Caloundra trainer Stuart Kendrick is hoping to have a Stradbroke Handicap winner with his first runner in the iconic race.
The Kendrick-trained Tambo’s Mate gained an automatic entry to the Group One Stradbroke when he won the Group Three BRC Sprint at The Doomben on Saturday.
The trainer has had about a dozen runners in Group One races with Charnley River’s second in the J J Atkins, Eric The Eel’s third in this year’s ATC Australian Derby and Doubtfilly’s fourth in the 2012 Golden Slipper his best efforts.
“After all it is Queensland’s signature race and has been won by some great trainers.
“Of course I am hoping to win it but I also want to enjoy the experience of having a genuine chance.”
Tambo’s Mate does indeed give him a genuine chance at winning the Stradbroke.
His win in the BRC Sprint was very strong after coming from a wide barrier.
“The start to his campaign was mixed up because we had to come back in distance for his previous run,” Kendrick said.
“But he will go into the Stradbroke with four runs under his belt and hopefully he will improve that little bit.”
Kendrick gives a lot of credit for the BRC Sprint win to jockey Matt McGillivray who has now won six races on Tambo’s Mate.
“Matt seems to be able to get him to settle which will be vital for the 1400 metres of the Stradbroke,” Kendrick said.
Whether McGillivray can ride Tambo’s Mate in the Stradbroke will depend on the handicapper as the jockey usually does it tough to ride 54kg.
On his current rating Tambo’s Mate would get around 52kg in the Stradbroke.
Meanwhile, Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham will have some anxious moments in the lead up to the Stradbroke with her sprinter Victorem.
The gelding wanted to buck after the start in the BRC Sprint and will have to barrier trial before being allowed to start again.