Classie Brigade looking to make full use of draw in Free-For-All
It is a case of deja vu for Classie Brigade in today's New Zealand Pacing Free-For-All at Addington having drawn the inside barrier and looking the likely leader as he was in the 2019 edition. This year however, John will be hoping that the eight year old can stave off the All Stars challengers and go one better in the Group One feature.
Classie Brigade comes out of Tuesday's New Zealand Cup, where he ran sixth after having to do too much work in the running. On that occasion, the second line draw proved the main issue with the Bettor's Delight gelding ending up well back in the running, having to make a run on a fast quarter from the 1600m to the 800m to get handy and later battling to the line at the head of the beaten brigade.
John was disappointed with the circumstances of the run on that occasion, but was feeling much happier about the marble that has been delivered for today.
"It was just too hard on Tuesday, having to make ground wide just as they are lifting the tempo up front."
"You are having to work hard the whole time just to get around them."
"I'm definitely a lot happier about today and he should go a great race from there."
A year ago in the same race, the circumstances were remarkably similar. On that occasion Classie Brigade was able to stave off the early challengers, before dominating the tempo of the race. It was only the trailling runner Chase Auckland that was able to deny him the Group One prize on that occasion and it may well be another trailling runner - this time super mare Amazing Dream - that may prove his biggest nemesis on this ocassion.
A Group One win at Addington would be the icing on the cake for this wonderfully consistent horse that has mixed it with the very best throughout his career.
Henry Hubert is our other runner in the race and comes off the back of a great run for 4th in the cup. John believes that he has come through that race very well. While poorly drawn today, he will be hoping for a sternly run race to make best use of his staying qualities.
The All Stars runners Amazing Dream and cup runner-up Spankem are definitely the two toughest to beat in the race.
Photo credit - Ajay Berry Race Images South
Posted: Fri 13 Nov 2020