In a tight 2016 Stradbroke Handicap result, the Robert Smerdon-trained Under The Louvre broke a lengthy winning drought to hold off his last start conqueror Black Heart Bart in Queensland’s richest race.
The headline event on the final Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival meeting at the newly upgraded Eagle Farm track, a capacity field lined-up in the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
As it turned out, the Stradbroke Handicap quinella finished the same two sprinters that finished first and second in Adelaide’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) last time out.
In that Morphettville feature it was the former Perth-trained Black Heart Bart, now prepared by Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir, who beat home Smerdon’s always-honest Excellent Art stallion Under The Louvre.
Five-year-old Under The Louvre and jockey Dwayne Dunn were able to turn the tables in the rematch in the Sunshine State, despite Black Heart Bart boasting the far better record at the 1400m.
From nine previous goes at the distance, Blackfriars gelding Black Heart Bart had enjoyed five wins and three thirds, while Under The Louvre had won just one of his previous eight attempts at the distance.
A clam and composed Dunn said that a nice run in transit from barrier 13 helped Under The Louvre in the Stradbroke Handicap, which was the horse’s maiden Group 1 success and first win since March of 2015.
“We had a little bit of a better run than Black Heart Bart in transit,” Dunn said.
“He beat us in Adelaide last time but this weekend it was our turn.
“He’s a great horse and deserves to win his Group 1.”
Adding huge value to the Stradbroke Handicap trifecta in third was the Toby Edmonds-trained Hinchinbrook gelding The Virginian ($151), the three-year-old a Class 1 horse having just his fourth career start.
The red hot favourite Azkadellia meanwhile was slow out of the gates, drifting well back in the field and failing to make up any ground throughout the run.
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2016 Stradbroke Handicap Results
Eagle Farm Racecourse (Race 9) – Saturday June 11, 2016
|1||7||UNDER THE LOUVRE||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||–||13||54.5kg||$11|
|2||1||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||0.1L||10||58kg||$5.50|
|3||18||THE VIRGINIAN||Toby Edmonds||Ms Rosie Myers||3.4L||12||50.5kg||$81|
|4||2||DELECTATION||Chris Waller||James McDonald||6.9L||7||57kg||$26|
|5||8||SACRED STAR||Tony Pike||Vinnie Colgan||7L||8||54.5kg||$81|
|6||13||PRECIOUS GEM||Henry Dwyer||Tim Clark||7.2L||18||52.5kg||$41|
|7||12||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||8.5L||14||52.5kg||$6.50|
|8||6||CHARLIE BOY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||8.7L||6||54.5kg||$26|
|9||3||MALAGUERRA||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Hugh Bowman||10.5L||9||56kg||$9.50|
|10||5||AZKADELLIA (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||10.7L||5||54.5kg||$4F|
|11||15||KAEPERNICK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||11.7L||17||52kg||$18|
|12||9||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||11.8L||4||54kg||$41|
|13||10||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Tye Angland||12L||16||54kg||$31|
|14||17||TAKEDOWN||Gary Moore||Jason Taylor||12.4L||11||50.5kg||$31|
|15||16||ARTLEE||Todd Willan||Mitchell Bell||12.6L||1||52kg||$26|
|16||4||MUSIC MAGNATE (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Kerrin McEvoy||17.6L||3||55.5kg||$7.50|
|17||14||TWO BLUE||Kristen Buchanan||Ms Tegan Harrison||19.9L||2||52kg||$101|
|18||11||CHARMED HARMONY||John Sadler||Chad Schofield||24.9L||15||53kg||$81|