Classy Queensland sprinter Better Than Ready will be chasing his second straight after being included in the field for the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) that will be held at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Better Than Ready will be having just his second start of what has been an abbreviated 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign after a trip to Melbourne for the sprint majors was canceled due to the four-year-old suffering a nasty injury during trackwork at Doomben in October.
The worst was feared for Better Than Ready when he ploughed through a fence after shying at something near the rail but the son of More Than Ready has recovered after receiving eight stiches in his chest.
The four-year-old returned to the races with a dominant two lengths victory carrying 60.5kg in the Club Super Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on November 9 and will once again be forced to carry the heavy weight.
Better Than Ready will face stiff competition from the in-form Morning Captain who has performed consistently since returning to the races at the start of October.
The Danbird gelding started his preparation with a narrow second behind Rocket To Glory in the Nairn Constructions Handicap (1200m) at Doomben and was beaten by Qfighter in the Kartaway Miniskips Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on October 26 before recording a strong win in the Padua College Handicap (1300m) on November 2.
Morning Captain has just failed to step-up to the mark when tested at Group level, finishing fourth in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but will carry three kilos less than Better Than Ready when he jumps from barrier six on Saturday.
The other last-start winner in the Keith Noud Handicap field is Qfighter, who gets into the $100,000 race on the limit weight with 54kg.
Qfighter has recorded three wins from seven starts this preparation and has been in exceptional form since the start of September; winning the Instinction at Eliza Park Handicap (1200m) and the Rick’s Doors Handicap (1200m) before beating Morning Captain in the Kartaway Miniskips Handicap.
Leading Brisbane trainer Kelso Wood is well represented in the Keith Noud Handicap field; with Firebolt, Benny’s Buttons, Signified and Someday all included in the field for the Listed race.
Someday was given a chance to compete at the highest level of racing during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival but failed to fire; finishing 10th behind Rebel Dane in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) and ninth behind Riva De Lago in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m).
Other interesting runners in the Keith Noud Handicap field include: Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready, Stuart Kendrick-trained Doubtfilly and veteran gelding Ollie Vollie.
Better Than Ready is sure to start a clear favourite in Keith Noud Handicap betting markets but you can find the best odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2013 Keith Noud Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw
|1||x2151350x1||BETTER THAN READY||Kelly Schweida||Ric McMahon||8||60.5kg|
|2||x74666x221||MORNING CAPTAIN||Kelly Doughty||Jim Byrne||6||57.5kg|
|3||221x87860x||FIREBOLT (NZ)||Kelso Wood||Glen Colless||16||56.5kg|
|4||237x6970x7||PHELAN READY||Doug Roberts||Larry Cassidy||1||56kg|
|5||3x1063122x||BENNY’S BUTTONS||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||14||55.5kg|
|6||28x48809x3||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||Justin P Stanley||7||55.5kg|
|7||x13417x9x5||AUDACIOUS SPIRIT||Gillian Heinrich||Timothy Bell||5||55kg|
|8||1×25231093||SOMEDAY||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||2||55kg|
|9||2210x000x8||BIGGLES||Noel J Doyle||Bobby El-Issa||3||54.5kg|
|10||64×3442313||OLLIE VOLLIE||Sue Grills||Ms Priscilla Schmidt (a)||4||54.5kg|
|12||90120010×6||WAR ENDS||Toby Edmonds||Eddie Wilkinson||13||54kg|
|13||x1239x2236||SIGNIFIED||Kelso Wood||Ryan Wiggins||15||54kg|
|14||x08006125x||VERDASCO||Len Treloar||Geoffrey Goold (a)||10||54kg|
|15||30×7241311||QFIGHTER||Matthew Dunn||Ms Tegan Harrison (a)||17||54kg|
|16||61723228×4||CRADLE ME||David Pfieffer||Vinnie Colgan||9||54kg|
|17||96x11110x5||IT’S ON THE POCKET||Lindsay Gough||Anthony Allen (a)||12||54kg|