While this Saturday's Belmont Stakes will run without a Triple Crown-contender, Australia's G1 Stradbroke Handicap features The Bostonian, a horse just one victory away from conquering the trinity of Brisbane's Group 1 sprints. He would be the first horse to ever accomplish the feat.
The Bostonian set course toward the monumental target after recording victories in the G1 Doomben 10,000 and G1 Kingsford Smith Cup. He is currently enjoying top billing as the 7/2 favorite to sweep the Stradbroke Handicap this Saturday, June 8th in Brisbane (Friday, June 7th, Belmont Stakes eve in the U.S).
Stradbroke Handicap Day is the grand final of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival as well as the richest race day in Queensland. A purse of A$1.5 million (US$1 million) is up for grabs in the Stradbroke. In the support card, the G1 Queensland Derby and G1 JJ Atkins command a combined prize pot of A$1.2 million (US$840 000). The headlining events will be complemented by the G2 Queensland Guineas, the G2 Brisbane Cup and the G2 Dane Ripper Quality.
G1 STRADBROKE HANDICAP
The Bostonian has been the Cinderella story of the Brisbane racing season. The New Zealand-bred gelding, trained by Tony Pike, has had early success with three unbeaten runs at the maiden, age group and listed levels in his native.
He charged into the Winter Carnival in a career breakthrough, pulling off an upset win in the Doomben 10,000 as 40/1 longshot over favorite Nature Strip and second favorite Osborne Bulls. Further adding to the grandeur of his win, The Bostonian became the first Kiwi sprinter to take the Doomben since My Axeman in 1983. He then stunned with a thrilling finish in the Kingsford Smith Cup where he beat favorite Trekking from a wide barrier.
The Kingsford Smith Cup also continued jockey Michael Cahill's winning spree in Queensland, where he has amassed over twenty wins this season. “You wouldn't want to be on anything else (in the Stradbroke), would you, he is the ideal type for it,” said Cahill.
The Bostonian was assigned the top weight at 125lbs. Should he win, he will have carried the heaviest weight since Rough Habit (127lbs) in 1992.
There could be as many as 18 horses out to spoil The Bostonian's quest for the final jewel in Brisbane's Group 1 triple crown when the Stradbroke Handicap kicks off at 2:15 p.m. Brisbane time (12:15 a.m. EDT or 9:15 p.m. PDT on Friday, June 7th).
Trekking will start as the 5/1 lead challenger to The Bostonian. With 19 career wins, the Godolphin galloper boasts a resume that reflects his talent, although he is yet to claim a Group 1 race. He is backing up from a third finish behind The Bostonian in the Kingsford Smith Cup and will look to make amends by capping his season with a Group 1 win. Three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Kerrin McEvoy, will take the steer on Trekking to give Godolphin their eighth successful Group 1 run this season.
G3 BRC Sprint winner Tyzone, to partner with jockey Tommy Berry, is at 8/1 and will carry 116lbs. G1 TAB Classic winner Spright rounds out the three best odds at 10/1.
Trainer James Cummings, who took to the winner's circle with Impending two years ago, has three more runners in this year's field with Home of the Brave (14/1), Viridine (20/1) and Encryption (25/1).
G1 QUEENSLAND DERBY
This year's Queensland Derby will feature the Chris Waller-trained Nobu as the standout at odds of 7/2. The son of 2013 Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Reliable Man is on a rebound mission after failing in the New Zealand Derby, heading into the race having won his last two starts.
Mr Quickie, who is sired by Shamus Award – the only horse to win the Cox Plate as a maiden – is listed as 5/1 courtesy of a promising third he ran during his Group 1 debut in the TAB SA Derby.
Also ready to go in the Derby and prove themselves worthy successors to their sire's legacy are Australian Oaks runner-up, Scarlet Dream (7/1), daughter of Golden Slipper champion Sebring, and Declares War (14/1) from the legendary U.S stallion Declaration of War.
Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden's colt Carif, the progeny of dual Cox Plate winner So You Think, will make the step up to the elite level as 10/1 chance.
Stradbroke Handicap Day will broadcast live from Eagle Farm on TVG. It will also be streamed in HD on skyracingworld.com and major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWager, HPIbet, AmWager, and BetAmerica. Wagering is also available via these ADW platforms. Fans can get free access to live-streaming, past performances and expert picks on all races at skyracingworld.com.
About David Haslett
A former Managing Director of Sportech Racing, David was appointed President and CEO of Sky Racing World in April 2014. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company, a subsidiary of Australian wagering firm Tabcorp, provides Australian, New Zealand, South African and South Korean thoroughbred racing and Australian Harness racing content for simulcast horse-race wagering to multiple North America-facing ADW brands and race-tracks.
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