There a number of potential races for promising stayer Nozomi during the autumn and newly-returned trainer Lee Freedman couldn’t be more excited about the colt’s upcoming campaign.
The three-year-old has placed in half of his eight career starts, including a narrow victory in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) on October 22. The colt’s biggest accomplishment came just ten days later when he scored a minor placing in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), running one and a half length behind the quinella of Preferment and Bondeiger.
Nozomi was just off the leaders on the rails before weaving through the challenging in the straight. He was only run down in the final furlong.
“He’s built in the mould of a really good stayer, he’s a very strong horse,” Freedman told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“He needs to take the next step but he reminds me of a horse like Mummify, not in type but of a horse that keeps improving with each start that can run a very solid 2400m.
“Of the horses we’ve got, he’s certainly the one that will be the most interesting to see his progress during the autumn.”
Freedman, who will train the colt during the autumn in a partnership with brother Anthony, told Racing Victoria that the Group 1 ATC Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 4 is one of a number of options for Nozomi’s autumn campaign that could include the Listed VRC St Leger Stakes (2800m) at Flemington on April 25 and Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 9.
“It depends on how strong the Sydney Derby is looking because there are so many options during the autumn there’s the St Leger, there’s the South Australian Derby,” the trainer said.
“Last preparation when Anthony won the Geelong Classic (2200m) with him we kind of undersold that win and then we saw how good that form was in the Derby.
“To be ready for a race like the ATC Derby the horse will probably have to run by early February.”
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