Brad Stewart rides Dawn Passage to victory in the Tab Fred Best Classic last Saturday. Picture: AAP/Supplied by Michael McInally, Racing Queensland
Brad Stewart rides Dawn Passage to victory in the Tab Fred Best Classic last Saturday. Picture: AAP/Supplied by Michael McInally, Racing Queensland

Busy colt primed to defy 27 years of Straddie history

Trainer Adrian Bott is adamant racing twice in a week won't be an issue for boom colt Dawn Passage in the Group 1 $350,000 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Dawn Passage only secured a Stradbroke start - and race favouritism - with his win last weekend in the Fred Best Classic.

But Bott, who trains in partnership with Gai Waterhouse, said Dawn Passage has been prepared specifically for the seven-day back-up into the Stradbroke.

"I'm satisfied with the program we have set for the colt,'' Bott said.

"We had the mindset that he had needed to run in the Fred Best Classic to be sure of getting into the Stradbroke.

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"In order to do that, he had to have the quick back-up but it won't be harmful to his chances of winning the 'Grand Final'.

"He seems to have pulled up very well, he was nice and bright yesterday morning. He will have an easy week and he will be ready to go on Saturday.''

Dawn Passage, winner of the Hawkesbury Guineas, Scone Guineas and Fred Best Classic in successive starts, has firmed into $4.50 favouritism on TAB Fixed Odds for the Stradbroke.

The Waterhouse and Bott-trained sprinter is attempting to become the first three-year-old colt this century to start as favourite and win the Stradbroke. The last colt to achieve the feat was Never Undercharge (7/2) in 1993.

Waterhouse is aiming for a 144th career Group 1 win by securing her first Stradbroke with Dawn Passage.

 

Adrian Bott and Gai Waterhouse can complete a dream year on Saturday. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty
Adrian Bott and Gai Waterhouse can complete a dream year on Saturday. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty

 

It will also cap a sensational season for Waterhouse and Bott who has prepared four Group 1 winners already this year with Farnan in the Golden Slipper, Con Te Partiro's Coolmore Classic-Queen of the Turf Stakes double, and Shout The Bar's win in the Vinery Stud Stakes.

Dawn Passage drops 7kg to just 50kg for the Stradbroke with Bott conceding today's crucial barrier will determine race tactics for new jockey James Innes.

"The draw will ultimately dictate where he is in running,'' Bott said.

"But what is pleasing is this horse is not one-dimensional, he can be ridden back in the field or we can make use of him early if needed.

"I think we want to be able to take advantage of his lightweight so tactically we can ride a race that suits the horse.''

Bott said Farnan and Con Te Partiro are due to return to training at Tulloch Lodge next week while Shout The Bar is in pre-training and should be back at Randwick by the middle of the month.

Farnan is likely to be aimed at the $15 million The TAB Everest, particularly as the colt's owners, Aquis, have an Everest slot.

Con Te Partiro will be set for the Epsom Handicap with a long-range plan of taking the mare to America for the US Breeders Cup meeting later in the year.

#Classique Legend, another likely The Everest contender, is equal topweight at 60kg with Jungle Edge and Tactical Advantage for the Listed $150,000 Bob Charley June Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The brilliant Les Bridge-trained Classique Legend is among a strong entry of 21 sprinters for the feature race that also includes Godolphin's Viridine and Coruscate, last start Takeover Target Stakes winner Snitz, and in-form sprinters Adelong and Witherspoon.

Originally published as Busy colt primed to defy 27 years of Straddie history


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