Stradbroke Handicap Highlights AAMI Stradbroke Day
The field and the barriers are all set for Saturday’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm. Eighteen horses will contest 1400 m of newly renovated turf under open handicap conditions.
Two other Group 1 Races jump on the biggest day in Queensland racing, the Queensland Derby and the T.J. Smith Stakes. Three Group 2 races are on the card as well: The Queensland Guineas, the Brisbane Cup and the Dan Ripper Quality, named for the Bart Cummings trained mare that won the Stradbroke in 1997, along with the Cox Plate.
There is almost $4 million in total prize money across the card, with $1.5 set aside for the Stradbroke.
Ciaron Maher’s Azkadellia is the current favourite, has Damien Oliver for a jockey and has drawn the number five barrier. Recent Group 1 winner Music Magnate, something of a mild surprise winner of the Doomben 10,000, will start right beside the favourite in the number four barrier.
Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart is sure to attract some backers jumping from number 10 and given top-weight at 58 kg, spotting Azkadellia 3.5 kg.
The meeting more or less lowers the curtain on the 2015-2016 racing season, save for one curtain call at the end of the month, also at Eagle Farm, when the last Group 1 race of the season, the 1400 m Winter Stakes, is the final weight-for-age event for fillies and mares.