Hot Snitzel firming as Stradbroke Handicap topweight

By Adam Pengilly

The Sydney Morning Herald

BTC Cup winner Hot Snitzel is facing the prospect of being left as the Stradbroke Handicap’s topweight as contenders for the showpiece of the Queensland winter carnival continue to fall by the wayside.

Hot Snitzel, one of two runners set to attack the $2 million sprint on Saturday week for leading syndicators Triple Crown, could be left carrying the No.1 saddlecloth despite being lumped with just 55.5 kilograms when handicaps were released on Monday.

Doomben 10,000 winner Boban will be forced to carry 58kg – and give significant weight to his rivals from the weekend – if Chris Waller is tempted into running the five-time major winner in the Stradbroke.

But Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes victor Trust In A Gust is rehabilitating for the Melbourne spring and won’t line up under 56.5kg while defending champion River Lad, Emirates Stakes winner Hucklebuck and William Reid winner Lucky Hussler – all allotted 56kg – are certainties to miss the Stradbroke.

Waller said his Stradbroke representation was likely to be confined to Delectation and Strawberry Boy with Catkins, which trialled impressively at Randwick on Monday, on track for the Tatts Tiara later in June.

“I won’t completely say no [with Catkins], but the Stradbroke is unlikely,” Waller said. “And Boban is still 50-50 at this stage and we’ll probably make a decision later in the week. I still need to speak to the owners.”

It could leave the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Hot Snitzel as the default topweight when the final field is declared next week with weights likely to be raised 2.5kg to accommodate the non-starters. That still won’t worry Triple Crown’s Chris Ward, whose other leading hope Charlie Boy was gifted 54kg after narrowly going under to Boban at level weights in the Doomben 10,000 last weekend.

“The last time we would have had two runners in a group 1 race would have been when Charlie Boy and Dothraki ran in the [2013] Golden Slipper,” Ward said. “[The weights] were pretty much what we expected. Charlie Boy went up another kilo from where we thought he might be, but that was off the back of his run the other day [in the Doomben 10,000]. We were anticipating exactly that with Hot Snitzel. They’re both weighted pretty fairly and they should be both live chances which is pretty exciting.

“The partnership [with the Snowdens] couldn’t have started off any better and we won the group 1 with them with Hot Snitzel first start and obviously Charlie Boy winning as well. We’ve had a good team up in Brisbane and we’ve got a few others heading up there shortly.”

Doomben 10,000 disappointment Scissor Kick is another which won’t run in the Stradbroke after Arrowfield Stud decided on Monday to send the colt to the spelling paddock.

There is also doubt surrounding the Stradbroke participation of fellow three-year-old and pre-post favourite Najoom, exempt from the ballot, after Gai Waterhouse confirmed on Monday evening no decision had been made on whether to pay the $30,000 late entry fee.

Najoom pulled up with a minor injury to her near fore leg after crushing her rivals in the Fred Best Classic last weekend.

Second favourite Lumosty was languishing at 31 when the order of entry was released on Monday, but is nearing a confirmed spot in the field of 16.