The training partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott is hopeful talented sprinter Hawaii Five Oh can help defend the stable’s Stradbroke Handicap crown by winning the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Waterhouse won her first ever Stradbroke Handicap in partnership with Bott when Alligator Blood claimed Queensland’s famous sprint last year.
The Waterhouse-Bott team has dual Group 1 winner Converge in this year’s $3 million Stradbroke and hope to boost their chances if Hawaii Five Oh can claim a golden ticket into the June 10 feature.
Converge, already a winner of the Group 1 J.J. Atkins in 2021 and Group 1 Randwick Guineas in 2022, drew barrier one in his final Stradbroke warm-up in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup over 1300 metres.
Converge and Hawaii Five Oh are both $15 chances in latest TAB markets for the Stradbroke Handicap.
“Converge is proven at Weight For Age and is well weighted in the Stradbroke,” co-trainer Bott said.
“He should run well and improve off this run on Saturday but 1300 metres is probably short of his best.
“Hawaii Five Oh is a good way off them to make the Stradbroke and he needs to win the Fred Best Classic to get in.”
Hawaii Five Oh – a Nash Rawiller mount – drew gate nine in the Fred Best Classic and is coming off a brilliant last start win in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas on April 22.
“He’s drawn midfield, which will suit him, and there looks to be some speed in the race and plenty of pressure will be on,” Bott said.
“It’s a big step up for him but he’s progressing nicely and it’ll be good if he can get into the Stradbroke as our second runner.
“We are still considering whether to pay a late fee to get Surf Dancer into the Stradbroke after he won the BRC Sprint at Doomben last week.”
Hawaii Five Oh, who takes his name from the hit television series, is a son of I Am Invincible and is raced by breeder Gerry Harvey, businessman John Singleton and well-known radio personality Ray Hadley.
Hawaii Five Oh is out of Group 1 winning mare Aloha, making him a half-brother to dual Group 3 winner Libertini, who won Randwick’s Group 2 Silver Shadow and Group 2 Furious Stakes in 2019 and the Group 2 Premier Stakes in 2020.
Libertini was also placed three times at the highest level in Flemington’s Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, VRC Classic in 2020 and the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley in 2021.
Hawaii Five Oh won a barrier trial over 1000 metres at Hawkesbury following his Guineas triumph when he strolled home by more than three lengths over the James Cummings-trained Atmosphere.
– Racing Queensland