Beaten Australian Guineas favourite Hucklebuck has been included in the nominations for the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) that will be held at Doomben on Saturday.
Hucklebuck stamped himself as the favourite for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) during the Melbourne Festival Of Racing after scoring back-to-back wins in the Dominant Handicap (1200m) at Morphettville on February 1 and the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15, but was unable to make up ground in the final stages of the Group 1 event at the same venue on March 1.
The Elvstroem gelding was sent to the spelling paddock following the defeat and set for a tilt at the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival; with the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap on the agenda for the talented gelding.
Another Group winner that has been included in the 2014 Fred Best Classic nominations is Darley colt Safeguard, who has wins in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) and Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) on his racing resume.
Safeguard failed to beat home a single runner in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 19, but returned to his best form with a second place finish behind Dothraki in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) on May 3.
Dothraki will be hoping to record back-to-back wins for the first time in his career when he contests the Fred Best Classic this weekend.
The Mossman colt made a promising start to his autumn preparation, finishing third in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) and fifth in the Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m), before holding off Safeguard to win the Gold Coast Guineas.
Other Gold Coast Guineas runners that are a chance of backing up in the Fred Best Classic this weekend are Palmera Lad, Into The Red, Miss Husson, Enquare and L’Entrecote.
Leading Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote missed out on winning the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) with star sprinter Buffering last weekend, but has two chances in the Fred Best Classic after including both Hopfgarten and Olympic Anthem in the nominations for the Group 3 event.
Hopfgarten will be chasing his fifth straight win in the Fred Best Classic and will be dropping back in trip following his strong win in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm on April 26 as will Stradbroke Handicap hopeful Olympic Anthem.
Other key Fred Best Classic nominees include Paul Messara-trained Havana, consistent filly Queen Of The Lochs, Silk Stocking winner Srikandi and Matthew Dunn-trained Splendora.
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|1||CASINO EXPRESS||Gillian Heinrich|
|2||COMACINA||John, Dan & Chris Meagher|
|5||FRIENDLY DRAGON||Les Ross|
|9||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood|
|11||LIZARDS LOVER||Anthony Honess|
|12||MISS HUSSON||Bruce W Hill|
|13||OLYMPIC ANTHEM (NZ)||Robert Heathcote|
|14||PALMERA LAD||Roslyn Pratt|
|16||QUEEN OF THE LOCHS||Mick Mair|
|17||ROUGH COPY (NZ)||Wayne Hillis|
|19||SIR MOMENTS||Steven O’dea|
|20||SMART HUSS||John, Dan & Chris Meagher|
|23||VOODOO BLUE MAGIC||Les Ross|