The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Dawn Passage is the early favourite in a very open edition of the Fred Best Classic in 2020 with the in-form three-year-old coming off wins in both the Hawkesbury Guineas and Inglis Guineas this prep.
The Group 3 $125,000 Fred Best Classic (1350m) runs at Doomben this season as part of a reduced, COVID-19 impacted Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and has drawn a class line-up of 14 three-year-olds.
A winner of four of his nine starts so far, the bay flew home at Rosehill on ANZAC Day winning the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) by nearly three lengths two back before his last start victory at the same track on May 16 in the Inglis Guineas (1400m).
He looks fit and ready to fire in Queensland this weekend from barrier nine with Brad Stewart coming aboard for the ride, Dawn Passage out to go back-to-back for the punters following the success of last year’s Fred Best Classic favourite Military Zone ($3.30 in 2019).
Military Zone was prepared by Peter & Paul Snowden with co-trainer Peter Snowden celebrating his record third win in the race following previous victories with Mental (2012) and El Cambio (2008).
Team Snowden return in 2020 with another livewire chance, their ultra-consistent Written Tycoon gelding Hightail occupying the second line of Fred Best Classic betting at $6.
Yet to win over further than 1250m, the reduced distance of this year’s Fred Best works in favour of Hightail who is also vying for a third consecutive win.
Last time out he stepped-up in grade at the Gold Coast on May 16 to narrowly take out the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m), while his last run around that 1400m distance saw him finish fourth behind superstar Alligator Blood in January’s Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.
A further three runners are under double-figures in the Fred Best Classic odds this season including the fillies Exhilarates and Subpoenaed at $8.50 each.
The Godolphin-raced Exhilarates is drawn well in gate four for jockey Larry Cassidy, the James Cummings-trained Snitzel filly looking fitter second-up on the back of a third to High Tail in the Gold Coast Guineas.
That was her first run since finishing third in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas and she presents as a genuine danger on Saturday against the boys in Brisbane.
Trainer Chris Waller’s key chance Subpoenaed has drawn wider out in gate 12 with jockey Michael Cahill booked for the ride, Waller looking to equal Peter Snowden with three wins having already trained Fred Best Classic winners Counterattack (2016) and Stryker (2010).
Rip Van Winkle filly Subpoenaed has been thereabouts in a number of tough assignments recently including her second in the Group 3 James Carr Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 18, and was heavily weighted with 58kg last start when fourth only 2.3 lengths beaten over the same track and distance on May 9.
She drops down to 55kg looking for her first Black-Type win.
At $9, Grand Piano for John Thompson looking for a fifth win in six runs this prep rounds out the single-figure fancies before widely-drawn Doomben track specialist The Odyssey (13) coming off a second in the Gold Coast Guineas represents the value at $11.
2020 Fred Best Classic Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||6313481112||THE ODYSSEY||Kelly Schweida||Ms Stephanie Thornton||13||57kg||94|
|2||x28x214x11||HIGHTAIL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ryan Maloney||11||57kg||96|
|3||3x156x2811||DAWN PASSAGE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Brad Stewart||9||57kg||96|
|4||2×01323140||STAMPE||Chris Munce||Sean Cormack||14||57kg||83|
|5||4132×11411||GRAND PIANO||John Thompson||James Orman (late alt)||6||57kg||89.5|
|6||1217x8x9||BELLEVUE HILL||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Matthew McGillivray||10||57kg||84|
|7||430x50x227||GARIBALDI||Tony Gollan||Baylee Nothdurft (a)||1||57kg||75|
|8||123×199931||THE SINNER||Natalie McCall||Daniel Griffin||5||57kg||75|
|9||12223×114||SCATHING||Chris Munce||Justin Huxtable (a)||3||57kg||75|
|10||2x21x26x21||PETRONIUS||Gary Moore||Luke Dittman||8||57kg||72|
|11||156×13117||SHADOW OF TIME||Stewart Barr||Dale Smith||7||57kg||72|
|12||x1127x53x3||EXHILARATES||James Cummings||Larry Cassidy||4||55kg||96|
|13||160×125924||SUBPOENAED (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Cahill||12||55kg||86|
|14||1×125||READY BABE||Mark Currie||Mark Du Plessis||2||55kg||68|
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