Celtic Dancer Unlikely To Gain 2012 Stradbroke Handicap Start

June 4th, 2012

Celtic Dancer is likely to miss out on a start in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap this Saturday June 9, 2012, despite his last start QTC Cup win.

The Choisir gelding won the Group 2 QTC Cup by more than a length ahead of second place runner Belltone.

Despite the impressive victory, trainer Noel Doyle admits Celtic Dancer will probably not make the $1 million 2012 Stradbroke Handicap field.

Celtic Dancer will instead line up in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich Racecourse on Saturday June 16, 2012.

“I’d love to run him in the Stradbroke but that appears very unlikely and the Eye Liner will be a suitable back-up,” Doyle said.

“He’s a very good horse and he has come up really well this time – that’s why I thought about the Stradbroke with him.”

The talented gelding is at his best on wet ground, winning the QTC Cup on a heavy-rated track.

His only other win this preparation came when first in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup at the Gold Coast Racecourse on May 5, 2012, on a Heavy 8.

Celtic Dancer has had four career starts on a Heavy track for three race wins.

Jockey Tim Bell is also disappointed Celtic Dancer won’t get his shot in the 1,400 metre Stradbroke Handicap this weekend.

“It’s a shame he won’t get into the Stradbroke because he’d be a good lightweight chance, especially if it’s wet,” Bell said.

The four-year-old gelding has won seven of his 26 race starts and has earned more than $400,000 in prize money.