Saturday, 9 June 2012
: Record breaking filly Sea Siren can claim another milestone to become the first horse in almost a quarter of a century to claim the big Queensland winter carnival Group 1 sprint double by taking the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The last horse to take the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap double was Campaign King in 1988 and just three horses have done it in the 60 years since the races were introduced.
But Sea Siren
, an exciting filly trained by John O'Shea at Randwick, can become just the fourth filly in the last 20 years to win the Stradbroke and also the highest weight carrying filly to do it.
The O'Shea yard, who prepared one of those fillies to win this race in Private Steer in 2003, continued its strong association with the Queensland winter carnival a fortnight ago with the history making win of Sea Siren in the Doomben 10,000 and she will again prove hard to beat in the Stradbroke.
Sea Siren ran to a Timeform
rating of 121p in winning the Doomben 10,000, exactly the same level Private Steer ran to when she won the Stradbroke.
Given the average winning Timeform rating for the Stradbroke is 122, Sea Siren only has to make marginal improvement to prove the hardest to beat this afternoon.
Significantly if successful she will be the only horse in history to have won the Brisbane group one sprint treble comprising the BTC Cup, Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap.
The exciting lightly raced filly has quickly raced through her grades creating a race record that now boasts two wins at the elite level.
A sign of what was to follow emerged at just her fourth career start, she was able to beat the classy Streama in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes , racing on the speed and lifting strongly to win by a head.
She then stepped up to 1400m and didn't have the best of luck in the Group 2 Surround Stakes when Streama was able to turn the tables and beat her by a long neck.
After a short break O'Shea sent her to Queensland where she made her Brisbane debut in the Group 1 BTC Cup.
Racing on the speed, she proved too strong again and scored her first Group 1 success, beating Scenic Blast by over a length.
She then tackled the much tougher Group 1 Doomben 10,000 and settled just off the lead, pretty much alongside Buffering.
Turning together, she was able to outgun the Queenslander and score a head win.
Her ratings pattern has certainly been a meteoric rise, recording eight consecutive career bests to last starts 121p Timeform rating. She profiles as an improver with more to come still.
Top Queensland sprinter Buffering is still chasing his first Group 1 success but continues to rate strongly with some big runs.
The top class sprinter, who has spent much of the last 12 months trying valiantly behind the likes of world class mare Black Caviar, Hay List and top colt Sepoy, has continued to race well at the top level but has found it hard to break through.
Last spring, the Robert Heathcote trained gelding won the Group 3 McEwen Stakes at weight for age at Moonee Valley when fresh up before finishing fourth behind Sepoy in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes after doing the early work.
Next was the even tougher Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington, where he led and battled on gamely but was just no match for the UK bound Black Caviar, who won by three lengths.
After a spell Buffering kicked off in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes and again could manage only a placing behind Black Caviar, although he did take his Timeform rating to a career best 124.
Under the handicap conditions of the Group 1 Newmarket, back at Flemington, he yet again found one better, this time by the talented Hay List when going down by just a nose.
With his autumn carnival behind him, Heathcote gave Buffering a let up before turning his attention to his home state and the Queensland winter carnival.
He kicked off in heavy ground in the weight for age Amatil Stakes, and there proved classes above with an all the way seven length win.
He then had a minor setback which cost him a start in the BTC Cup but returned in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000.
Carrying 59kg, he raced on the speed but just couldn't match the emerging Sea Siren, who held a head margin on the line.
His run with the big weight took his Timeform figure to a new career high of 125.
Buffering drops back to handicap conditions this time and meets the winner 2kg better. Although he will be fitter, and leading rider Hugh Bowman stays aboard, his chances suffered a major blow when he drew a wide barrier, something that could easily impact on his ability to run to his master Timeform rating.
He could manage only fourth with 52kg in the race last year, but in the 12 months since has proven himself up to the top class, including placing six times now at Group 1 level.
Wealth Princess is fitter for three runs back from a spell and although rising in grade here looks nicely placed with her light weight.
The talented mare won the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes second up then wasn't far away in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes on heavy ground last time when totally unsuited.
While this is a far tougher assignment the mare drops 6.5kg for today's race and with her big finish looks an each way threat at odds.
Wealth Princess has continued to improve her Timeform ratings in all three starts since a long layoff but is still a few pounds short of her best figures.
At her best, her Timeform ratings stack up well in this and she may be over the odds.
Pinwheel is far better than his last run reflects and can get into the placings today.
The super honest gelding was runner up behind Tiger Tees two back in Listed grade at Randwick before carrying 59kg in the Doomben 10,000 where he was held up on the turn.
He got home well in the straight to finish eighth but just didn't get the breaks at the right time.
He drops 3kg for today's race and from a good gate has drawn for a good run.
Shopaholic is fitter for one run back from a break and can improve sharply here with her featherweight, particularly as she holds decision over star filly Mosheen in the Group 2 Vanity Stakes over the Stradbroke distance when last in work.
Also the winner of the Group 2 Armanasco Stakes in the spring, the Danny O'Brien trained filly battled away well fresh up in the Listed Straight Six Stakes at Flemington to finish fifth.
The extra ground is a plus and she will carry just 51.5kg this time.
In a very open race there are several possible chances for the multiples.
Toowoomba inmates Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom look nicely weighted and should be hard to hold out if the race unfolds the right way.
Spirit Of Boom finished off a spring/summer campaign with two Gold Coast wins – one in the Listed Goldmarket Quality then the rich Magic Millions Cup.
After a short spell he resumed at Doomben in the Listed Bribie Quality, finishing runner up behind Adebisi before going to the Group 1 BTC Cup finishing fifth behind Sea Siren.
Last start was the even tougher Group 1 Doomben 10,000 eventually getting through a split and really motored home late to finish fourth behind Sea Siren.
Under the weight for age conditions on the Doomben 10,000 he carried 59kg but today drops to just 54kg for the handicap – meeting Sea Siren 5kg better for the somewhat luckless 2.3 length defeat.
Temple Of Boom also had a luckless run in the Doomben 10,000.
The gelding was caught three deep early and ended up stuck there for the race, peaking on his run in the straight but battling on well for third.
He also meets the winner Sea Siren better at the weights and is drawn for a good run.
Happy Zero, Torio's Quest and Tiger Tees are also worthy of mention but the improving Sea Siren remains the horse they all have to beat.
She will be peaking again and although looks to have plenty to do, on ratings she will not be disgraced.