Counterattack Claims Soft Win in Fred Best Classic

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.


Counterattack saluted in the last in Brisbane on Doomben Cup Day taking out the 2016 Fred Best Classic for Chris Waller. Photo: Daniel Costello.

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

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
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

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