It may not be the top tier sprint on the Doomben 10,000 day program but the Listed 2013 Chief De Beers Handicap (1110m) is shaping up as an exciting fair.
An even bunch of sprinters will contest the 1110m dash, with Peter Moody’s front-running mare Karuta Queen a $3.50 favourite in the betting market..
Karuta Queen, a former juvenile star and Magic Millions Classic winner, has been in solid form without winning this preparation.
After consecutive placings in Melbourne she had a minor hiccup in Melbourne before running a strong second to Detours in the Gold Coast Silk Stocking earlier this month.
Second favourite at $4.50 is Griffon, who comes from the stable of leading Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote. The seven-year-old was a luckless fourth first-up and is expected to improve here.
Griffon is one of three Heathcote-trained runners in the field, joined by defending Chief De Beers champion Excellantes ($7) and outside hope Gundy Son ($18) who should be running on.
At $6.50 is Audacious Spirit who became a Listed winner in December and is renowned for pulling out a big run fresh.
Also under double figures are country New South Wales galloper Pentashia ($7) and BRC Dash winner Benny’s Buttons ($9).
The BRC Dash was Benny’s Buttons first start in nearly two years but he faces a difficult task to go back-to-back this weekend after drawing barrier 15.
Benny’s Buttons, trained by Kelso Wood, is joined in the field by new stablemate Spirit Song ($16) who was a dual Group 2 winner in Melbourne for former trainer Aaron Purcell.
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