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$1.5 million UBET Stradbroke Handicap - Runner by Runner

By Puntersland 

We're less than 24 hours away from the race that stops the Queensland industry, so who will prevail in the $1.5 million UBET Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben?

The team from Puntersland has cast its eye over every runner in the 16-horse field before the gates crash back in Race 5 (2.15pm) on Saturday. 

Be sure to visit www.facebook.com/puntersland for an assessment on all eight races on the $3.7 million card. 

1. Impending (9)

Trainer: James Cummings

Jockey: Damian Browne

The 2017 Stradbroke Handicap winner is back to defend his crown.

Why He Can Win: He’s in unbelievable form coming off a Kingsford-Smith Cup win where he savaged the line late. He’s as tough as nails and does everything possible to win.

Why He Can’t Win: Will need to set a modern day weight carrying record with 57.5kg.

DEFENDING CHAMP: Impending wins the 2017 Stradbroke Handicap. Can he go back-to-back?

2. Santa Ana Lane (3)

Trainer: Anthony Freedman

Jockey: Ben Melham

A two-time Group 1 winner after claiming the Darley Goodwood in Adelaide last month.

Why he can win: People tend to write this horse off more often than not, and he lines up at double-figure odds again in the Stradbroke. Like many winners before, he will be charging late.  

Why he can’t win: Is likely to get a long way back and from barrier three could face a wall of horses upon turning for home.

TOP TRAINER: Anthony Freedman knows a thing or two about winning major Australian races.

3. Crack Me Up (5)

Trainer: Liam Birchley

Jockey:  Jim Byrne

The Villiers winner returns to Liam Birchley looking to fly fresh.

Why He Can Win: Proved that he can race well fresh when winning the Liverpool City Cup off a seven week break over this distance.

Why He Can’t Win:  Has struggled on rain affected tracks in the past.

DEAD SERIOUS: Crack Me Up has proven himself to be a serious race horse in the past season.

4. Endless Drama (20)

Trainer: Chris Waller

Jockey: Glyn Schofield

Beat Global Glamour and Doomben Cup winner Comin’ Through in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes.

Why he can win: Receives a 4kg swing for running 3L fifth to Impending in the Kingsford Smith Cup, and has Hall of Fame trainer Chris Waller in his corner. Also won’t mind the sting out of the ground.

Why he can’t win: Has drawn a shocking gate (Barrier 20) and probably hasn’t done enough at this stage to suggest he can turn the tables on his Kingsford Smith rivals.

TOP TRAINER: Any horse Chris Waller brings to Brisbane has a good chance.

5. Voodoo Lad

Trainer: Darren Weir

Jockey: Chris Parnham

This Weir runner is a consistent big race performer and is rarely far from the action.

Why He Can Win: He has a terrific record (6:2-2-1) over this distance. Great trial leading into this.

Why He Can’t Win: He was well beaten in the Goodwood last start and would need to lift on that effort.

BACK WEIR DRINK BEER?: Voodoo Lad is one of Darren Weir's leading hopes on UBET Stradbroke Day.

6. Spieth (21) 

Trainer: David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig

Jockey: Craig Williams

Talented sprinter looking to break through for a maiden Group 1 before heading to stud. 

Why he can win: This horse, when right, has a devastating final furlong. If Craig Williams can find cover and have him close enough at the turn, he will be finishing very fast.

Why he can’t win: Barrier 21 is going to make things tricky. Plus, the horse hasn’t won since beating Kaepernick in a Listed race at Randwick back in October 2016.

TOP TRAINER: Spieth is now under the watchful eye of David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

7. Foxplay (19)

Trainer: Chris Waller

Jockey: Michael Walker

Why She Can Win: All her racing has been black-type. She competed well in Group 1 races during the Autumn.

Why She Can’t Win: Drawn the carpark and not in the greatest of form.

NOT FOXING: Foxplay is a serious racehorse, but can she win the Stradbroke?

8. Most Important (2)

Trainer: Tony Gollan

Jockey: Mark Du Plessis

He could be the horse that helps Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan win his first UBET Stradbroke.

Why he can win: He is much better suited to handicap conditions and gets a new jockey. 

Why he can’t win: Finished well down the track in the Kingsford Smith and the jury is out as to whether his Queensland summer form is good enough at Group 1 company.
 

