Monday, 7 May 2012
: Todd Howlett is considering a return trip to Brisbane next month for the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap after Star Of Octagonal's long-overdue listed win on Saturday.
| Star Of Octagonal|
Photo by Racing and Sports
The Cessnock trainer's shrewd decision to give his gelding a five week let-up heading into the weekend's $150,000 Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury proved a master stroke as his son of Octagonal
held off a fast-finishing Western Symbol
to claim a first listed win in more than two years.
And 12 months on from last year's Stradbroke failure, the five-year-old may well be given a shot at redemption.
“He'll go to Scone for the Scone Cup, and they maybe we'll go to Brisbane,” Howlett said.
“I'd want to have a good look but maybe [he'll go to] the Stradbroke.
“If we went there, all going well, he's much better this time than he was last time.”Star Of Octagonal
finished six lengths behind Sincero
in last year's Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm, crossing the line in 12th spot.
Early TAB Sportsbet fixed-odds markets for this year's renewal of the race have Queensland sprinter Buffering
and star Snowden three-year-old Mental
as $8.50 favourites for the race.Pampelonne
, Sea Siren
occupy the next few lines of betting, although the shape of the Stradbroke field won't materialise until later this month.
Howlett will decide on a potential Queensland trip after the listed $180,000 Scone Cup (1600m) on Friday week.Star Of Octagonal
has tasted victory at Scone before, about two years back when successful in the Inglis Guineas over 1600m.
He was winless in 2011, but hasn't finished outside the minor placings in six runs this preparation.
On Saturday he kicked clear at the top of the straight and looked home a furlong out before Gai Waterhouse rising star Western Symbol rattled home.
Doncaster Prelude (1600m) winner and well-supported race favourite Fast Clip
was the major disappointment, only managing a tame ninth.
“He fought back strong didn't he,” Howlett said.
“This prep's been really good and he's been all around those horses in his races, he probably hasn't had much luck.
“He's always better fresh and I did think he was right [after the five-week let-up] but I suppose you always question yourself going into it.”