Betting for the 2018 Group 1 $700,000 Altus...
A bumper eight-race Doomben Cup Day program plays out in Brisbane this Saturday with the day’s opening Group race being the 2014 Fred Best Classic– betting tips for which are detailed below.
Running as Doomben Race 5 at 2:30pm (AEST) this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Ascend Sales Trophies Fred Best Classic (1350m) will see a full field of 16 three-year-olds face off.
The favourite of those is Hucklebuck ($2.80), Phillip Stokes’ Adelaide visitor coming off autumn form in Melbourne including their Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) win in mid-February.
Last time out they ran eighth when beaten under three lengths by Cox Plate winner Shamus Award in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), a fine effort they’re tipped to improve on when stepped down in class.
So can the red hot favourite get the job done in the Fred Best Classic this year?
Or is there an upset on the cards from the likes of the Gerald Ryan-trained Gold Coast Guineas winner Dothraki ($6), Sunshine Coast-based filly Enquare ($8.50) or even the market mover Havana ($13) on the short seven-day turnaround?
#3 Hucklebuck ($2.80)
Really hard to go past the favourite here who is also drawn ideally in barrier seven, the Elvstroem gelding has an outstanding 63% win rate having won five of their eight starts to date, race in Brisbane for the first time but their Adelaide form at home and Melbourne form including a Group 3 win and Group 1 run in the Australian Guineas (excused by mucus found post-race) make them the class horse here, first-up off a two and a half month break and are undefeated when resuming, plus proved fitness with a three length Gawler barrier trial win in April so everything looks ripe.
#5 Hopfgarten ($15)
A seemingly forgotten danger in this field but one we’re not brave enough to ignore. Local advantage being prepared by Brisbane’s best, Rob Heathcote, and their strike rate of 33% is made better by the fact that they’ve won their last four on the trot including three straight at Eagle Farm. It’s form that’s hard to ignore but the question is whether they can handle the drop back from a mile, that they won the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic over on April 26 from a wide barrier, to the 1350m here. Did kick off the winning streak with a victory over this track and distance though so think they will be sharp enough.
#2 Safeguard ($10)
Another double figure chance adding lots of value to our exotic Fred Best Classic selections this year, John O’Shea’s Exceed And Excel clot is third-up here and ready to strike. They bummed out when resuming in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes running dead last at Randwick but improved when runner-up, just a nose between he and winner Dothraki, in the Gold Coast Guineas. Think there’s something in Queensland they are enjoying and over the same distance in Brisbane should be competitive again.
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Remember too that Ladbrokes.com.au will be offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on your winnings for Saturday’s Doomben Cup making them the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s go-to bookie.
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change
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