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Mornington-based trainer Anthony Freedman has made it a top priority to qualify his German import Mawingo for the Melbourne Cup 2012 this spring following the four-year-old’s smart Aussie debut over the weekend.
Coming to Freedman’s Melbourne operation having won two of their opening seven career starts in Europe, lightly raced Tertullian stallion Mawingo had their first official look at an Australian track at Flemington on Saturday.
Racing first-up off a five month break, before which they ran a credible fifth behind Zazou in the Group 1 Premio Roma (2000m) in Italy last November, Mawingo caught the eye when putting two lengths on Eraset to win the $70,000 Muscular Dystrophy Australian Plate (1600m).
Racetrack whispers ahead of Saturday were for the promising ex-German to make an impression, and that’s exactly what they did after storming home from their wide midfield position to win.
“You learn a lot about these horses every day and he’s only been in the country about 10 weeks,” Freedman said.
“It’s a pretty good effort to front up here after getting off the plane 10 weeks ago and run out a solid mile sitting deep.
“I was actually really pleased with his tactical speed.
“He obviously can race anywhere in a field, so that’s going to augur well.
“I thought he did a good job because he really wasn’t closer than three-deep the trip first-up over a mile for a good few months.”
Freedman has recently enjoyed success with another German import Lucas Cranach, the Mamool five-year-old finishing a close third to Dunaden and Red Cadeaux in last year’s Melbourne Cup and winning the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield in their only autumn run back in February, who is also owned by Mawingo’s connections – Australian Bloodstock.
“On the back of Lucas Cranach, German form is now accepted and form around this horse is particularly strong since they (Australian Bloodstock) bought him,” Freedman said.
“He’s got great acceleration and that is what you need these days to win big staying races.”
The trainer now looks to have a doubly strong hand heading towards Victoria’s famous spring time cups – the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October and the iconic $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
While Lucas Cranach is assured of a start in the features thanks to their minor placing in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last Melbourne Cup Carnival, Mawingo still has a way to go to qualify for the world’s richest handicap.
“I am mindful of getting him qualified and would like to do that this prep if we can,” Freedman said.
“He’s only going to get better so we’ll just see what we do now, whether we head towards something better now or certainly a bit longer and see if we can qualify him (for the Cups).”
Freedman named the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Sydney Cup Day, April 28, as a possible next-up target for Mawingo to help them move up the ranks for the pending Melbourne Cup nominations and ballot order.
Lucas Cranach currently shares favouritism with 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain and Peter Moody’s ace import Manighar who has won the Australian Cup – Ranvet Stakes – The BMW triple in their last three runs, the trio paying $21 in the Melbourne Cup odds through our preferred online betting agency bookmaker.com.au.
Mawingo is one of five $31 chances, including reigning champion Dunaden.
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