Trainer Paul Perry gives pair even chance in Fred Best Classic

LEADING CHANCE: The Paul Perry-trained Perast winning the Queensland Day Stakes at Doomben. Picture: AAPPaul Perry couldn’t split The Mission and Perast ahead of the group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350 metres) on Saturday at Doomben.

But the veteran Newcastle trainer was happy in the knowledgethey shouldn’tbe going head to head at the front of the field in the early stages again.

The Mission and Perast seta cracking pace in the Golden Rose last September before both faded.

“I don’t want to see that again. It made me sick watching it,” Perry said.

The three-year-old stablemates clash again on Saturday in what could be stud-bound The Mission’s last race.

The Choisir colt, a group 1 winner,has been competing admirablyagainst the nation’s top sprinters in recent months butwill have to overcome a poordraw in12 on Saturday.

Perastgained his start with victory in the listed Queensland Day Stakes at Doomben two weeks ago.

Perry expected Perast, a$4.60 chance, to race on the pace from barrier four and The Mission,an $11 chance, to get back from his gate.

“It’s a drop in class from where he’s been racing,” Perry said of The Mission, which will stand at Aquis Farm in Queensland after the winter carnival.

“There’s plenty of speed in the race so hopefully he can slot in somewhere from that draw.

“Perast ran well last start but they should both be chances.”

Asked to pick his best hope, Perry said:“I wouldn’t like to say.There’s not much between them.”

Perry’s other runner wasNothing Too Hard in the group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m). He was sixth in the group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) last start.

“His run the other day was super,” Perry said. “He’s up there for the Derby, and the mile and a halfI think that will suit him better.It finds him outa bit that journey [2200],butthat’s the only reason he’s there, for the Derby.”

Also at Doomben, Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’s Le Romain was the $3.40 favourite for the group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup. Lees has alsoGraff (Sires’ Produce Stakes), Danish Twist (Glenlogan Park Stakes) andNurse Kitchen (Lord Mayor’s Cup) chasing black-type wins.

At Randwick, Perry has last-start winner The Getaway in the listed McKell Cup from gate two.

“It’s up in class but he’ll run a good race, he’s that sort of horse,” Perry said.

“He’lljust race his normal pattern. He’ll probably be back in the field and work his way home.”

Perry’s Miss Imagination and Petrossian are also racing at Randwick.

“She’s another filly on the way up,” he said of Miss Imagination.“Her run the other day at Scone was good in the listed race, and I think she’ll improve with whatever she does, but you would expect something from her.

“Petrossianneeds to run.He drew wide the other day and we had to scratch him, so he’s probably short of a run.”

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