There is little separating the favourites in betting for Saturday’s Group 3 2013 Fred Best Classic (1350m) which stands as a key support race on the Doomben Cup day program.
Darley-owned gelding Academus currently holds slight favouritsm at $3.30 from local hope Sizzling ($3.50).
But on paper the ball is firmly in the court of Sydney raider Academus who is fresh off a win in the Gold Coast Guineas.
Sizzling had the favourite’s measure last winter but will have to improve considerably on his first-up run when he was beaten 2 1/2 lengths finishing fifth in the Gold Coast Guineas.
He may not be in the best form of his career but there is no denying Sizzling’s quality.
The Kelso Wood-trained colt was a Group 1 winner as a two-year-old and has won six times from 14 starts.
Out to challenge the top pair will be Mick Price’s colt Al Aneed ($6) who was second in the Gold Coast Guineas.
Trainer Mick Price is expecting an improved performance from his charge on his way to the Stradbroke Handicap.
“That was his first run this time in and he’s trained on, he’s thrived,” Price said.
“His work suggested he’d handle the heavy [if it is wet] and the trip away seems to have cooled his colty brain down.”
The only other runner under double figures is Boban ($8) who recorded a big win in Brisbane as a two-year-old in the Listed Phoenix.
The Chris Waller-trained gelding arrives in Brisbane this time on the back of a strong second in the Hawkesbury Guineas.
Other notable chances in the Fred Best Classic market include Gerald Ryan’s consistent sprinter Dances On Stars ($15), Magic Millions Guineas winner Saluter ($21) and last-start winner Jimando ($26).
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