2020 Stradbroke Handicap Preview

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A capacity field is set to line up in the 2020 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The Stradbroke Handicap’s purse of $1.5 million had to be reduced to $350,000 this year as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis but Queensland’s premier sprint race over 1400m has still attracted a quality field of eighteen plus five emergencies, which includes last year’s winner Trekking.

Trekking will carry the topweight of 58kg, up 4kg on last year’s victory while the James Cummings trained stablemate Kementari has the second topweight with 55.5kg.

Cummings will also saddle up in the in-form Ranier as well as Exhilarates who snuck into the final field and will carry the number 18 saddlecloth.

Tulloch Lodge co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott will saddle up the favourite Dawn Passage while Niccanova and Tyzone will carry the hopes for the Queenslanders.

We have analysed the entire field and our complete 2020 Stradbroke Handicap tips can be found below!

Trekking

The James Cummings trained Trekking is up 4kg on his win in the 2019 Stradbroke Handicap but is back in Group 1 winning form with a last start win in The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 16 and is one of the main players again but has to overcome a very wide barrier .

Top local jockey Michael Cahill will wear the Godolphin royal blue colours, taking over from The Goodwood winning jockey Johnny Allen and regular rider Kerrin McEvoy who were unable to travel to Queensland.

Kementari

Group1 winner Kementari has been struggling to rebuild his racetrack form after returning from an unsuccessful stint as a stallion prospect.

Kementari has two Group 3 placings to his credit since his return before a fifth in the Group 3 BRC Sprint over 1200m at Doomben and was then always well and never threatened when eight in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on May 23.

The James Cummings trained five year old will be better suited over the 1400m but needs to improve many lengths to figure in the finish.

Niccanova

The Toowoomba trained Niccanova put himself into Stradbroke Handicap calculations with a flashing first up second behind Victorem in the Group 2 Victory Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm on May 23.

The Steve Tregea trained six year old is a winner over the Stradbroke Handicap course and he has a handy second up record and has to come under consideration.

James Orman will probably settle Niccanova in the first half of the field from an awkward draw.

Ranier

Ranier is the third of the James Cummings trained sprinters to line up in the Stradbroke Handicap but is facing a huge step up in grade to Group 1 level.

The Lonhro four year old is racing in fine form in weaker company and heads to Eagle Farm chasing a hat trick after wins in a 1400m BenchMark 100 Handicap at Randwick and in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill.

Victorem

The Jenny Graham trained Victorem secured his spot in the Stradbroke Handicap field with a dashing win in the Group 2 Victory Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm on May 23.

Victorem has found winning form at the right time, drops 4kg on his Victory Stakes win and has to be given some hope again after drawing a single digit barrier and looks likely to jump from gate six.

Tyzone

Tyzone put in a great Stradbroke Handicap trial with an eye catching fifth behind Victorem in the Victory Stakes and drops 4.5kg in the Stradbroke Handicap.

The Toby and Trent Edmonds trained Tyzone showed that he is up to Group 1 level after running home for second to Trekking in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap with 53kg on his back and will carry 0.5kg less this year and will need plenty of luck in the early stages from a very wide gate but will be steaming home at the finish and is one of the main chances for the locals.

Crack Me Up

Crack Me Up finished fourth in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap but the Bjorn Baker trained six year old has failed to run a place at seven starts since.

Crack Me Up heads back to Queensland following his last start fourth in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on May 9.

Vega One

Vega One booked a spot in the 2020 Stradbroke Handicap field with his win in The Gateway (1400m) at Eagle Farm in December last year but has been struggling to find his best form at three runs back this campaign.

A win by Vega One would give Brisbane’s premiership winning trainer Tony Gollan his first Stradbroke Handicap win but the four year old has many lengths to make up after finishing over three lengths from Victorem when ninth in the Victory Stakes. Wide gate makes it hard.

Chief Ironside

The Kris Lees trained import Chief Ironside was a Group 2 winner during the 2019 Melbourne Spring Carnival with his victory in the Crystal Mile (1600m) at The Valley but has to improve on his latest fourth in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) at Scone on May 15 to be a threat.

Graff

Graff has never lived up to his early expectation and has to improve dramatically to be threat after finishing fifth in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill 0n May 16.

Deep Image

Deep Image has found some nice form at the right time with a second in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1200m) at Doomben on May 9 and then battled on for third in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm last start.

The Robert Heathcote trained six year old is a two times winner over the Stradbroke Handicap course and distance and is at nice each way odds and another bold performance wouldn’t surprise.

Winter Bride

Winter Bride over-raced in front without the ear muffs but battled on for sixth in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm last start and is now marked as one of the outsiders of the field.

Winter Bride is a Group 1 placegetter in New Zealand and co-trainers Toby and Trent Edmonds have put the ear muffs back on for the Stradbroke Handicap and are anticipating a better showing.

Madam Rouge

MadaM Rouge is regarded as one of the outsiders of the field coming off a last start eleventh in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 2.

Outback Barbie

Outback Barbie goes into the Stradbroke Handicap third up from a spell and was working to the line nicely last start when fourth to Victorem in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm and is not as rough a chance as the market suggests.

The Tony Gollan trained mare drops 3.5kg on her Victory Stakes run but her biggest problem is that she is yet to be placed at Eagle Farm from five starts there and is yet to win beyond 1300m.

Outback Barbie is going to get the run of the race from an inside barrier.

Bam’s On Fire

Bam’s On Fire ran up to her best last start when third in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes ( 1200m) at Morphettville on May 2 but will find this tougher.

Dawn Passage

Dawn Passage is racing in outstanding form with a hat trick of wins from his last three starts and secured his spot in the Stradbroke Handicap as well as his spot at the top of the market order at Ladbrtokes.com.au with his win in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained three year old drops 7kg this week and will only have to carry 50kg in the Stradbroke Handicap and will be very hard to beat with that lightweight.

Dawn Passage remains the favourite despite drawing the extreme outside gate.

Hightail

Hightail is another three year old colt with only 50kg on his back and is chasing a hat trick following a win in a BenchMark 88 Handicap (1250m) on the Kensington track at Randwick and win in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) at the Gold Coast. Will find this tougher but will get a nice run from a favourable barrier draw.

Exhilarates

Exhilarates was doing her best work at the finish last Saturday when second to Dawn Passage in the Group 3 Fred Best Stakes (1350m) at Doomben and drops 5.5kg in the Stradbroke Handicap.

Exhilarates is the fourth runner for trainer James Cummings and has drawn in close and if she gets some luck in the straight a first three finish would not surprise.

Baccarat Baby

Baccarat Baby is the first of the five emergencies for the Stradbroke Handicap and if she gains a start will find it tougher than her last start third in the Listed Wayne Wilson (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast on May 15.

Brave Song

Brave Song will find this tougher than his last start second in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on May 16.

 Bandipur

Bandipur was well beaten last start when tenth in the Listed  Hinkler Handicap (1110m) at Doomben last Saturday.

Military Zone

Military Zone looks tested on his last start fifth in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) at Scone on May 15.

Delectation Girl

Delectation Girl started favourite but was well beaten last start when tenth I the Group3 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Rosehill on May 16.

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.