A clash with some of season’s most exciting stayers has been ruled out for Anthony Freedman’s German import Waldpark who will not be accepting for the Turnbull Stakes 2013 at Flemington this Saturday.
Instead of taking on the likes of Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune and top fancy for the Caulfield Cup Hawkspur in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), Freedman will give his Dubawi stallion a run at Benalla on Sunday.
Winner of the German Derby as a three-year-old back in 2011, in Europe Waldpark was a super consistent galloper running fourth in four subsequent Group 1 races.
They were transferred to Freedman’s care in Melbourne earlier in the year to prepare for a spring cups assault.
Their season kicked off at Flemington when eighth to Foreteller in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 7.
A fortnight later than were 11th to Cox Plate-bound It’s A Dundeel in a somewhat disappointing run in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield where they got little luck in the run.
Freedman is still hoping to have Waldpark ready for a shot at the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
They are a $31 outsider in Caulfield Cup betting however following their Underwood run.
While nominated for the Turnbull on the weekend, Freedman has opted instead to skip the superstars and run them in the $100,000 Benalla Toyota Gold Cup (2046m) – their performance in which will help determine whether to press on with Caulfield Cup plans.
The decision wasn’t entirely Freedman’s though as the bumper number of Turnbull Stakes nominations saw Waldpark sit 26th on the ballot and unlikely of making the capacity 16 starter field.
But for Freedman it matters little which race his horse is in this weekend, so long as they get a 2000m start at this stage of their prep.
“He just needs a 2000-metre race to top him off,” Freedman told Racing Victoria.
“He’ll have to carry a bit of weight, but he should get a nice fast-run race.
“He needs to run well at Benalla to push on to the Caulfield Cup, but I’m fairly confident he will.”
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