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Image: Racing Queensland
Dawn Passage will go into the Stradbroke Handicap after an easy win in the Fred Best Classic

A quick back-up holds no fears for Tulloch Lodge as the celebrated Sydney stable puts the finishing touches on Dawn Passage’s Stradbroke Handicap campaign.

Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Dawn Passage will go into the Stradbroke Handicap after an easy win in the Fred Best Classic at Doomben on Saturday.

The win helped Dawn Passage beat the Stradbroke ballot and gain a place in the final field which will be declared on Tuesday.

He is stands as a $5 favourite for the Group One race over 1400m and is expected to shorten further if he gets a suitable draw.

Bott said it had been planned for Dawn Passage to run on a quick back-up and it wasn’t he expected to be a problem.

“I think it will really suit him,” Bott said.

“We went up there knowing he would have to run on Saturday, and he has been in Brisbane early to give him plenty of time.

“He will have a nice easy week and this hit-out will have done him the world of good.”

Bott is convinced the bigger track at Eagle Farm and the distance will be ideal for Dawn Passage.

Waterhouse has never won the Stradbroke and her best training efforts have been third placings with Phaorah (1993), Kingsgate (2002) and Shameka (2005).

But recent history is on her side with seven Stradbroke Handicap favourites winning and a further seven being minor placed in the past 30 years.

The last three-year-old to complete the Fred Best-Stradbroke double was La Montagna in 2006.

Impending is the most recent three-year-old to win in 2017.

Sincero in 2011, Sniper’s Bullet (2007) and Private Steer (2003) are other three-year-olds to win the race in the past 20 years.

Subsequent Cox Plate winner Dane Ripper won the Stradbroke as a three-year-old filly in 1997.

Trainer Tony Gollan has confirmed Helen Coughlan Stakes winner Shalwa won’t be a late entry for the Stradbroke.

Shalwa got a ballot-free entry for winning the Coughlan at Doomben on Saturday.

“I had a think about it overnight but she isn’t really a Stradbroke horse where you have to run a really strong 1400m,” he said.

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