Think About It, Is He The New Australian Star? - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Think About It, Is He The New Australian Star?

The streaking Think About It will give 17 rivals plenty to think about when he starts favorite in Friday night's AU$3 million Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm Racecourse. The Group 1, seven-furlong Stradbroke heads an all-stakes program on the year's biggest day of racing in my hometown of Brisbane. An average field size of 14 across nine races will guarantee tantalizing wagering value, which Sky Racing World's Jason Witham will analyze trackside as he broadcasts live on FanDuel TV. First post is 6:43 p.m. Pacific or 9:43 p.m. Eastern.

Under the patient handling of Joe Pride, Think About It (2-1 favorite) has emerged as the latest star in Australia's globally renowned ranks of turf sprinters. The 4-year-old stamped himself Stradbroke material with a sixth consecutive victory in the G1 Kingsford Smith Stakes two weeks ago. While Joe takes pride in his charge “going from strength to strength,” he is wary of the threat from a quartet of 3-year-olds.

Citing Giga Kick (winner of The Everest and G1 Doomben 10,000) as the prime example, Pride points out that “3-year-olds are bobbing up everywhere and winning good races. It's a great crop.” Indeed, the second wagering choice is a lightly raced 3-year-old named Hawaii Five Oh (from the dam Aloha), who is a hulking, full brother to three-time G2 winner Libertini. Hawaii Five Oh (9-2) capitalized on a perfect trip two weeks ago, when beating his own age at the Stradbroke's track and distance. From post position 3 on Friday night, he again will not “spend a penny” in transit under a feathery 109 pounds. Hawaii Five Oh's colorful owner, the successful businessman and leviathan gambler John Singleton, is Australia's equivalent of Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale – but relates to the public in a more quintessentially Australian way. Singleton is famous for picking up the tab for the rest of the afternoon after major wins – specifically at racetracks' public bars, while shunning the equivalent of Turf Clubs and Directors' Rooms. “Singo” is threatening to again “shout the bar,” should Hawaii Five Oh win the Stradbroke.

Godolphin's Aft Cabin (16-1) finished 4th to Giga Kick in the aforementioned “Doomben 10,000” a month ago, in his first test against older horses. The powerhouse training operation of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace provides a pair of 3-year-olds who each beat elders at G1 level last start in Adelaide, Royal Merchant (30-1) and Ruthless Dame (14-1). Interestingly, Joe Pride mentioned that the latter “would appear to me to be the best of the 3-year-olds in the Stradbroke.”  Two more highly regarded 3-year-olds, Opal Ridge (16-1) and Yellow Brick (11-1) are among five also eligibles in this strong, oversubscribed renewal of the time-honored Stradbroke Handicap, which was inaugurated in 1890. Clearly, bright prospects are brimming for next season's The Everest (Oct. 13), the world's richest race on turf.

Group 1 billing on Friday night is shared by the JJ Atkins Stakes, at a mile for late-blooming 2-year-olds (the southern hemisphere racing season ends on July 31). Named after a champion Brisbane trainer whose stellar career spanned the second half of the 1990s, this race could give present-day champion conditioner Chris Waller a milestone 150th Group 1 victory. Waller's three-pronged attack comprises Tannhauser (9-2 favorite), Congregation (9-1) and Chrysaor (13-1). Another million-dollar purse is up for grabs in the “Q22,” at 1 3/8 miles. Without A Fight (5-2 favorite) defied his name when winning at 1 1/8 miles off a six-month layoff. Stakes action continues each Friday night from tracks in-and-around Brisbane, throughout the rest of June.

The Eagle Farm card will be broadcast live on FanDuel TV this Friday night (first post: 9:43 p.m. ET / 6:43 p.m. PT) alongside cards from Randwick, Newcastle and Gold Coast. All races will be live-streamed in HD on the new Sky Racing World and major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpiresXpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWagerHPIbet, FanDuel and AmWager. Wagering is also available via these ADW platforms. Fans can get free access to live-streaming, past performances, and expert picks on all races at

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Michael Wrona has called races in six countries. Michael's vast U.S. experience includes; race calling at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, Arlington and Santa Anita, calling the 2000 Preakness on a national radio network and the 2016 Breeders' Cup on the International simulcast network. Michael also performed a race call voiceover for a Seinfeld episode called The Subway.



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