Analysis: Stradbroke Handicap
IMPENDING is chasing a slice of history in Saturday's Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben before he retires to the breeding barn.
The Godolphin star will be trying to join Rough Habit (1991-92) and Black Piranha (2009-10) as the most recent dual Stradbroke winners.
Form analyst Glenn McFarlane believes if the proven Group 1 performer can repeat his Kingsford-Smith Cup win, he should be right in the finish.
DOOMBEN, SATURDAY 2.15pm
(1350m, Group 1)
1. IMPENDING 9 James Cummings Damian Browne 57.5kg $6.50
2. SANTA ANA LANE 3 Anthony Freedman Ben Melham 55.5kg $13
3. CRACK ME UP 5 Liam Birchley Jim Byrne 53.5kg $21
4. ENDLESS DRAMA 20 Chris Waller Glyn Schofield 53.5kg $26
5. VOODOO LAD 7 Darren Weir Chris Parnham 53.5kg $21
6. SPIETH 21 David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig Craig Williams 53.5kg $19
7. FOXPLAY 19 Chris Waller Michael Walker 53kg $31
8. MOST IMPORTANT 2 Tony Gollan Mark Du Plessis 53kg $34
9. THE MONSTAR 8 Brett Cavanough Skye Bogenhuber 52.5kg $26
10. SHILLELAGH 10 Chris Waller Michael Dee 52.5kg $18
11. CARE TO THINK 16 Matthew Dunn Tim Clark 52.5kg $10
12. BURNING PASSION 15 Mark Newnham Michael Cahill 52kg $26
13. SUPER CASH 13 Andrew Noblet Jamie Kah 51.5kg $21
14. INVINCIBLE GEM 17 Kris Lees Brenton Avdulla (17) 51.5kg $14
15. PERAST 12 Paul Perry Jeff Lloyd 50kg $7
16. CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES 1 Bjorn Baker Corey Brown 50kg $4.20
17e. DANON LIBERTY 6 Darren Weir - 51.5kg $8
18e. OSBORNE BULLS 4 James Cummings Kerrin McEvoy 51.5kg $8.50
19e. MOSS 'N' DALE 11 Peter Gelagotis Anthony Darmanin 51kg $34
20e. PECANS 18 Joe Pride - 51kg $51
21e. I'M A RIPPA 14 Tony Gollan - 51kg $41
LATEST MARKET: LADBROKES
GLENN McFARLANE SELECTS
2 CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES
4 DANON LIBERTY
Favourites don't always fare well in this race. Only three Stradbroke winners this century - Private Steer (2003), Thorn Park (2004) and Black Piranha (2009) - have been the popular elect. The No. 1 saddlecloth hasn't won this race since Rough Habit in 1992. Impending is aiming to become only the ninth multiple winner of this race.
TRACK: Soft 6
FORECAST: Partly cloudy 22C
Expecting PERAST, MOST IMPORTANT and THE MONSTAR to be close to the speed as others from wider gates seek a position. IMPENDING and CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES will likely settle midfield before making their presence felt during the middle stages.
Superbly-bred Godolphin horse chasing back-to-back Stradbrokes. Proven Group 1 performer who showed blistering late burst to win the Kingsford-Smith Cup.
SANTA ANA LANE
Caused a boilover in the Goodwood Handicap when darting inside to score. Capable of producing another upset, given he has won two of his four Group 1 starts.
CRACK ME UP
Hasn't competed since a long way off them in the Doncaster nine weeks ago following win over Care To Think in March. Has never won first-up, but considered an outside chance.
Going to need everything to go right from the wide gate. Won the Apollo Stakes in February, but had no luck three wide when resuming in the Kingsford-Smith.
Never looked a winning hope when soundly beaten first-up in the Goodwood. Been a gallant horse and would be a chance at his best.
Has one last chance to retire to the breeding barn as a Group 1 winner. Horror draw, but stable is happy with him, following nice effort when fifth in Doomben 10,000.
Another drawn awkwardly. Hasn't been getting beaten by much, but the Chris Waller mare just can't find the winner's stall right now.
One of the locals who ran stone motherless in the Kingsford-Smith. Drops in weight, and wasn't too bad in his two starts before. Still needs to lift.
Late acceptor to the race, so connections must think they are a chance to run into the money. Won Moreton Cup last start, but might need more rain.
Rattled home last start to finish just over two lengths from Pedrena last start. Has a nice weight drop and will be fitter second-up.
CARE TO THINK
Goes into this race third-up after solid efforts in the Doomben 10,000 and Kingsford-Smith. Better suited in this handicap event and looks primed for big run.
Followed up Group 3 win at Randwick with close-up seventh to English in the Doomben 10,000. Might have to go forward to off-set the wide draw.
Just missed the placings in the Goodwood Handicap, and drops to 51.5kg. Worth an each way ticket.
Will likely go forward to counter bad gate. Two thirds to Happy Clapper in Sydney read well, and should strip fitter from last start fourth to Osborne Bulls.
Can't knock winning form as the three-year-old Snitzel colt chases a hat-trick of wins. Unbeaten at the track, three from four at the distance and capable of running a bold race.
Well-bred filly whose dam Sky Cuddle ran in this same race 13 years ago. Well-backed all week, has lightweight of 50kg, and deserves a Group 1 win after several near misses.
Huge spruik on this Darren Weir/Australian Bloodstock Japanese import following strong trial win at Werribee. First emergency, but if he gets a run, he will be hard to beat.
Another serious hope sweating on a run. Impressive Godolphin horse who has never missed a place in 10 starts and has a nice turn of foot.
MOSS 'N DALE
Toyed with weaker opposition at Flemington last start. Nice horse, but unlikely to secure a start.
Consistent mare who beat home Ghisoni and Invincibella at Hawkesbury before running fifth at Randwick. Drawn poorly and unlikely to get a run.
I'M A RIPPA
Needs a miracle to gain a start, let alone win the race.