There was no love for Tofane in Saturday’s...
The Desleigh Forster-trained Apache Chase is into the Group 1 $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) after scoring an all-the-way upset over the hot favourite Ayrton in the 2021 Fred Best Classic results at Eagle Farm.
The previously undefeated Ayrton for Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr was odds-on to make it four-from-four in Saturday’s Group 3 $250,000 Fred Best Classic (1400m) and win his way into the 2021 Stradbroke Handicap field back at the track on June 12.
Ayrton was the $4 top elect in all-in Stradbroke Handicap betting at Ladbrokes.com.au before suffering his first loss, while the brave horse that handed him the defeat was a 100/1 outside for Queensland’s biggest race.
Bookies have removed Ayrton from the pre-field Stradbroke odds with the youngster now without a chance of making the starting line-up.
Apache Chase meanwhile has been wound right in from triple-figures to $14 to back-up and take out the Group 1 carrying just 49.5kg in the Stradbroke after moving from 85th on the order of entry.
Forster was full of confidence all week having set Apache Chase for the Fred Best Classic weeks out from the event, and was rewarded with Stradbroke Handicap ballot exemption on Kingsford-Smith Cup Day.
“I was very confident coming here today,” an emotional Forster told Sky Thoroughbred Central after the win.
“All I wanted to do was draw inside.
“As I said, there’s more than just one horse in this race and this horse is a good horse.”
The Better Than Ready gelding has an excellent Eagle Farm record and is now four-from-five over the 1400m distance.
He won the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1400m) here in January, as well as April’s Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes (1400m) with only wet tracks or unsuitable distances seeing him beaten this preparation.
“He makes his own luck,” Forster said of Apache Chase.
“He’s only been beaten on wet tracks.
“He’s a serious horse and what he’s done there, he is going to improve on again.”
Last time out Apache Chase was runner-up in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) run on a Soft (5) over the mile, but on a Good (4) back at 1400m he was very impressive.
Veteran hoop Jim Byrne continued associations and with his mount the best out the gates, he was happy to go straight to the lead in the Fred Best Classic.
Holyfield sat second the outside, while Ms Jamie Kah settled the punters’ pick third the fence throughout.
Ayrton was still three lengths off the leading duo approaching the turn as Apache Chase led into the straight.
The front runner was there to be run down, but even with Kah calling for Ayrton down the outside the final furlong, they couldn’t get to the eventual winner in time.
Ayrton closed the gap the closing stages, while Amish Boy rallied hard along the rail in a thrilling photo-finish, but all honours went to the all-the-way champion Apache Chase at $11 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
On the line he had half-head to spare over Ayrton ($1.50F), while Amish Boy ($16) ran out of his skin for third under a quarter-length beaten.
Forster confirmed it was onto the Stradbroke Handicap next-up for her Fred Best Classic winner, with Apache Chase looking to be the first horse to do the double since La Montagna (2006).
“He’s a super horse,” she said.
“As long as he pulls up good, we’ll go to the big dance in two weeks.”
2021 Fred Best Classic Results & Finishing Order
|1||3||APACHE CHASE||Desleigh Forster||Jim Byrne||3||57kg||$11|
|2||9||AYRTON (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Ms Jamie Kah||0.2L||6||57kg||$1.50F|
|3||2||AMISH BOY||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Hugh Bowman||0.3L||12||57kg||$16|
|4||11||PALLADAS||Tony Gollan||Tim Clark||0.5L||1||57kg||$71|
|5||6||MIDLAND||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||2.75L||9||57kg||$26|
|6||12||GLITTER STRIP||Tony Gollan||Ben Thompson||4L||10||55kg||$71|
|7||1||AIM||Peter & Paul Snowden||James McDonald||4.5L||7||57kg||$18|
|8||8||COUNT DE RUPEE||Robert & Luke Price||Jason Collett||5L||4||57kg||$21|
|9||4||SIMPLY FLY||Rex Lipp||Craig Williams||5.3L||2||57kg||$31|
|10||5||HOLYFIELD||Annabel Neasham||Joshua Parr||6.05L||8||57kg||$41|
|11||10||NOT AN OPTION||Tony Pike||Nash Rawiller||6.15L||5||57kg||$31|
|12||7||EXOBOOM||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ryan Maloney||14.15L||11||57kg||$12|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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