2018 Stradbroke Handicap Preview


The Stradbroke Handicap is always the highlight of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and the 2018 edition of the race is set to be no exception.

The Stradbroke Handicap is a very tough betting race and there are a host of winning chances, but we are making it easy for punters!

If your selection finishes first OR second you will get paid as the winner!

We have analysed every single horse in the field and our complete 2018 Stradbroke Handicap tips can be found below!


Top-weights have a very poor record in the Stradbroke Handicap and no horse has carried 56 kilograms or more to victory since Show A Heart in 2002, but Impending still goes into the race as a genuine contender. He savaged the line to claim a second Group 1 victory in the Kingsford-Smith Cup and he clearly relishes this track and distance. History is against him as Rough Habit (1991 & 1992) and Black Piranha (2009 and 2010) are the only horses to have won back-to-back Stradbroke Handicaps since 1950 and he does meet the likes of Champagne Cuddles much worse at the weights, but he can’t be discounted.

Santa Ana Lane

Santa Ana Lane heads into this race on the back of a fast-finishing effort in The Goodwood. He is a horse that is capable of a high-rating performance on his day, but he is also prone to throwing in a sneaker and he always needs luck in running. I’m not sure that Doomben is the right track for him and I am happy to take him on.

Crack Me Up

Crack Me Up has been freshened-up since he failed to fire in the Doncaster Mile. He won the Liverpool City Cup in impressive fashion and he wasn’t disgraced when fourth in the George Ryder Stakes, but I’m not sure that he has the class to win a race of this quality.

Endless Drama

Endless Drama toughed it out to finish fifth in the Kingsford-Smith Cup after not having a great deal of luck in running. He is rarely far away in races of this quality, but he does look to have found his right price at the $21 mark.

Voodoo Lad

Voodoo Lad was set for a first-up tilt at The Goodwood, but he produced a fairly flat effort and he could finish no better than tenth. He is a horse that is capable of taking a step backwards second-up and I couldn’t back him off his last start effort.


Spieth returned to the races with a credible effort in the Doomben 10,000 and he has been kept fresh since that run. I’ve always been of the opinion that Spieth is a little bit on the overrated side and he is unproven at this trip.


Foxplay loomed up to win the Glenlogan Park Stakes, but she died on her run late and she doesn’t appear to be putting in during her recent race starts. This race is tougher and she would need to return to her best form to have any chance.

Most Important

Most Important faded late to finish at the tail of the field in the Kingsford-Smith Cup. He is an honest horse, but I don’t think that he is up to this level.

The Monstar

Aquis Farm elected to pay the late-entry fee to get The Monstar into the Stradbroke Handicap following his win in the Moreton Cup. He is a tough galloper that makes his own luck right on the speed, but he didn’t beat any top-liners to win what was a fairly weak Moreton Cup.


Shillelagh won the Kennedy Mile in the Spring and she hit the line nicely when fourth in the Glenlogan Park Stakes first-up. She is a horse that does have a nice second-up record, but I would not be surprised if Chris Waller has set her for the Tatt’s Tiara in a fortnight and she should take excellent benefit from this run.

Care To Think

The run of horror barrier draws has continued for Care To Think and that does make his task in the Stradbroke Handicap tough. He died on his run in the Kingsford-Smith Cup after James McDonald got him up and running a line way from home. Connections are adamant that he needs to be ridden more conservatively to perform at his best, but that is going to be a tough ask for Tim Clark from the wide gate. I can’t get him as short as his current price.

Burning Passion

Burning Passion is an underrated galloper and he was only beaten two lengths in the Doomben 10,000. Whether he has the upside to win a race with the quality of the Stradbroke Handicap is a big question mark, but he will run better than his current odds suggest.

Super Cash

Super Cash didn’t have any luck in the Robert Sangster Stakes before she finished a credible fourth in The Goodwood. The big question mark for her is the step-up to 1350 metres and all of her best form has been over 1100 metres. I am happy to take her on.

Invincible Gem

Invincible Gem has been sent to Queensland following a third place finish behind Osborne Bulls in the Luskin Star Stakes at Scone. There was actually a fair amount of merit in that performance as she was caught wide throughout and was still able to hit the line strongly. She does have early speed and it wouldn’t surprise to see Brenton Avdulla press forward from the wide barrier draw. If he does that, I am confident that she can run well and she isn’t the worst each-way bet at her current price.


Perast heads into the Stradbroke Handicap on the back of two tough front-running efforts in the Queensland Day Stakes and the Fred Best Classic. Jeff Lloyd is the perfect jockey for Perast and the fact that the veteran hoop has been able to get his weight down to 50 kilograms shows just how keen he is on the chances of the Snitzel colt. The fact that he makes his own luck right on the speed is a big positive and you can’t knock his record at Doomben, but I do question the strength of the Fred Best Classic and I would prefer to be on others around the $8 mark.

Champagne Cuddles

Champagne Cuddles is the horse to beat in the Stradbroke Handicap. She broke the track record when she won the Gold Coast Guineas first-up and she produced the perfect Stradbroke Handicap trial with her gallant effort when third in the Kingsford-Smith Cup. There is no doubt that she is thrown in at the weights and with even luck in running from the inside barrier she will prove tough to beat.

Danon Liberty

There is a lot of hype surrounding Japanese import Danon Liberty and that should come as no surprise – the partnership between Australian Bloodstock and Darren Weir with these Japanese gallopers has been nothing short of outstanding. I am always loathe to underrate these Japanese gallopers, but it has been a while since the King Kamehameha entire performed at anywhere near his best form and he may have an inflated reputation at this stage of his career.

Osborne Bulls

Osborne Bulls has always looked like an ideal horse for the Stradbroke Handicap, but he is currently the second emergency and he requires a pair of scratchings to earn a start in the Group 1 event. He is a horse that has improved each time that he has been seen at the races this preparation – even when he was beaten – and there was a lot to like about his win the Luskin Star Stakes. The booking of Kerrin McEvoy is a big positive and if he is able to get into the race he will be a serious player.

Moss ‘N’ Dale

Moss ‘N’ Dale is the third emergency in the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap field.


Pecans is the fourth emergency in the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap field and is unlikely to earn a start.

I’m A Rippa

I’m A Rippa is the fifth emergency in the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap field and requires a host of scratchings to earn a start.

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.