Trekking will etch his name in history, not once but twice, if the Godolphin sprinter claims the Group 1 TAB Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Trekking spearheads a four-pronged attack from the powerful Godolphin stable along with Kementari, Exhilarates and Ranier.
In latest TAB markets, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Dawn Passage heads Stradbroke betting at $4.50, just ahead of Trekking at $5.00 while Kementari, Exhilarates and Ranier are all $13 chances.
If Trekking is successful, he’ll become only the third horse to win successive Stradbrokes since the metric scale was introduced in Australia in August 1972, joining Rough Habit in 1991-92 and Black Piranha in 2009-10.
He will become the eighth overall to win back-to-back Stradbrokes since Queensland’s most prestigious race was first run in 1890.
Trekking also will become only the second horse to win the Goodwood -Stradbroke double, joining Santa Anna Lane who was the first to claim both sprints in 2018.
James Cummings, picture Sportpix.com.au
Godolphin trainer James Cummings believes Trekking is going as good this year as when he won last year’s Stradbroke, despite the four kilogram weight increase.
“He’s flying and he’s going as good now as last year,” Cummings said.
“He’s going into this race with a Group 1 (Goodwood) under his belt and it’s a big challenge with some of his stablemates breathing down his neck.”
Cummings was reluctant to split his quartet prior to the barrier draw but noted the historical interest regarding Trekking.
“He (Trekking) has a lot to run for now and it would give us immense pride if he could achieve those goals,” he said.
“The big guess is the weight; he’s got to carry 4kgs more than last year which is a task in itself and we just hope for good barriers for all our runners.”
Trekking will carry topweight of 58kgs but will fall just short of equalling the weight carrying record since the Stradbroke turned metric in 1973.
That honour belongs jointly to Campaign King who carried 58.5kgs in 1988 and Rough Habit in his second Stradbroke win in 1992.
Godolphin is attempting to win the Stradbroke for a third time after previously winning with Impending in 2017 before Trekking’s victory last year.
If Cummings wins the Stradbroke with one of Trekking’s stablemates he will join his grandfather, the late Bart Cummings, who is one of three trainers to claim back-to-back Stradbroke Handicaps with different horses in the modern era.
Bart achieved the feat with Campaign King and Robian Steel in 1988-89.