Classy sprinter Better Than Ready has ended his brief spring campaign with a narrow win in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm this afternoon.
Better Than Ready hit the front with about 300 metres left to run in the Listed event but was forced to dig deep, with the top-weight of 60.5kg on his back, to fight off a brave Benny’s Buttons who refused to go away in the final stages of the race.
The class of Better Than Ready was too much in the end and he resigned Benny’s Buttons to his third straight second place finish; with Kelly Doughty-trained Morning Captain working home strongly to finish just over a length and a half behind in third.
Better Than Ready was having just the second start of his spring preparation after a plan to head to Melbourne for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival was derailed when the son of More Than Ready ran through the outside fence at Doomben and suffered a cut that required stiches.
He returned to the races with a dominant win in the Club Super Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on November 9 and, after his win today, will head to the spelling paddock; with trainer Kelly Schweida planning to give the four-year-old a fortnight off before bringing him back into work to begin preparations for the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
Better Than Ready finished fifth in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) earlier this year as a three-year-old and will set for that race as well as the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) next autumn.
Buffering, another leading Queensland sprinter, is contesting the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot this afternoon and there is still time to back the two-time Group 1 winner at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2013 Keith Noud Handicap Finishing Order
|1||1||BETTER THAN READY||Kelly Schweida||Ric McMahon||–||8||60.5kg||$2.35F|
|2||5||BENNY’S BUTTONS||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||0.2L||12||55.5kg||$14|
|3||2||MORNING CAPTAIN||Kelly Doughty||Jim Byrne||0.6L||6||57.5kg||$8.50|
|4||10||OLLIE VOLLIE||Sue Grills||Ms Priscilla Schmidt (a)||1.1L||4||54.5kg||$51|
|5||6||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||Justin P Stanley||1.5L||7||55.5kg||$19|
|6||8||SOMEDAY||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||2.3L||2||55kg||$7.50|
|7||7||AUDACIOUS SPIRIT||Gillian Heinrich||Timothy Bell||2.8L||5||55kg||$8|
|8||14||VERDASCO||Len Treloar||Geoffrey Goold (a)||3L||10||54kg||$101|
|9||4||PHELAN READY||Doug Roberts||Larry Cassidy||3.1L||1||56kg||$21|
|10||12||WAR ENDS||Toby Edmonds||Eddie Wilkinson||4L||11||54kg||$101|
|11||16||CRADLE ME||David Pfieffer||Vinnie Colgan||4.5L||9||54kg||$21|
|12||13||SIGNIFIED||Kelso Wood||Ryan Wiggins||6L||13||54kg||$41|
|13||15||QFIGHTER||Matthew Dunn||Ms Tegan Harrison (a)||7.3L||15||54kg||$10|
|14||9||BIGGLES||Noel J Doyle||Bobby El-Issa||7.5L||3||54.5kg||$101|
|15||3||FIREBOLT (NZ)||Kelso Wood||Glen Colless||7.8L||14||56.5kg||$41|