AARON Macey and Matt Taylor have locked horns once again to find the winner of the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) that is part of this weekend’s Brisbane Carnival $250,000 Tournament.
MT: Aaron we had a false start last week but we’re back again, the skies look clear and we might finally see how this Eagle Farm track plays. We don’t know much about the surface but we can form a bit of a speed map for the Stradbroke, what are your thoughts on the tempo and where the key players will settle in the run?
AM: There looks to be a good pace on paper without them flying like they did in the Doomben 10,000. Expect Takedown and Charmed Harmony to roll forward from their wide draws to sit along side Two Blue with Music Magnate and Hooked settling in just behind them.
MT: And of course the favourite Azkadellia will be out the back. Money came for her after drawing barrier five and she’s into $3.80 now but I can’t see the gate making much of a difference either way. Damien Oliver won the Straddie on River Lad in 2014, Ciaron Maher won it with Srikandi last year - can they combine to take it out with this mare this year?
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AM: She is certainly one of the key chances, but cannot understand once again why she is so short! She had her chance to win last start and Music Magnate was pulling away from her on the line, and I understand she will have fitness improvement to come but if that is the case there is a good chance that run may have flattened her. She seems a ridiculous price to me.
MT: The concern for me is that she has been up for a long time. She had her first run in mid-February and peaked during The Championships. Despite having the month-and-a-half freshen I’m not convinced, off that last run, that she’s had the best preparation for this race. Her racing pattern means she'll have to run them all down from the tail and will undoubtedly need some luck. At $3.80, not for me. On the second and third lines of betting are Black Heart Bart at $6 and Counterattack at $7.50. How do you see their chances?
AM: I think he is the now proven horse, should have won the All Aged and was rather dominate in the Goodwood Handicap, gets back up to his pet trip but will have to give weight to a couple of pretty smart up and coming horse, plus he has also been up for a while. He’s one of the key chances and so is Counterattack with the lightweight. I would not be surprised to see him roll a touch and settle midfield and with any luck early I’d expect he will be fighting out the finish.
John Walter joined Jake Henson to preview the card on Stradbroke Day at Eagle Farm plus the meeting at Royal Randwick.
MT: Personally I’d be more willing to back Black Heart Bart than Azkadellia at the prices available and he will be a slightly better than even result for me. He'll get a nice midfield sit and a quick look through the form shows the trip will pose no issues. As for Counterattack I like him as a horse but I suspect he won't enjoy the most generous run in transit, but he's definitely a chance with just 52.5kgs. Just behind them in the market is Music Magnate at $10 - you tipped us into him before the Doomben 10,000, can he do it again?
AM: I am going with Music Magnate again, he should lob just behind the leaders back which should be a very favourable position in the run of this race. I love the way he has improved with every run and feel he will be at his absolute top tomorrow and am surprised he is not favourite.
MT: I like Music Magnate's chances as well and he'll definitely the favours in the run. His record at the trip is excellent - three from three including the 1350m of the 10,000. He'll be a winning result for me on the race. The other one I'm keen to back is Under the Louvre ($14). He has an enormous finish on him and if they do decide to run it along he will be coming home hard down the outside. If I'm trusting the Black Heart Bart from Morphettville then I have to have a small spec on this bloke as well. I'm not overly keen on Malaguerra ($12) though - the four-week gap between runs doesn't enthuse me but have to concede he's a chance. Any thoughts on those?
John McLeod is Brisbane's leading professional punter and has produced another full set for Saturday's monumental card at Eagle Farm. Secure his vital assessments here.
AM: Under The Louvre is more of a 1200m run-on horse for mine. I concede Malaguera is a chance but has been up for a long time. I’m not sure he is as good as the others we have mentioned yet but may be next preparation.
MT: What about those out wide Aaron, anything for the punters at big odds to spec or are you going one out with Music Magante?
AM: The only other horse I’m giving a good chance to is Kaepernick, If he can produce that same run from first-up at Scone he will be right in this. He has promised to be a very good horse for a long time and may be ready to deliver. Music Magnate each-way will be my main play but could also have small specs on Kaepernick and Charlie Boy. Counter Attack, Black Heart Bart and Azkadellia all going in the quad die but too short to back for mine.
MT: Like you I'll be putting Music Magnate on top once again, I think the $10 is too good to pass up. I'll also be winning small if Black Heart Bart gets up while Under The Louvre is the one at slightly bigger odds I want to be with. Thanks mate and hopefully we've steered the punters in the right direction!
John McLeod shared his thoughts on the Stradbroke Handicap in the player below.
This article first appeared on The Punters Show HERE