Will he be the Saluter in 2013 Fred Best Classic?

Magic Millions Guineas winner Saluter is being tipped to bounce back in the Group 3 2013 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday after a horror first-up run in the Gold Coast Guineas.

Saluter contests the Fred Best Classic on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart.

Resuming for his first run since trumping a strong Magic Millions Guineas field, the Commands colt struggled, never troubling the favourites as he was beaten seven lengths in 11th position.

Managing owner Rob Slade told Racing Network the first-up failure was a “mystery” and is hopeful he can bounce back from a perfect barrier six draw this weekend.

“Last start is a complete mystery. [trainer] Jason [McLachlan] was mystified as to what happened,” Slade said.

“He’s still a colt this horse and Jason felt he might have been thinking about things, so we’ve put the blinkers back on and his work before and since the Guineas has been first class.”

From 14 starts the Queensland sprinter has claimed four wins and four minor placings.

He lines up in a strong field of three-year-olds this weekend and will have to overcome top local colt Sizzling as well as southern raiders Academus and Al Aneed.

Academus and Al Aneed finished one-two in the Gold Coast Guineas and will be again be tough to beat.

Academus, a winner over 1600m, is expected to improve as he steps up in distance while Melbourne trainer Mick Price has been singing the praises of Al Aneed.

Price has not been shy in stating his charge has come on since the first-up run and is expecting him to again feature in the finish this weekend.

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