A courageous victory puts Yellow Brick on the road to Stradbroke


Toowoomba tornado Yellow Brick moved within touching distance of a place in the Stradbroke Handicap next week after James McDonald helped break a series of outs at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The father and daughter training pair of Tony and Maddysen Sears will wait nervously to see what Racing Queensland handicappers do with their gelding, who before Saturday’s win was ranked 24th in the order of entry, with 18 to go in the $3 million range.

Yellow Brick is eligible to be moved up in Stradbroke’s voting order, but he cannot be handicapped for victory again as a quirky prize money rule could potentially put him behind at the likes of Freedom Rally.

After bidding as high as $101 for the Stradbroke in the early markets, Yellow Brick fell from $26 during the week to $17 after Saturday’s win.

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“Our intention is to go to the Stradbroke but we will see how he does over the next 24 to 48 hours,” said Maddysen Sears.

“Hopefully this win gets him in, but it’s just great to see him back.

“It’s very exciting to think we have a live shot in Queensland’s biggest race.

“He would have 51 kilos on his back, so he wouldn’t know it himself.

“But we’ll see how he goes over the next few days, and if he can’t run at the Straddie he’ll go at the Tatts Mile, which is a pretty good back-up option.”

Last year’s Spear Chief winner Munhamek missed a run at the Stradbroke, with the handicapper only able to take him to a rating of 101.

It marked a double stakes win in the space of 40 minutes for the Sears’, who also won the Listed Lightning Handicap with Steady Ready.

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McDonald was a man in form after returning from his Japanese Group 1 appearance last week, riding three of the first five winners on the Eagle Farm card.

“I think he would have a serious (Stradbroke) chance with 51 kilos on his back,” McDonald said of Yellow Brick.

“He is a very strong galloper and the pace and pressure would suit him. The great thing is that you can place it anywhere. If they went hard up front, he would certainly be a very strong finisher.”