By Brennan Ryan
Stratford, winner of the Townsville Young Guns back in March, brought up his third 498-metre feature win for the year on Tuesday night when successful in taking out the Townsville Grand Prix Final.
The brilliant son of Fernando Bale and Jingjing has strung together nine straight victories on end.
Stepping away from box eight, Stratford began on terms with Diva Valentine in the early stages, before finding the lead down the back and holding a late charge from the fast finishing No Regrets.
He scored by two-and-a-half lengths, clocking 28.66 seconds, with Diva Valentine holding on for third.
Stratford set a new race record for the Grand Prix, originally held by Saviour of 28.72 seconds in 2014.
Burdell trainer Rhonda Essery, who celebrated a birthday this week, was elated with the victory.
“Stratford is such an amazing chaser, and has a great affinity with Townsville,” the trainer stated.
“Box eight is the draw that suits Stratford well, he loves the competitiveness of racing and just knows how to find the line,” she said.
“Steve (Essery) and I are truly fortunate to have this dog in our kennel.”