A full field has been accepted for the 2012 Fred Best Classic at Doomben this Saturday, the three-year-olds set weights clash one of seven Group races on the Doomben Cup Day program.
Set to run as Doomben Race 6 at 3:05pm the $125,000 Ascend Sales Fred Best Classic (1350m) attracted 16 starters plus a single emergency in the Rob Heathcote-trained Volhere.
There are three last start winners engaged in the race this year with Boys On tour, Amah Rock and of course the horse everyone will be watching – Mental.
The John Thompson-trained Boys On Tour beat a lower class field by four lengths at the Gold Coast last start over 1400m, but they relisted the Heavy (8) conditions are really need it wet to be competitive.
Peter Morgan’s Wagga Wagga galloper Amah Rock carried 58.5kg to victory over 1440m at Caulfield on April 21 and will relish the drop back to 57kg here.
But it is the Peter Snowden-trained Mental that will jump favourite in the Fred Best Classic odds at bookmaker.com.au, the youngster heading towards the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s richest race – the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.
Drawn ideally in barrier four with Kerrin McEvoy aboard the Lonhro gelding comes off a brilliant first-up win at Hawkesbury on May 5.
Running over 1200m in a Benchmark 85 they put an easy three lengths on their competitors there which was enough in the eyes of the bookies to install them at the top of the Stradbroke Handicap odds, Mental paying $8 over last Saturday’s BTC Cup winner Sea Siren ($9).
They step up in class and distance on Saturday but having winning form at Rosehill over 1350m, and were competitive in their only stakes assignment to date when a close fourth to Instinction in the Listed Hilton Hotels Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day last year.
Saturday is their Stradbroke test and if they didn’t live up to expectations a Group 1 run is unlikely this season.
Notable rivals Mental will face in the Fred Best Classic on Saturday include Mick Dittman Plate winner Easy Running who will appreciate a firm ground after failing in the Gold Coast Guineas in the wet last time out, Jackie Crompton’s Mossman gelding Double Impact who resumed with a third in the GC Guineas, the Gerald Ryan-trained Sydney Raider Extraceed and Punch On.
The Peter Blazen-trained Tiger Hill filly Punch On won the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate over this track and distance on New Year’s Eve before her tight success over Easy Running in the Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) in mid-January.
She resumed in the Gold Coast Guineas running a brave second and is sure to give Mental and the others a run for their money in the Fred Best from barrier eight with Paul Hammersley riding.
See below for the full 2012 Fred Best Classic field, barriers and jockeys.
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2012 Fred Best Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 6 – 3:05pm – 19/05/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||71X4252X10||EASY RUNNING||Desleigh Forster||Damian Browne||5||57kg||89|
|2||2X8828X700||NOISY OCEAN||Bryan Guy||Larry Cassidy||11||57kg||76.5|
|3||115X1165X0||BIGGLES||Noel J Doyle||Timothy Bell (a)||10||57kg||82|
|4||9X007711X3||DOUBLE IMPACT||Jackie Crompton||Eddie Wilkinson||9||57kg||86|
|5||X22411X115||MORNING CAPTAIN||Kelly Doughty||Chris Munce||3||57kg||88|
|6||34X1114X1||MENTAL||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||4||57kg||83|
|7||77X73006X9||SHOW A PRINCE||Liam Birchley||Luke Nolen||1||57kg||72.5|
|8||6558X01181||BOYS ON TOUR||John P Thompson||Jeff Lloyd||2||57kg||88|
|9||11X338X41||AMAH ROCK||Peter Morgan||Jake Noonan (a)||12||57kg||88|
|10||85131X6||EXTRACEED||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||13||57kg||73|
|11||2115X32X60||STATE OF WEALTH||Brian Smith||Ric McMahon||7||57kg||75|
|12||7144237X62||SHANGHAI BUND (NZ)||John Sargent||Grant Cooksley||6||57kg||76|
|13||232311X420||DAPH ’N’ ALF||Nathan J Schofield||Jason Taylor||17||57kg||69|
|14||2X94X17||OUR SMOKIN’ ROCK||Anthony Freedman||Vlad Duric||15||57kg||61|
|15||1365X211X2||PUNCH ON||Peter Balzen||Paul Hammersley||8||55kg||92|
|16||1211X5594||EMMALENE||Liam Birchley||Michael Rodd||16||55kg||85|