A capacity field of 16 plus three emergencies has been confirmed to line up for a tilt at the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) in Brisbane this weekend, offering punters sensational value in betting markets and several key opportunities to place a winning bet.
A standout performer in early 2014 autumn events, Hucklebuck has opened as and maintained status as clear favourite in betting markets for success in the 2014 Fred Best Classic, currently offered at odds of $2.80, ahead of Dothraki ($6), Enquare ($8.50) and Safeguard ($10).
Will Hucklebuck return to the winner’s circle in his first appearance on track since being struck down with respiratory issues in the Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 1st, or will one of his talented rivals find the line in the clear?
Claiming three wins and five places from just 12 competitive starts to date, Dothraki has returned to racing in great condition this season and offers punters exceptional value for money at $6 odds. Running on to claim a spirited third amongst classy competition in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) first-up on April 6th, the Mossman colt was unlucky to finish fifth when blocked for a run in the final straight of the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) on April 19th, but responded in the best way possible when comfortably winning the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) last time out. While allocated barrier 12, Dothraki has been confirmed to be partnered by leading jockey Nash Rawiller and is a great chance of success.
Finishing outside the places just once in eight competitive starts, which has also included five impressive victories, Hucklebuck is a great chance of justifying favouritism in the Fred Best Classic, but has had a far-less-convincing lead-up to this weekend’s Group 3 after being forced from the track more-than two months ago with respiratory issues. Strolling home to win the Dominant Handicap (1200m) first-up on February 1st before repeating the dose in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) in his only other race prior to the ill-fated Guineas this season, Hucklebuck will be partnered by usual jockey Dom Tourneur and will leave from the central barrier 7.
Aiming for a fifth consecutive victory when lining up for the 2014 Fred Best Classic, talented local Hopfgarten arguably offers punters the best value for money at current odds of $15 for a win, or $4.70 to run a place. Most impressive when strolling home to win the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm last time out, the Mossman gelding has been allocated the ideal barrier 4 and will be partnered by regular jockey Damien Browne.
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