appealing.

Next comes Impending at $6 and Pearst at $7. Pearst has been showing good form at Doomben, but has just one other win and one placing and there are a lots of fives, sixes and sevens, along with a nine in his last 15, so it becomes of question of which Pearst shows up Saturday.

The Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200 m) is another full field. Live And Free is the favourite at $4.80. The three-year-old son of Savabeel has won his last two at Rosehill and Randwick. Youngstar is going for his fifth consecutive win, has a top jockey aboard in Kerrin McEvoy, but will jump wide with a price of $7 on his head.

Lucky For All is out there with Youngstar at $5.50 and won three in a row before slumping to seventh in his last race.

Heavenly Thought has drawn the rail at $6 after opening at $7.50. This is his first attempt at Group 1 level, but he has a second and two wins in his last three starts. Having So You Think for a dad might create big expectations for the colt, as least you would be tempted to think.

The Group 1 T J Smith (1600 m), the Jaguar Land Rover J.J. Atkins on the bookie websites, has the smallest field of the Group 1s on the day.

The Autumn Sun is a clear favourite and Kerrin McEvoy might find himself the holder of a brace of Group 1s at the end of the day. The galloper is priced at $2.40, but Lean Mean Machine ($4.60), Zousain ($7.50) and Fundamentalist ($8) are worth a look.

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