Stradbroke Handicap 2015: Najoom locked in for Group 1 sprint
RATINGS experts say she is the one to beat, and connections of boom filly Najoom put all speculation to rest on Wednesday when they paid the $30,000 late entry fee for next week’s Stradbroke.
The consensus on Tuesday was that Najoom would not run but owner Nasser Lootah’s racing manager Trevor Lobb said she deserved a chance.
Lobb said he had been “very much surprised” at the progress Najoom had made in such a short space of time and “that’s why we needed to wait before making the decision”.
“After work on Tuesday she was really well within herself and we all thought it was best we decide to change plans,” he said.
Tommy Berry has been booked for the ride and has indicated he will get down to the 50.5kg to ride her. Berry’s task will be made easier if Boban does not accept and weights go up 2.5kg.
Najoom produced the new peak WPR of the winter carnival with a 105.5 in the Fred Best Classic at Doomben last Saturday, clearly superior to the 103 recorded by Boban and co in one of the lowest-rating 10,000s of modern times.
“The way she sprinted away from a good field and the figures she clocked over the last 600m provide plenty of clarity around her level of talent,” The Ratings Bureau’s Daniel O’Sullivan said.
“Conversely, the Doomben 10,000 was approximately 1.6L below the last five-year average of the race. When you consider the moderate measures on the clock, there’s just no way the race can be considered any better. The field had every possible opportunity to clock fast overall time and the figures they ran ranked moderately against some clearly established benchmarks for genuine G1 racing.”
Lumosty continues to run ratings that make her Najoom’s main danger.
“Lumosty backed up her 106.4 first-up win with another very good 103.6, winning again up the Flemington straight,” O’Sullivan said.
“While not up to the level of her first-up win, it’s a nice confirmation she has gone to a new level. Under her current 50.5kg in the Stradbroke, she’s set to hit a performance level of somewhere between 107 and 110, which will be right in the range needed to win the race.”