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    Journey towards elite group begins Journey towards elite group begins

    BETTER BE THE BEST

    EXCITING pacer Better Be The Best will begin his trek towards joining an elite fraternity at Club Menangle on Saturday night. First-up since a... Journey towards elite group begins

    EXCITING pacer Better Be The Best will begin his trek towards joining an elite fraternity at Club Menangle on Saturday night.

    First-up since a disappointing effort in the Breeders’ Challenge Final last October when he broke stride, Better Be The Best is set to contest the Hondo Grattan Stake.

    Along with a $50,000 purse, the feature provides the winner with a ‘golden ticket’ into the Chariots Of Fire.

    Australasia’s premier four-year-old event, the Chariots Of Fire is scheduled to be conducted at Club Menangle on March 2.

    Victory in the Group One will see the son of Shoobees Place become just the fifth campaigner to complete the New South Wales Derby/Chariots Of Fire double.

    Franco Hat Trick was the ground breaker in 1997 and ’98, followed by Holmes DG in ‘98 and ’99 , Elsu in 2003 and ’04 and Poster Boy in 2018 and ’19.

    The two events have been run simultaneously since the Chariots Of Fire’s introduction to the racing calendar in 1995.

    Better Be The Best completed the first half of the equation with his Derby triumph last March.

    As for his immediate task, Better Be The Best has drawn barrier four, with trainer Nathan Turnbull to take the reins behind the entire.

    Better Be The Best slots into gate three with the removal of the emergency,

    “He is as good as I can get him going into this,” Turnbull said. “I’ve had to stick to the trials with him as he is that high in grade it’s been difficult to find a race.

    “I didn’t want to take on big boys and flatten him before a big race against his own age.

    “That said, he did trial against the big boys last week and went quite nicely.”

    Turnbull will also be represented by On Deadline, which has drawn beside his stablemate.

    Winner of his last two starts, On Deadline has the potential to cause an upset according to Turnbull.

    “He’s had a few runs out in the bush and run good times, so he’s on the right path,” Turnbull said. “He is a nice sit sprinter, and if there are fireworks and he’s tucked away, he will surprise a few with his sprint.”

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    Paul Courts

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