MONDAY: May 27, 2019: GROUP 1 specialist Glen Boss will ride Hawkesbury’s star mare Spright in Saturday week’s $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm.
Trainer Garry Frazer this afternoon confirmed the 49-year-old’s booking for Brisbane’s richest race.
Boss, who has won 85 Group 1 races (including three Melbourne Cups on Makybe Diva and the recent Doncaster Handicap at Royal Randwick on Brutal), finished a three-year Singapore stint last Saturday night by scoring on Elite Power in the closer at the Kranji Mile meeting, and is resettling in Australia.
“Bossy rang for the ride, and I’m happy to have him on the mare,” Frazer said.
“It doesn’t appear to be the strongest Stradbroke, and Spright deserves to be there.
“I gave her an easy time when she returned home from Adelaide a week ago.
“She is very bright, and will go to Brisbane next Tuesday or Wednesday with my son Jordan.”
Frazer was satisfied with the 53.5kg allotted Spright when Stradbroke weights were issued today, but also felt Kiwi sprinter The Bostonian was “nicely treated” with 57kg in view of recent winter carnival Group 1 triumphs in the Doomben 10,000 (1200m) on May 11 and last Saturday’s Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm.
Five-times Group 1 placegetter Osborne Bulls is topweight with 58kg, but has already been announced a non-runner.
Spright achieved a deserved Group 1 breakthrough against her own sex in the TAB Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on May 4 before finishing third to another Stradbroke candidate Despatch in The Goodwood over the same course a fortnight later after kicking a fence behind the barrier, losing her near hind plate and having to be reshod.
The feature sprint was eventually run 16 minutes after the scheduled starting time. Damien Oliver rode Spright in both Group 1s in Adelaide.
Frazer is returning to the scene of his maiden Group 1 success; with Turridu (Mick Dittman) in the Queensland Derby 24 years ago.
He has since won a further three, with Turridu (Bill Aspros) again in the 1995 George Main Stakes at Royal Randwick, Quick Star (Oliver) in the Champagne Stakes at the same track four years later and more recently, Spright at Morphettville.
Provided Spright races up to expectations in the Stradbroke, she will return to her Hawkesbury base and then go back to Brisbane for another Group 1 assignment at Eagle Farm – the $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) against her own sex at weight-for-age on June 22.
Spright, who has won six races and been placed nine times (including three at Group 1 level), has earned connections $1,328,095 from her 30 starts.
The five-year-old Hinchinbrook mare has raced only three times (all in her three-year-old season) over the Stradbroke 1400m, and can be excused for her first two defeats; eighth on a heavy track in the Surround Stakes at Randwick in February, 2017 and also eighth two months later in the Hawkesbury Guineas when unable to obtain clear running in the straight.
She then ran third to France (dual Group 1 winner Prized Icon was second) in the Scone Guineas at her next start.