CHAMPION jockey Glen Boss will ride leading Stradbroke Handicap hope The Harrovian next month, creating an all Queensland connection in the state’s biggest race.
The country cups champion resumed in impressive fashion in the Doomben 10,000 and is set to be well weighted in the $1.5 million contest should he make the field.
North Queensland owner Tom Hedley – who won the race last year with Tyzone – said “Big H” would be the only galloper to carry his famous bright orange colours this winter carnival, but was confident he would make his presence felt with Boss on board.
Connections are expecting The Harrovian to be allotted around “53 to 53.5 kg”, with weights announced this week.
Boss will be looking to win his second Stradbroke after riding Private Steer to victory in 2003 with just 48kg.
“It’s a real good booking – I’m not sure if he has been on one of my horses before,” Hedley said. “The run in the 10,000 was good the other day, huge even.
“I feel like the Stradbroke is going to be a lot harder than the Doomben 10,000 but.”
Stephen Massingham (left) and owner Tom Hedley after The Harrovian won at Doomben. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:The Courier-Mail
The Harrovian famously went on a 11-run winning streak not long after arriving at Cairns trainer Stephen Massingham’s stable which included Cairns and Townsville Cup’s along with a Cairns Amateurs Cup – picking up a $200,000 bonus for completing the three North Queensland cup wins.
Massingham won twice in Brisbane with the Fastnet Rock gelding before he was transferred to the Toby and Trent Edmonds stable on the Gold Coast.
After a brave run in the All-Star Mile in March, Hedley is daring to dream of back-to-back Stradbroke Handicap victories in 2021.
With regular rider Brad Stewart unable to ride at the weight, the Hedley said the decision was made to lock in a top-class lightweight rider early, rather than waiting to see if he would get into the race.
The Harrovian is likely to skip Saturday’s Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) despite holding an entry to focus on the Stradbroke on June 12.
“He is working the house down they keep saying,” he said.
“They say he will be around 53kg but the problem is that he is around 35th in pecking for the race and the handicapper said around 10 to 20 per cent of them don’t accept.
“It comes down to him getting a run now. His rating is high enough but it is a matter of getting into the race now. Tyzone won with 53kg last year.”
The Harrovian is right in the sweet spot to win the race should he gain a start with 14 of the last 20 winners carrying less than 54kg to victory.
Originally published asBoss locks in all Queensland Stradbroke ride
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