Counterattack has returned to winning form with a classy performance for success in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben Racecourse this afternoon.
Trainer Chris Waller elected to scratch Counterattack from the field for last weekend’s Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m), with a view towards contesting this race which offers its winner ballot-free entry into the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11th.
Jumping from the gates well, the jockey James McDonald allowed the Redoute’s Choice gelding to stride forward and take a handy position on the heels of early leaders Fiery Heights, Takedown and In His Stride.
Offered a clear line upon arriving at the final straight, Counterattack immediately responded when asked for an extra effort and comfortably strode clear of his rivals to ensure passage to the Stradbroke Handicap.
McDonald delivered a typically smart performance aboard Counterattck to win the Fred Best Classic and believes the horse should prove very hard to beat in the Eagle Farm feature in three weeks’ time.
“He feels a very good horse,” McDonald said after the race.
“He’s a very good colt, a horse going places and he’ll be a good chance in the Straddie, especially on a light weight and he’s tough, runs it out strongly.
“He travelled very well. He came off the bridle about a furlong out and I thought it would take a good horse to run him down, but I think he is one.”
Counterattack stamped himself as a colt to follow through the major two-year-old races through last year’s edition of the Brisbane Winter Carnival, but undoubtedly improved through a spring campaign highlighted by two wins at Listed level and a close third in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Reusming this time for third in the Group 1 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m), Counterattack was luckless when fifth in the Listed Darby Munro (1200m) and was unlucky not to win the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) on Day 2 of The Championships, in what was his only other start prior to the Fred Best Classic this time.
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2016 Fred Best Classic Results
|1||4||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||James McDonald||–||15||57kg||$4.40|
|2||2||TAKEDOWN||Gary Moore||Tim Clark||1.3L||16||57kg||$8|
|3||13||PERFECT DARE||Matthew Dunn||Jim Byrne||2.1L||3||57kg||$31|
|4||7||TIVACI||Michael Moroney||Damian Browne||2.3L||4||57kg||$26|
|5||5||TOO GOOD TO REFUSE||Desleigh Forster||Ryan Wiggins||2.5L||10||57kg||$26|
|6||15||DENMAGIC||David Pfieffer||Jason Collett||3.5L||12||55kg||$20|
|7||8||PRIVLAKA||Robert Heathcote||Glen Colless||4L||1||57kg||$61|
|8||11||FIERY HEIGHTS||Toby Edmonds||Jeff Lloyd||4.1L||14||57kg||$31|
|9||1||RANGIPO||Tony Pike||Vinnie Colgan||4.3L||5||57kg||$12|
|10||9||HAVASAY||Liam Birchley||Brad Stewart||4.5L||7||57kg||$31|
|11||6||SIR BACCHUS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4.7L||8||57kg||$3.80F|
|12||16||SOLD FOR SONG||Kevin Kemp||Luke Dittman (a)||6L||11||55kg||$8|
|13||10||IN HIS STRIDE||Rex Lipp||James Orman (a)||9L||9||57kg||$101|
|14||12||CASHING UP||Barry Lockwood||Michael Cahill||10.5L||6||57kg||$41|
|15||3||RAGEESE||Darren Weir||Kerrin McEvoy||11.3L||13||57kg||$5|
|16||18e||RIGHT ADVICE||Darryl Hansen||Ms Tegan Harrison||12.6L||2||57kg||$101|