Phillip Stokes’ Adelaide raider Hucklebuck has opened clear favourite to win the Fred Best Classic 2014 at Doomben Racecourse this Saturday.
The Elvstroem three-year-old is one of a capacity 16-starter field for this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Ascend Sales Trophies Fred Best Classic (1350m), set to run as Doomben Race 5 at 2:30pm as part of the Cup Day action.
Drawn in barrier seven they’ll get an ideal gate five start if the two emergencies come out, regular rider Dom Tourneur staying on the $2.80 fancy.
The Morphettville-trained improver has won five of their eight starts to date for an impressive 63% win rate, two of which were won in Melbourne.
They graduated this season from a first-up February win at home over 1200m to the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington where they beat a quality field including runner-up Prince Harada and third placegetter The Quarterback.
Then last start they suffered their first finish outside of the top three when eighth, albeit beaten only two and a half lengths, to Cox Plate hero Shaums Award in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Mucus was found in their throat that day and they struggled a bit over the mile.
Saturday however they are fit, as proven by a three length Gawler trial win in late April, and drop down in both class and distance for their Brisbane debut that could set them up for a stellar winter carnival in the sunshine state.
Despite the bumper number of acceptors there are just two other runners under double figures in the Fred Best Classic odds with Dothraki ($6) and Enquare ($8.5) drawn in barriers 12 and 13 respectively.
The Gerald Ryan-trained Mossman colt Dothraki may have an awkward gate but they come into the race on the back of some excellent form.
Three back they were third in the Gosford Guineas before their Royal Sovereign Stakes fifth at Group 2 level and then their last start win a fortnight ago in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) in the wet.
Enquare meanwhile will again be ridden by Jim Byrne as Jason McLachlan’s Sunshine Coast-based Stratum filly looks to improve on her seventh to Dothraki in the GC Guineas.
She was first-up that day and not suited to the Heavy track so on firmer ground will be much closer.
A five from 11 strike rate includes the Group 3 Vo Rogue over this track and distance from December, and Enquare also ran an eye-catching third to Sweet Idea in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas in January so she’s got bucket loads of class.
The next best in Fred Best Classic betting then at juicer odds are then the likes of the John O’Shea-trained Gold Coast Guineas runner-up Safeguard ($10), last start Gold Coast winner Sir Moments ($11) who won a 1400m Eagle Farm race last winter, Paul Messara’s Starcraft gelding Havana ($14) on the short back-up after running second here last weekend over 1100m and the Rob Heathcote-trained Hopfgarten ($15).
Fifteen dollars looks a generous price for Heathcote’s flying Mossman gelding Hopfgarten who has won their past four on the trot including the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm last time out.
They are dropping back down from a mile however so must handle the shorter distance but are definitely worth a look at for the exotics.
Check out the full Fred Best Classic 2014 odds below, fixed win prices you can head online to Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in now enjoying a courtesy $250 bet on the house also if you’re a new depositing player!