Handsome can cause Stradbroke problems

Handsome Thief can earn his way into the Stradbroke Handicap with victory at the Sunshine Coast.

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The Darren Weir-trained Handsome Thief is the only runner in the Moreton Cup who can upset the order for the Group One Stradbroke Handicap.

Saturday's Group Two Moreton Cup (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast, previously known as the QTC Cup, has a ballot-free exemption for the winner into the Stradbroke on June 9.

Winners of the race have a bad record in the Stradbroke and none has completed the double, not even the champion sprinter Schillachi.

Handsome Thief is No. 26 on the current Stradbroke order of entry and would push his stablemate Peaceful State out of the field if he won the Moreton Cup.

Weir also has the well-backed Danon Liberty at No. 18 to make the 16-horse Stradbroke field and a win by Handsome Thief would push him further down the list.

Likewise a Handsome Thief victory would be a problem for trainer James Cummings with Osborne Bulls currently at No 19.

Handsome Thief, to be ridden by Dean Yendall, is the $4.20 favourite in early markets.

There are 30 first acceptances for the Stradbroke, 32 first acceptances for the Group One Queensland Derby and 19 for the Group One J J Atkins Stakes for two-year-olds.

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