Stradbroke Handicap favourite Azkadellia has earned a glowing report from trainer Ciaron Maher and jockey Michael Cahill after an easy barrier trial win at Eagle Farm.
Azkadellia was the star attraction for the 1200 people who took the chance to see unofficial barrier trials at Eagle Farm which has been closed for racing since August, 2014.
The track will reopen for racing on Queensland Oaks day on June 4, but Azkadellia confirmed she will be a star attraction a week later in the Group One Stradbroke.
Azkadellia was having her first public hit-out since winning the Group One Queen of the Turf Stakes at Randwick on April 9.
After being slow to begin, Azkadellia came away to win by four lengths.
Cahill was most impressed with Azkadellia.
“I just steered her and she had plenty in the tank. Ciaron told me she wouldn’t be the best to begin but she would work into the race,” Cahill said.
Jockeys were generally supportive of the new Eagle Farm racing surface despite some kick-back between the 800m and 600m.
Jeff Lloyd, who won the first barrier trial and rode in several others, was typical of the general opinion.
“It is compact and good to ride on. But there is kick-back and I just hope that it will settle with more racing on it,” Lloyd said.
The Eagle Farm hosted a phantom-type meeting with more than 400 people in the new-look betting auditorium.
More than $50 million has been spent on the upgrade which includes a new track surface, drainage and public amenities.