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Local Eagle Farm-based horseman Tony Gollan believes race favourite Crack Me Up looks mighty hard to beat in the 2017 Brisbane Handicap field this weekend at Doomben Racecourse.
Gollan saddles-up two rivals to the well-supported Liam Birchley-trained favourite Crack Me Up in Saturday’s Listed $100,000 Green Options Racing Pty Ltd Brisbane Handicap (1600m).
Stablemates Frespanol and Brazen Moss both suffered a wide barrier draw for the mile summer showdown in gates 14 and 11 respectively, while Crack Me Up came up trumps with alley four in the 15-horse field.
After winning the Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m) two weeks back and with the re-booking of in-form hoop Matthew McGillivray, Mossman four-year-old Crack Me Up is all the rage in Brisbane Handicap betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The consistent miler pays $2.30 as the firm favourite in the Brisbane Handicap odds and looks the one to beat according to rival trainer Gollan.
“I think the Brisbane Handicap is an open race if you take out the favourite, Crack Me Up,” Gollan told Racing Queensland.
“Crack Me Up was very dominant the way he won the Recognition and I think my two will have their work cut out against him but they deserve their chance.”
Gollan’s two chances are rated roughie hopes to score the upset with the former Gai Waterhouse-trained Frespanol at $26 and Brazen Moss paying $21.
“Both of them will be suited by 1600 metres but they’ve had no luck with the barriers,” Gollan added.
Choisir seven-year-old Frespanol, to be ridden by Michael Rodd, is a three-time winner from eight runs at the Doomben track including his first-up win over 1350m on November 11 carrying 58kg to victory.
He was then beaten four and a half lengths running sixth to Crack Me Up in the Recognition Stakes with 56.5kg on his back.
The veteran meets Crack Me Up, who rises from 54kg, equal on 56.5kg in the rematch this weekend but will need be improving notably to close the gap.
Slightly better fancied in the markets, Brazen Moss and Jim Byrne aboard second-up with the six-year-old son of Mossman also a Recognition Stakes graduate out to frank that form.
He was 10th past the post over seven lengths beaten from the wide alley (15 of 16), but gets the chance to improve having a stellar record over the 1600m at Doomben (7:3-2-0).
Gollan is after another Brisbane Handicap trophy having won the race back in 2015 with his gun mare Traveston Girl.
Saluting for the punters that summer, Traveston Girl did the Recognition Stakes – Brisbane Handicap double that Crack Me Up is tipped to emulate this season.
To back your Brisbane Handicap 2017 tips at the best price this weekend head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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