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Tambo's Mate has confirmed a winter stakes race campaign after a strong performance at the Sunshine Coast

Progressive sprinter Tambo’s Mate has confirmed a winter stakes race campaign after a strong performance at the Sunshine Coast.

Tambo’s Mate resumed from a successful summer campaign when fourth in an open handicap over 1200m at Doomben and followed that with a close second in a similar race at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

Trainer Stuart Kendrick knew the drop back to 1000m in the Sunshine Coast race was not ideal but had no option the way programming fell.

Tambo’s Mate has won seven of his 15 starts and scored his first black-type win in the Recognition Stakes in November.

Kendrick decided to set Tambo’s Mate for the winter carnival but had to change his plans when Racing Queensland drastically changed the winter schedule because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The trainer wanted to see how Tambo’s Mate performed against some other winter candidates on Saturday before committing him to the winter stakes races.

“I was more than happy with him getting beaten by a long neck by a very good 1000-metre horse (Just Orm),” Kendrick said.

“Tambo’s Mate will now run in the Group Three BRC Sprint (May 9) and then the Group Two Victory Stakes (May 23).”

“After that he will hopefully make his Group One debut in the Stradbroke Handicap (June 6).”

As is the case with most trainers Kendrick is not sure exactly what rating and prize money Tambo’s Mate will need to make the Stradbroke field.

Tambo’s Mate has a current rating of 96 and $383,000 prize money.

In normal years it would put Tambo’s Mate on the edge of getting a start but prize money for the Stradbroke has been slashed from $1.5 million to $350,000.

“We are all in the same boat wondering how many horses will come from the south. No matter what we should guide our own destiny,” Kendrick said.

The Stradbroke Handicap and the J J Atkins Stakes for two-year-olds are the only two Group One races in Brisbane this year.

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