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Amenable set for Stradbroke

Mon 10 June 2024

By Trent Crebbin, Mandy Cottell and Craig Brennan  

Amenable will go into Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap as a leading contender. 

Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr will be aiming for more Queensland success when Amenable lines up in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The training duo will be hard to top for performance of the carnival as Warmonger won the Group 1 Queensland Derby by over 10 lengths and are hoping Amenable can win not just his first Group 1 race, but his first black-type race.

While the son of the late Lonhro has proven himself up to the class, placing in four Group races, including when second to Magic Time two starts ago in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes, Amenable has only won a maiden and a Benchmark 84.

He was close to adding to that record last start when narrowly beaten with 60kg in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes at Scone and Kent Jnr believes the horse is ready to fire.

"He was most unlucky in the Scone race, the Luskin Star. He likes being trained fresh, the four-week gap between runs should suit. He had a week on the grass, and we know he's in the race," Kent Jnr said.

Amenable has had four runs this campaign beginning in March at Flemington but has had his runs well spaced which Kent Jnr believes will help the horse going into Saturday's feature.

"That will be his fifth run of the campaign and we didn't want to jam another one into the campaign and risk him being over the top. He'll go into the Stradbroke on fresh legs," the co-trainer said. 

"We've trained him for that race, Eagle Farm, over 1400 metres – he's due some luck."

Amenable has been allotted 52.5kg for the Stradbroke but weights may be raised for all horses by up to 1.5kg when the final field comes out on Tuesday morning.

Chad Schofield has been booked to ride Amenable, who is currently an $8 second favourite behind Antino at $7.

Meanwhile, the Snowden stable is hoping for a case of third time lucky for Huetor in the Q22.

The Q22 wasn't originally on the winter carnival program for Huetor, but the dual Group 1 winner has responded so well to a short freshen-up that co-trainer Peter Snowden has had a change of heart.

Snowden planned to bypass the Q22 this year given Huetor had finished unplaced in the past two editions, both times off the back of Doomben Cup wins.

However, he confirmed the gelding would now take his place in Saturday's field after pleasing him since his fourth behind Bois D'Argent in this year's Group 1 feature.

"I was nearly going to turn him out," Snowden said.

"Previously, we've gone to the Q22 after (the Doomben Cup) and it hasn't worked for us.

"I tipped him out for four days in the paddock at a stable close by where (fellow trainer) Tony Gollan spells his horses.

"He came back in after four days and he looked absolutely amazing. It's incredible what the four days has done for him."

While Huetor couldn't manage a three-peat in the Doomben Cup last start, Snowden was more than satisfied with his effort.

From a wide draw, the seven-year-old settled worse than midfield and made a sustained run-on what Snowden felt was an inferior section of the track to be beaten just over a length.

"Everything got off the fence at the half-mile and all he saw was clear air and he kept creeping and creeping, so that started his run going forward," he said.

"It just left him (vulnerable) and the last fifty metres, he peaked on his run.

"He didn't get beaten far, so I don't see anything wrong with the run at all."

Tommy Berry has ridden Huetor at his past two starts and will again have the mount.

The $1.2 million Q22 is one of nine black-type races on Saturday's Stradbroke Handicap program at Eagle Farm, the meeting the jewel in the crown of Brisbane's winter carnival.