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Dawn Passage is one of the key players in Saturday's Fred Best Classic

The Group Three Fred Best Classic at Doomben will take on even more importance with several horses needing to win it to make the Group One Stradbroke Handicap field.

First acceptances were taken for the Stradbroke Handicap on Wednesday with 44 horses currently in the field.

The field for the June 6 race will be trimmed down to 18 with final acceptances next Wednesday.

The Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott trained Dawn Passage will at worst be an emergency as he is currently 21st on the order of ballot.

Dawn Passage can put the issue beyond doubt by winning the Fred Best at Doomben which is ballot exempt for the Stradbroke.

Other Fred Best runners who will need to win to make the Stradbroke field are The Odyssey (32nd on the ballot), Grand Piano (34th), Subpoenaed (37th),Bellevue Hill (39th), Stampe (49th), Scathing (42nd) Garibaldi (43rd) and Petronius (44th).

Gold Coast Guineas winner Hightail has accepted for the Fred Best but is already in the Stradbroke field at number 15.

There were 30 first acceptances for the Group One J J Atkins, which also runs on June 6, with all horses high in the market safely in the field.

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