THE decision to boost first prizemoney for next month's AAMI Stradbroke Handicap

THE decision to boost first prizemoney for next month's AAMI Stradbroke Handicap to $1 million has reaped an initial dividend, with 32 more horses nominated for this year's race than last year, reports the Brisbane Courier-Mail. 

It says: The Group 1 feature has attracted 137 entries, with Doncaster-George Ryder winner Rangirangdoo the highest rated among them.

Buffering is the next highest-rated runner from Sea Siren. Epaulette is the highest-rated three-year-old in the mix.

Chris Waller led the trainers by nominations, with his eight entries including the red-hot grey mare Arinosa.

Gai Waterhouse and Patinack head trainer John Thompson had seven each, while Peter Moody and Peter Snowden both entered six runners. Kelly Schweida and Kelso Wood - respective trainers of exciting three-year-olds Better Than Ready and Sizzling - had five entries each.

Weights for the Stradbroke will be released on May 27. Rangirangdoo would be handicapped on about 58.5kg at this stage, with Buffering 1kg below him. The limit weight is 52kg for older horses and 50.5kg for three-year-olds.


Nominations for the Doomben 10,000 also increased, up by nine to 65.

Entries for the other four Group 1s - the BTC Cup (25), Doomben Cup (39), Oaks (69) and Derby (120) were all down on last year.

The most interesting nomination across all six Group 1 races was superstar colt All Too Hard, curiously entered for the Doomben Cup, but part-owner Peter Orton said a start was most unlikely.

Rain Affair and Sea Siren have emerged as the biggest threats to Buffering in Saturday week's BTC Cup, the first Group 1 of the carnival.