A talented field of 16 plus three emergencies has been confirmed to line up for the 2014 Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Brisbane’s Doomben Racecourse this weekend, highlighted by several noted performers throughout the 2014 autumn season.
Fresh off the back of an impressive victory in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) last time out, trainer Gerald Ryan has accepted a position in the 2014 Fred Best Classic final field for Dothraki.
Claiming a total of three wins and five places from 12 competitive starts to date, Dothraki was a noted performer over two-year-old events in the 2013 spring; finishing third in both the Racing NSW Maiden (1100m) and Listed Crowley Stakes (1200m) before comfortably claiming the Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes (1400m) on November 9th.
Arguably returning to the track in career best form this season, the Mossman colt producing an impressive turn of foot to run on for third in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) first-up, and was unlucky to finish fifth in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) prior to his most recent triumph.
While allocated the slightly wide and awkward barrier 12, Ryan is confident leading jockey Nash Rawiller will once again get the best from Dothraki this weekend.
Also included in the final field for the 2014 Fred Best Classic is Gold Coast Guineas runner-up Safeguard.
Securing three wins and three places from just 10 appearances on track so far, Safegaurd was a leading contender throughout the 2013 two-year-old calendar; winning each of the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) and Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) in his first two starts and continuing to build in class and form.
Unlucky when hampered for a run and eleventh in the Royal Sovereign Stakes first-up this season, the Exceed And Excel colt appeared to have hunted down Dothraki and finished in the clear at first glance in the Gold Coast Guineas, but was later revealed to have dipped his head at an unlucky moment by photograph.
Allocated barrier 11, Safeguard has been confirmed to be partnered by in-form jockey James McDonald and is a legitimate chance of success this weekend.
A standout performer in autumn before respiratory issues experienced in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) led to an early return to the spelling paddock; trainer Phillip Stokes has confirmed a return to racing for Hucklebuck in the 2014 Fred Best Classic.
Claiming an impressive tally of five wins and two places from eight competitive starts so far, Hucklebuck debuted to racing in incredible form in 2013; winning each of his first two races as well as the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) before finishing an unlucky second in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) on November 2nd.
Strolling home to win both the Dominant Handicap (1200m) and Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) in his only events prior to the ill-fated Guineas, the Elvstoem gelding has reportedly taken well to work in the lead-up to the Fred Best Classic, and is a great chance of success from barrier 7 this weekend.
Allocated the ideal barrier 4, talented local Hopfgarten has without doubt hit peak condition over his current season; finishing third in the Channel Seven Handicap (1300m) before claiming four consecutive victories including the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) most recently.
Confirmed to be partnered by regular jockey Damien Browne, trainer Robert Heathcote is confident the Mossman gelding’s knowledge and experience of the local track will go a long way this weekend.
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2014 Fred Best Classic Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||0x8331x351||DOTHRAKI||Gerald Ryan||Nash Rawiller||12||57kg||95|
|2||x142638x02||SAFEGUARD||John O’Shea||James McDonald||11||57kg||93|
|3||11312x118x||HUCKLEBUCK||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||7||57kg||94|
|4||2x6117x5x1||SIR MOMENTS||Steven O’dea||Timothy Bell||10||57kg||84|
|5||268×831111||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||4||57kg||86|
|6||170x2120x5||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||8||57kg||80|
|7||6×00402752||VOODOO BLUE MAGIC||Les Ross||–||1||57kg||72|
|8||88x566x162||HAVANA||Paul Messara||Luke Nolen||2||57kg||76.5|
|9||551128×821||FRIENDLY DRAGON||Les Ross||–||18||57kg||76.5|
|10||4x61021x3||PALMERA LAD||Roslyn Pratt||Anthony Allen (a)||14||57kg||73|
|11||152x0x124||OLYMPIC ANTHEM (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||Michael Cahill||17||57kg||71|
|12||321x1113x7||ENQUARE||Jason McLachlan||Jim Byrne||13||55kg||94|
|13||23×1155214||QUEEN OF THE LOCHS||Mick Mair||Ms Tegan Harrison (a)||15||55kg||85|
|14||40x111259x||SPLENDORA||Matthew Dunn||Glen Colless||6||55kg||79.5|
|15||22x3311x21||LIZARDS LOVER||Anthony Honess||–||16||55kg||71|
|16||17914441×6||MISS HUSSON||Bruce W Hill||Craig Newitt||9||55kg||70|
|17e||15431×7||ROUGH COPY (NZ)||Wayne Hillis||–||3||57kg||69|
|18e||10x2121x8||L’ENTRECOTE||Kelly Schweida||Glen Boss||5||57kg||71|
|19e||1×1||COMACINA||John, Dan & Chris Meagher||–||19||57kg||66|