May 19, 2020 Santa Ana Lane topweight for Stradbroke
Santa Ana Lane has been made topweight for his bid to win the Stradbroke Handicap for a second time.
The Anthony Freedman-trained sprinter has been handicapped on 58.5kg, up 3kg on his win in 2018.
Santa Ana Lane has since added two more elite-level victories to his record but the seven-year-old has been absent from the winners' circle since last year's Group One TJ Smith Stakes.
In his most recent appearance, Santa Ana Lane finished sixth behind Godolphin sprinter Trekking in the Group One Goodwood at Morphettville on Saturday.
Trekking, who won the Stradbroke last year with 54kg, has been asked to carry an extra 4kg.
He will need to lump the biggest weight to victory this century if he is to go back-to-back.
Racing Queensland released the weights and ballot order for the Stradbroke on Monday and there were few surprises.
No horse has carried more than 56kg to win the Stradbroke in the past 20 years with the metric weight record of 58kg shared by Rough Habit in 1991 and Campaign King in 1988.
Goldolphin seems certain to have a strong hand with the stable's other entries including Kementari (55.5kg), Ranier (53kg) Exhilarates (49.5kg), Savatiano (53kg), Lyre (50kg), Best Of Days (53.5kg), Home Of The Brave (53.5kg) Haunted (51kgs) and Phaistos (51kg).
Bookmakers have Trekking as the new favourite for the 1400m race at Eagle Farm on June 6.
Dawn Passage, winner of the Hawkesbury Guineas and Inglis 3YO Guineas in Sydney at his past two starts, has 50kg.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Dawn Passage, heads a trio of three-year-olds tipped to figure down in the weights.
However, Dawn Passage sits at 53rd in the latest order of entry and will need to win a ballot-exempt race to make the field.
Fituese (49.5kg) and Hightail (50kg), winners of stakes races at Rosehill and the Gold Coast respectively on Saturday, are also prominent in latest Stradbroke betting.
Vega One, rated the best Queensland-trained chance, has 52kg.
Trainers scrambling for Stradbroke jockeys
Trainers are scrambling to engage jockeys for the Group One Stradbroke Handicap because of coronavirus restrictions on travel.
Weights for the Stradbroke were released on Monday with only five horses allotted more than 54 kgs, the usual minimum in Queensland.
But the minimum for the Stradbroke is 49.5kgs, meaning the vast majority of the final field on June 6 will be weighted from 51kgs to 53kgs.
Due to coronavirus restrictions it is likely only jockeys based in southern Queensland will be able to ride in the Stradbroke.
There are only a limited number of jockeys and several apprentices in the area who can ride under 54kgs.
A Racing Queensland spokesman says the current State Border Direction means a person who arrives in Queensland from another State or Territory of Australia will not be allowed to enter Queensland, unless they receive special exemption.
"Any interstate jockeys wishing to compete in feature races in Queensland should apply to Queensland Health to be exempted from the direction," he said.
"Successful applicants will then be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period before being permitted onto a Queensland racecourse, in accordance with Racing Queensland's strict biosecurity protocols and regionalised racing model."
"Jockeys currently based within Queensland in either the Central and North Coast or Greater Western Regions will also be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day self-isolation before being permitted to ride in the Southern region."
South Australia recently held its carnival with only four Victorian jockeys, who had self isolated for two weeks, taking part from outside the state.
The problem facing Stradbroke Handicap trainers is securing jockeys who can ride as light as 51kgs.
Premier trainer Tony Gollan has switched jockeys for his contenders with Jim Byrne to ride Vega One (52kgs) and Mark Du Plessis onboard Outback Barbie (51kgs).
"Vega One's usual jockey Baylee Nothdurft said he would try to get down to 53kgs but you don't want to be overweight in a Group One," Gollan said.
Fellow trainer Toby Edmonds said Robbie Fradd has been booked for last year's runner-up Tyzone (52.5kgs).
"But we also have Winter Bride with 51kgs so we will have to start looking for a suitable rider," he said.
Stuart Kendrick, who has Tambo's Mate, is hoping regular jockey Matt McGillivray can get down to 51kgs to ride the gelding.