Scathing targets unusual double for Munce

Scathing and Justin Huxtable combine in Fred Best Classic
Scathing and Justin Huxtable combine to try and secure a riding-training double for Chris Munce.

Improving three-year-old Scathing is primed to give Chris Munce a chance to complete the unusual double of training a stakes winner after riding a stakes winner for the same owners.

Munce will saddle up Scathing in the Group Three Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Scathing is owned by the Gold Coast’s Henderson Racing syndicate several of whom raced the 2010 Caulfield Cup winner Descarado.

Munce rode Descarado to victory in the Caulfield Cup, giving him the final leg of Australian racing’s big four – the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.

“I have never had a stakes runner for the Henderson’s as a trainer, it would be something unusual to complete a double like that,” Munce said.

Scathing might not win a Caulfield Cup but he is showing well above average ability having recorded three wins and four minor placings from eight starts.

However, his most impressive run was his only unplaced effort when he was fourth in the Group Three Gold Coast Guineas two weeks ago.

Munce said Scathing was good last start and had form around some very smart horses.

“He was slow to go in the Guineas but made plenty of ground to be fourth,” he said.

“The Guineas was run at a fast pace and it will be the same at Doomben on Saturday.

“Don’t forget Scathing was second to (subsequent Group One winner) Alligator Blood when we were having only our second race start.

“I’m not saying Scathing should have beaten Alligator Blood but he should have finished closer.

“Most of his form has been around some pretty smart three-year-olds.”

The Fred Best Classic is ballot free for the Stradbroke and Munce hasn’t ruled out running Scathing in the Group One if successful on Saturday.

He knows about winning the Stradbroke with lightly weighted horses as he won on Dane Ripper (1998) and Landsighting (2000), who were both on the minimum.

Munce also has Stampe in the Fred Best who is chasing a Stradbroke place.

“I think a lot of the Fred Best field are after a Stradbroke place so it will be a good race,” Munce said.

“Forget Stampe went around last time in the Gold Coast Guineas, he is back to somewhere near his best distance.”

Senior rider Sean Cormack will ride Stampe while Munce’s apprentice Justin Huxtable stays on Scathing.

“They have done a lot of work with the horses and know them well,” Munce said.