Talented mare Srikandi has firmed to outright second favourite in betting markets to win the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) in early June after posting an exceptional first-up victory in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) on the Gold Coast over the weekend.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Damian Browne immediately settled the Dubawi mare off the pace of early leader Rocket To Glory who set a noticeably quick tempo away from the barriers and rounding the bend.
Offered a clear racing line upon arriving at the final straight, Srikandi quickly pressed forward and locked in a fierce sprint battle with leading contender Ball Of Muscle; poking clear in the final 100m to hit the line a comfortable length in the clear.
Understandably thrilled with the first-up performance, trainer Ciaron Maher confirmed the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap remains the major target and is confident she will only improve from the Victory Stakes triumph.
“It’s great going forward, after a long break you put a nice foundation on them and you hope they’re right,” Maher told Racing Victoria.
“She was a lot heavier mare than she was a filly last year but it’s great to kick off with a win.
“She’s a quality horse and hopefully she can keep going.
“One step at a time. The Stradbroke has been the plan, she should improve off today. I just think she’ll come on a bit with match practice, so we’re very happy.”
Having won the 2015 Victory Stakes, Srikandi has now secured seven race wins over a nine start career which has also included two minor place finishes.
Running second in a Moonee Valley minor over 1000m upon resuming in 2014, Srikandi won each of her next five starts, including all of the Listed Silk Stocking (1200m), Listed Juanmo Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) before ending her campaign a credible third in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
Leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Stradbroke Handicap odds, for which Srikandi can be taken at a generous quote of $7.50 for success. Our Boy Malachi remains outright favourite at $4.50 odds.
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