Stradbroke Handicap 2020

I have to admit I’m not overly keen on the race this year. I used to have a plethora of historical info but that seems a bit irrelevant in this era with the track surface the way it is and the Carnival cut short this year. What we have always known though, is it’s a good race for those horses that are  down in the weights, in form, and particularly the three year old age group.

A day or so ago I thought it was probably going to be a leaders race with little speed on paper but it is possible a couple more might try for the lead too (Graff and
Nicanova?), so now I’m not so sure. It might be best to just assume every horse will get it’s chance and not factor in the speed too much. We also don’t know what pattern of racing is going to be suited although the track did seem to race quite fairly two weeks ago. Perhaps it didn’t really suit the leaders as much as expected that day? Some statistical form on most of the field follows;

TREKKING- 1/1 at track and distance. 2-2/4 Winter, 7/11 with 15-35 days between runs. 10-8/25 Good to Soft 5 tracks.

KEMANTARI- 0-6/13 carrying more than 57kg. 4-4/10 with less than 57kg. 2-3/6 at 1400m. 0/7 fourth up +.

NICCANOVA- 2-2/6 at Eagle Farm. Meets Victorem 0.5kg worse for beating last start.5-1/7 on wet tracks. 2-2/5 second up. 0-4/7 Winter.

RANIER- 3-3/6 barriers 1-3. 5-3/12 1300m-1500m.

VICTOREM- Dale Smith 1-2/3. 7-3/11 <56.5kg. Never carried less than 54kg. 3/4 Winter. 2-2/4 third up.

TYZONE- 0-2/5 Eagle Farm but G1 placed this race last year 5-3/9 Winter. 5-3/9 with 15-21 days between runs. Meets Trekking 4.5kg better for 1.75L defeat last year.

CRACK ME UP- 0-0/4 Group 1 races. 0-1/5 Eagle Farm. 0-0/7 at 1400m. 2-1-6 Second up. 0-2/9 First up. 0/3 with 22-28 days between runs.

VEGA ONE- 2/4 at Eagle Farm. 4-3/9 barriers 1-6. Fourth up 2/3. 0-1/7 with 0-14 days between runs. 5-2/8 15-28 days between runs.

CHIEF IRONSIDE- Blinkers on first time.

GRAFF- 1/1 Winter.

MADAM ROUGE- 0/7 beyond 1300m.

DEEP IMAGE- 4-2/7 at Eagle Farm and 2/2 Track and Distance. 3-4/7 with 15-21 days between runs.

BAM’S ON FIRE- 3-5/8 barriers 1-3. 3-3/6 with 22+ days between runs. 20 starts and placed 17 times.

DAWN PASSAGE- 5/10 career and a three year old coming in off three straight wins with big weights. Unknown on back up.

HIGHTAIL- Three year old coming off two straight wins and dropping in Weight. 1400m?

EXHILARATES- 1/1 with 7 days between runs. 3yo Filly dropping in weight. 1400m?



These are the ones I can definitely make a case for;

TREKKING- As can be seen from his form stats there aren’t too many negatives. My query is can he conceded this much weight to a few decent horse’s in a genuine handicap, which wasn’t the case last start. Barrier 17 is also a slight concern for him, espeically if the speed isn’t really on. He carries 4kg more than last year. He is the proven class performer though and quite often if you put this kind of race in the two hard basket then you are wise to come back to the topweight.

KEMENTARI- He is a total enigma and hasn’t won for ages. There are three things in his favour here though. First the big weight drop to a winning weight for him statistically. Secondly the 1400m which is much more suitable. And thirdly the gear change of Winkers off. The last time that happened he won. Has to be taken on trust but he is going to be strong at the finish of 1400m.

NICCANOVA- That was a big first up run of his when no better than three wide the whole race yet he hit the line hard. He seemed to overrace a bit early too which suggests he has come back in great fashion.  If he was mine I’d be trying to lead like he did when winning with 60kg here at a mile a few starts back. If he can do that unopposed he looks a massive chance of winning.

VICTOREM- His stats are enormous for this. My little query is the time was a bit weak last start (2 year olds were faster) and is he as good at 1400m as he is at 1200m? This time last year he was running as well as Brave Song, who was competitive with Trekking at the time at level weights. He gets 5.5kg off that horse in this race so he looks a very big winning chance. His odds look about right or perhaps a touch of overs.

GRAFF- I’m giving him a hope because he is so well weighted. The jockey stated last time he wanted more distance and to be closer to the pace. Well, he gets the chance to prove that here from barrier 2. I’m not  convinced he is a 1400m horse but if he can get a soft run he might prevail. Interestingly his Grandam is the Dam of the three year old Dawn Passage who does run a strong 1400m.

BAM’S ON FIRE- I think she is great odds given she was less than 2L off Lyre last start conceding her 1.5kg. Lyre was then less than 2L off Trekking last start who carried 4.5kg more than her. This mare gets 7kg off Trekking today so can beat that horse home. Apparently she has thrived since coming to Queensland and the freshen up is seen as being beneficial off a very long campaign

DAWN PASSAGE.- I think if he can handle the seven day backup and get an economical enough run he will probably win the race. He also has to handle the tricky Eagle Farm surface which is always a bit of a concern. An in form three year old who probably has improvement in him looks the right recipe for success thoough and the $6 odds look reasonable enough. His win last win was epic given he was three wide throughout. He couldn’t have done anymore and did very well to prevail.

My top 4 with no real confidence;


And that is leaving out the topweight Trekking who looks a great chance, and the enigmatic pairing of Kementari and Graff who you have to give some hope to.




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