Is it Chisel or Chase in tonight's Alabar Classic?

By Michael Guerin

Co-trainer Scott Phelan says the crucial tactics in the $60,000 Alabar Classic at Alexandra Park tonight will be left up to driver Zachary Butcher.

Phelan and senior training partner Barry Purdon train Cold Chisel, who alongside arch rival Chase A Dream head the market for the Group 2.

Chase A Dream has been too good for Cold Chisel the last two times they have met, both times by getting in front of him.

There was little in it last start when Chase A Dream led and Cold Chisel trailed last start and if they did the same tonight there is no reason to expect the result to change unless their levels of performance does.

But with Cold Chisel drawn the ace and Chase A Dream barrier 3, Phelan says Butcher can see how Cold Chisel feels early and make his mind up.

“We won’t be telling him what to do and often it comes down to the first 50m,” says Phelan.

“But if he wants to have a crack at holding the lead we will back that and I still think he has a shot from the trail.”

That early burn, or lack of it, could decide the 2200m mobile as a the gap between the two favourites isn’t as great as their $1.45 vs $3 prices on Thursday night suggests.

Later in the night the Purdon/Phelan team look set to dominate the last race with high-class filly Duchess Megxit the $1.30 favourite after the scratching of Coastal Babe.

“We also have Artisan in there and she will give a good account of herself but class should shine through with Duchess Megxit.”

How to tackle Alexandra Park on Friday, on what looks a night for the multi punters.

1: Inasinglemoment (Alex Park, R1): Looks a natural and created big impression winning debut last winter. Looked ready winning at the workouts last weeked and meets weak field.

2: Chase A Dream (Alex Park, R5): If he leads should win but can also winning coming from behind. Top pick in what looks a two-horse race with Cold Chisel.

3: Duchess Megxit (Alex Park, R8): What was shaping as a great early Oaks prelude between the Duchess Megxit and Coastal Babe now looks a one-filly race after Coastal Babe’s scratching.

4: Jolimont (Alex Park, R7): Took on the best three-year-olds last season and destined to make his way to open class. Looked forward enough beating stablemate Little Spike (R5) at the workouts last week to suggest he ready for tonight.

5: Twista (Alex Park, R3): Still learning but hit the line well against the best three-year-olds last start. Drawn to be the one to beat.

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