A talented and capacity field of sixteen plus emergencies has been confirmed for Saturday’s 2016 Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben Racecourse; highlighted by a number of standout interstate raiders.
Trainer Chris Waller is hoping to saddle Counterattack in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 11th, and will attempt to win the ballot-free entry into the race offered to the Fred Best Classic winner.
Winning each of the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) and Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m), and finishing third in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) most notably in spring, Counterattack resumed this time for a credible third in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) on February 6th.
Progressing to fifth in the Listed Darby Munro Plate (1200m), the Redoute’s Choice gelding ran an agonizingly-close second in the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
Having trialled well in the lead-up to his Winter Carnival campaign, Counterattack has been charged with overcoming the wide and awkward barrier 18 but will be partnered by James McDonald.
Takedown ran third in the Arrowfield Sprint and will leave from the outside barrier in the 2016 Fred Best Classic.
A multiple black type winner, Takedown resumed this time for second in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) on March 5th before charging home for fourth in the Darby Munro.
Having progressed from his Arrowfield Sprint third to success in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) a fortnight ago, the Stratum gelding is in the right form for success in the Fred Best Classic.
Rageese has been transferred to the care of Darren Weir this season, but has also drawn awkwardly into the 2016 Fred Best Classic in barrier 14.
Running fourth in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) and fifth in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) most notably in spring, Rageese failed to make anything in two start in autumn for Team Hawkes.
Freshened-up after placing last in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) on February 13th, the Street Cry colt won the Ladbrokes Mega Margin Handicap (1300m) in his first start for Weir on April 9th before repeating the dose in the Listed Nitschke Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville on April 30th.
Spieth (barrier 16), Right Advice (barrier 2) and The Virginian (barrier 11) have been confirmed as the 2016 Fred Best Classic emergency runners.
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2016 Fred Best Classic Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||411413111x||RANGIPO||Tony Pike||Vinnie Colgan||5||57kg||105|
|2||x3467x2431||TAKEDOWN||Gary Moore||Tim Clark||19||57kg||96|
|3||41435×0011||RAGEESE||Darren Weir||Kerrin McEvoy||14||57kg||89|
|4||7x1513x352||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||James McDonald||18||57kg||97|
|5||115×340512||TOO GOOD TO REFUSE||Desleigh Forster||Ryan Wiggins||10||57kg||82|
|6||5x2110x11||SIR BACCHUS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||8||57kg||84|
|7||2205x1108x||TIVACI||Michael Moroney||Damian Browne||4||57kg||84|
|8||2x43911x48||PRIVLAKA||Robert Heathcote||Glen Colless||1||57kg||75|
|9||38×2211223||HAVASAY||Liam Birchley||Brad Stewart||7||57kg||72.5|
|10||0615088×50||IN HIS STRIDE||Rex Lipp||James Orman (a)||9||57kg||69|
|11||02×2112212||FIERY HEIGHTS||Toby Edmonds||Jeff Lloyd||15||57kg||75|
|12||370x11x251||CASHING UP||Barry Lockwood||Michael Cahill||6||57kg||72.5|
|13||16x4226x10||PERFECT DARE||Matthew Dunn||Jim Byrne||3||57kg||72.5|
|14||112126×687||BLUEBERRY HILL||Liam Birchley||–||17||55kg||82|
|15||x123133952||DENMAGIC||David Pfieffer||Jason Collett||13||55kg||79|
|16||121×22||SOLD FOR SONG||Kevin Kemp||Luke Dittman (a)||12||55kg||82|
|17e||217×01||SPIETH (NZ)||Bryce Heys||Blake Shinn||16||57kg||72|
|18e||77x0x14321||RIGHT ADVICE||Darryl Hansen||–||2||57kg||66|
|19e||16||THE VIRGINIAN||Toby Edmonds||–||11||57kg||62|