Godolphin rules out gelding for the Straddie
GODOLPHIN have ruled out a Stradbroke start for Osborne Bulls and rated the popular gelding as unlikely to run in the Kingsford Smith Cup, but there's a host of reinforcements preparing to head north.
Osborne Bulls notched his fifth consecutive Group 1 second in Saturday's Doomben 10,000.
He had been the ruling favourite for both the Kingsford Smith and Stradbroke, but it seems his carnival is over.
"The original plan was to spell after the 10,000 and that would still be the most likely option," Godolphin's Australian manager Vin Cox said.
"He definitely won't run in the Stradbroke and I would say the Kingsford Smith is very unlikely as well."
Godolphin's head trainer James Cummings will still have a strong carnival presence though, with hyped three-year-old Plague Stone set for a clash with Zoustyle this Saturday.
Scone winners Trekking and Viridine are headed north, along with Encryption and Home Of The Brave, who is scheduled to trial at Rosehill (1030m) this morning.
The latter two are likely to have their next start in the Kingsford Smith Cup, while Cox said Trekking will need another run in a bid to sure up a Stradbroke start.
"He's won the same race as Osborne Bulls did last year and he didn't get a run in the Stradbroke, so we're thinking he will have to run again somewhere," Cox said.
Plague Stone's clash with Zoustyle will be one of the highlights of Doomben Cup day on Saturday.
Plague Stone hasn't raced since putting a good margin on Vega One in very heavy ground on April 20. He has since won a trial in typically sparkling style and the stable think he's good enough to run in a Stradbroke should he make the field.
"If he can sneak in, absolutely. He would be well down the order at the moment," Cox said.
"He was one of our most promising two-year-olds this time last year and we're hoping he can sneak in the back door. But he's got to win a couple of nice races to get there."
After winning the majority of feature two-year-old races this season, Godolphin's baby cupboard has run dry.
"We are hoping to find a two-year-old to bring up, but at this stage haven't found one," Cox said.
Ladbrokes weekend report
Worst Result: Dubious, Doomben, Race 6
Best Result: The Bostonian, Doomben Race 8 - Bookies got the big split with the two hotpots rolled.
Best backed: Dubious and Purple Sector (Doomben, Race 5)
Stradbroke Market with Ladbrokes
$5 Osborne Bulls (unlikely)
$10 Champagne Cuddles, Zousain, Zoustyle
$12 Home Of The Brave
$13 Chapter And Verse, Encryption, Spright, Trekking
$15 Boomsara, Plague Stone, The Bostonian
Racing this week
Tuesday: Mackay, Kembla Grange, Tamworth, Sale
Wednesday: Sunshine Coast, Warwick Farm, Sandown Hillside, Murray Bridge, Ascot
Thursday: Cairns, Wyong, Hamilton, Pakenham (synthetic), Northam
Friday: Ipswich, Goulburn, Grafton, Ballarat (synthetic), Cranbourne (night), Port Augusta
Saturday: Doomben, Rosehill, Flemington, Morphettville, Ascot, Gold Coast, Toowoomba (night), Beaudesert, Charleville, Emerald, Home Hill, Hughenden, Jandowae, Newcastle, Wodonga, Tennant Creek
Sunday: Sunshine Coast, Wagga, Gunnedah, Bendigo, Casterton, Strathalbyn, Kalgoorlie
"If it was 20 years ago I would have stayed on." Robbie Fradd on his dumping from Le Juge before returning to the enclosure after winning the Chairman's.
The Talking Point
Upset Doomben 10,000 winner The Bostonian. At $41, he's the longest priced 10,000 winner since Undue, who won at the same price in 2006. Bookies knew they were in the money when things went pear-shaped at the start for Osborne Bulls and Nature Strip.
Robbie Fradd's effort on Le Juge (Doomben, Race 9) was a gem. Went back to land on the fence early then rode for luck knowing he didn't have enough horse to come around them and got the breaks when he needed.
Three to Back
Outback Barbie, Doomben, Race 8: Tidy first up effort in stiffest test to date.
The Avenger, Doomben, Race 3: Busting to win a race now.
Victorem, Scone, Race 8: Excellent return. Bring on Brisbane.
Dealmaker, Doomben Race 5: Showed why a horse with a one from 13 record is a risky odds-on play in a Group race.
Moss Trip, Scone, Race 7: Had trialled well enough but failed to fire a shot and no abnormalities evident in post race vet report.
The Sharp Shooters
Plenty of runners had been backed to beat Dubious in the 72 hours leading up to the Champagne, but when the betting got fair dinkum, the pros singled him out and were spot on.