OUR HOPE: Even if their money isn't on, many Queenslanders will be behind Most Important.

9. The Monstar (8)

Trainer: Brett Cavanough

Jockey: Skye Bogenhuber

The Monstar winning with Skye in the saddle would be the feel good story of the race.

Why He Can Win: Absolutely loves a wet track. The wetter the better for this guy.

Why He Can’t Win: Enters this race on the back of a nice win in the Moreton Cup but whether he can take his racing to another level is doubtful.

DREAM RESULT: If The Monstar can salute he will deliver Skye Bogenhuber her first Group 1 winner!

10. Shillelagh (10)

Trainer: Chris Waller

Jockey: Michael Dee

Group 1 winning mare with a tidy race record, including a win in the Cantala Stakes at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week.

Why she can win: Returned from a spell in brilliant fashion in the Glenlogan Park stakes, hitting the line strongly with a stack of weight to finish 4th to Pedrena. Trainer helps…

Why she can’t win: Struggled to make much of an impact during the Spring, so not sure if she is going as well as 2017. Probably better suited to a dry track.

QUALITY MARE: Shillelagh broke through for a maiden Group 1 win during Spring.

11. Care To Think (16)

Trainer: Matthew Dunn

Jockey: Tim Clark

Barrier draws are never kind to this guy!

Why He Can Win: He is suited beautifully under handicap conditions. Has run well despite wide gates in the two lead up WFA races where he carried 59kg. Drops to 52.5kg here. This has been his target.

Why He Can’t Win: Once again, draws horribly.

DARE TO DREAM: Care To Think has been mighty unlucky with barriers!

12. Burning Passion (15)

Trainer: Mark Newnham

Jockey: Michael Cahill

Two-time Group 3 winner who has won twice at Doomben in the past. 

Why he can win: Was probably run off his feet a little in the Doomben 10,000 and looks as though the rise to 1350m will suit. Could possibly roll forward from the wide gate and put himself somewhere near the money.

Why he can’t win: Overall form doesn’t look strong enough to be measuring up in a race like this. Will get plenty of weight relief but will need it.

HOT TIP?: Burning Passion has runs on the board at Doomben. Could he be a rough chance?

13. Super Cash (13)

Trainer: Andrew Noblet

Jockey: Jamie Kah

Can Jamie go Kah-ching and win the cash? 

Why She Can Win: Gets in this race with just 51.5kg. Four of her past five starts have been in Group 1 company and she hasn’t disgraced herself.

Why She Can’t Win: It’s unclear whether she can run out a strong 1350m and generally races best in her first two runs back from a spell.

TOP JOCK: Jamie Kah will be chasing her first Group 1 win in the Stradbroke.

14. Invincible Gem (17)

Trainer: Kris Lees

Jockey: Brenton Avdulla

Brings to Brisbane form around the likes of Happy Clapper and Winx in the Autumn.

Why she can win: She was within 3L of Happy Clapper in the Canterbury Stakes during Autumn, and looks perfectly placed with 51kg in a Group 1 handicap.

Why she can’t win: It’s never easy to win from barrier 17 at Doomben and looks destined to be caught three-wide with no cover. Hasn’t won in almost a year.  

TOP TRAINER: Kris Lees knows a thing or two about winning Group 1 races in Queensland.

15. Perast

Trainer: Paul Perry

Jockey: Jeff Lloyd

Exciting three-year-old on an upward spiral.

Why He Can Win: He enters this race in terrific form having won his past two starts over this course and distance. With just 50kg on his back he’ll go forward and could prove hard to catch.

Why He Can’t Win: He’s up considerably in class and there’s a question mark over whether he can handle the pressure in front.

RISING STAR: Perast has blown his rivals away twice at Doomben this winter.

16. Champagne Cuddles (1)

Trainer: Bjorn Baker

Jockey: Corey Brown

An filly with limitless amounts of potential which won the Gold Coast Guineas in track record time in May. 

Why she can win: Blew away smart horse Whypeeo in the Gold Coast Guineas before finishing among the placegetters in the Kingsford Smith. 

Why she can’t win: It’s never easy to take on the older horses in a high pressure race like this. 

POP A TOP: The champagne will flow freely should this three-year-old filly upstage her older rivals.