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Impending Doom … Or Boom

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Impending got the better of In Her Time in the 2017 Stradbroke Handicap, but was unable to make it two in a row on Saturday when she was saddled with a top weight handicap

Gunsynd's GossipJune 11, 2018

by Ross Stanley

Queensland’s signature race day fell on Saturday when Doomben played host to the $1.5 million UBET Stradbroke Handicap, the state’s richest contest.

The track also hosted two other Group One races the same day: the $600,000 Channel 7 Queensland Derby and the $600,000 Jaguar Lands Rover J.J. Atkins Plate.

For many, Stradbroke Day is the only meeting they attend each year, and there were understandable fears about how the track would handle the program.

It was rated a Heavy 8 on Friday, and some punters held off with their main bets until after they saw what unfolded in the early contests.

But it was pleasing to see that this major event is still a handicap.

The two previous key sprints during the carnival have been staged under weight-for-age conditions, but the Stradbroke added interest and complexity because the handicaps ranged from 57.5 down to 50 kilograms.

Conventional wisdom is that the lesser weighted runners are generally more suited on wet ground.

However, if the horse feels uncomfortable on the going and loses confidence, weight won’t matter as much.

Another slice of conventional wisdom is to consider four-year-olds that are well down in the handicaps.

But the event is – and always will be – a lottery … as the final results showed.

Impending, who took out last year’s Stradbroke, went onto the field highly fancied.

But saddled with a top weight handicap, he only managed to place seventh this year.

However, while the curtain may have now come down on Impending’s racing career, all is not lost: he is now slated for a lucrative stud career that should provide consistent boom times for the horse’s owners.

* * *

When Luck Looked Away

Mnemosyne is a dual Group One heroine that was named after the Greek goddess of memory.

She is was also the dam of Impending, the top-wseighted Stradbroke competitor who sadly came in seventh place this year.

When it comes to remembering the past, Oakey traine5 Graham Banks has a reason to baulk if someone mentions terms such as cirrus, cumulonimbus and nimbostratus.

Graham, who saddled up the recent Nanango winner Courting Joy, was simply too heavy to continue his successful association with Lucky Cloud in the 1973 Stradbroke.

Although there was a boom surrounding the Hasty Cloud gelding, he had yet to score in open company so his handicap was a mere 45.5 kilograms.

Trainer Norm Higgins knew that any overweight could be the difference between glory and defeat.

Fred Marsland at first knocked back the offer because he didn’t think he could make the low mark.

But he had a change of heart and shed the necessary avoirdupois.

Higgins was right: Bengalla Lad looked likely to prevail but the nine kilos difference kicked in and the Toowoomba hopeful scraped home.

Lucky Cloud then proved the victory was no fluke by carrying 50 kilos into third place in Craigola’s (Mick Dittman, 46.5 kilograms) Doomben 10,000.

* * *

Seramasa (Gemma Steele) after his encouraging Queensland debut at Burrandowan (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Bits & Bridles

  • Belated congratulations to trainer Tom Moloney and owners Bob and Dorothy Black. They were associated with the success of Seramasa in Maiden company at Thangool two weeks ago. The Sebring gelding was far from disgraced when making its Queensland debut at Burrandowan. The lightly raced chestnut, with several references to Northern Dancer in its pedigree, sported the black and white livery that the Haradsun mare Famechon Baroness carried for her four wins and eleven placings.
  • Inside the last week, Hannah English added two more wins to her list of credits. The Nanango apprentice booted home Scrivano (Goondiwindi) and Maxwell (Dalby).
  • Last Saturday’s Goondiwindi heat of the Battle Of The Bush Series franked the form of the corresponding event at Nanango. The trifecta was filled by Go Get Sum, Canny Excel and Snuggle Pot, a trio that were in the mix at Lee Park late last month.
  • Unfortunately for the Glenn Richardson stable, Revelio, beaten a short half head at Nanango, and stablemate Flying Charger both missed a place in the $10,000 Qualifier. Meanwhile, Canid’s preparation for his appearance in the $100,000 Final at Doomben in a fortnight’s time included a start at Gayndah over the weekend.

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