Trainer Ciaron Maher is confident the allocation of the awkward barrier 13 will not affect the chances of pre-post favourite Srikandi in this weekend’s featured Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Maintaining favouritism in betting markets since Buffering was confirmed to return to the spelling paddock after the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, Maher told TVN Srikandi’s form, work and general nature will be the key to success this weekend, not the barrier draw.
“Barrier 13; that’s alright,” Maher said.
“It won’t be there barrier that gets her beaten.
“She had a good gallop on Tuesday morning, then we just gave her a bowl-around this morning.
“She’s in really good shape.”
Unlucky not to be carrying a perfect career start into the 2014 Strabroke Handicap, Srikandi has claimed six victories and one second place from her seven competitive starts since debuting in the spring of 2013.
While yet to contest an event at the highest level of Australian racing the Dubawi filly has more than earned her tag as equal race favourite for Queensland’s headline race; finishing second in the Drain Man Fillies 3.y.o (1000m) first-up and continuing to build in form and class on her way to victories in the Listed Silk Stocking (1200m), Listed Juanmo Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) most recently.
Having claimed the ideal gate 1 at Wednesday’s barrier draw, Hucklebuck has shot into contention as a leading chance in the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap; currently sharing equal favouritism with Srikandi at a quote of $5.
A standout performer over the early stages of the 2014 autumn, Hucklebuck won both the Dominant Handicap (1200m) and Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) before respiratory issues encountered during the running of the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) forced a premature end to his preparation.
Sharing the second line of betting for success in the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap, Group 1 champions Spirit Of Boom and Rebel Dane can each be taken at a quote of $7.50.
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