An Australian Guineas 2015 campaign is now on the cards for the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Java after the youngster won the Manfred Stakes at Sandown-Hillside on Australia Day.
The feature race at the Monday Melbourne meeting, the $150,000 Group 3 Thomas North Manfred Stakes (1300m) featured a top field of 12 hopefuls.
It was Medaglia D’Oro gelding Java ($7) though who stole the show in the three-year-olds’ showdown with Damien Oliver guiding him to a one and a quarter-length victory over Group 2 Sandown Guineas winning Fastnet Rock colt Petrology ($5.50) who did well to come from near-last.
In third two lengths off the winner was then the Tony McEvoy-trained Not A Single Doubt gelding Affirmation ($6) who got to the line between runners.
Oliver had the eventual Manfred Stakes winner settled just outside the leader and $5 favourite Fast Cash, who eventually crossed over four lengths away seventh, before they surged to the front on the straight to run away with the win.
Team Freedman also enjoyed a win in the race before when Reparations earned a possible 2015 Newmarket Handicap assignment with his narrow win carrying 60kg to victory in the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m).
The Manfred Stakes result continued an ace run of form for the promising Java who made it four straight wins on the trot this summer going back to the start of December.
It was also his second by that margin at the track following a 1400m win here on January 7 before he was stepped up to Group company for the first time on Monday for his sixth career start.
There is likely to be another notable rise in class for Java this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival with co-trainer Anthony Freedman naming the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 7 as his next major aim.
“Obviously he had to come here and do that today to warrant going there but certainly after today we’ll throw him in (the nominations) and head that way,” Freedman said post-win on Monday.
There is also a chance Java would run next-up in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on February 21 leading into the Guineas.
“He’s a winner and horses that win keep winning,” Freedman added.
2015 Australian Guineas nominations close today along with those for the Newmarket Handicap and Australian Cup also run at Flemington.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view all the latest Group 1 nominations for the upcoming majors, the best fututres betting markets for which will be found online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2015 Manfred Stakes Results
Sandown Race 6 – 26/01/2015
|1||8||JAVA||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Damien Oliver||–||7||56kg||$7|
|2||1||PETROLOGY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||1.25L||11||59kg||$5.50|
|3||6||AFFIRMATION||Tony McEvoy||Mark Zahra||2L||6||57kg||$6|
|4||7||SAN NICASIO||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||3.25L||5||57kg||$9|
|5||9||BERISHA||Murray Johnson||Cory Parish||3.55L||8||56kg||$18|
|6||5||BASCULE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||3.75L||9||57kg||$6.50|
|7||3||FAST CASH||Wendy Kelly||Vlad Duric||4.25L||2||58.5kg||$5F|
|8||11||THE ULTIMATUM||Michael Hibbs||Ibrahim Gundogdu||6.75L||1||56kg||$61|
|9||10||BELFLYER||John Moloney||Patrick Moloney (a)||7.25L||12||56kg||$26|
|10||4||TAN TAT DIAMOND||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||10.25L||3||58.5kg||$26|
|11||2||MOONOVERMANHATTAN||Mick Price||Daniel Moor||13.25L||10||59kg||$15|
|12||12||GEE WHIZZER||John Price||Damian Lane||14.5L||4||56kg||$101|