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Three-year-old colt Nozomi showed enough to trainers Lee & Anthony Freedman in a barrier trial at Cranbourne on the weekend to prove he’s ready to step it up during the autumn.
Nozomi wasn’t out to do anything serious in his sixth place run around to Zebulon but he showed the Freedman brothers that he had come back in good order. He will likely receive another trial before resuming in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
“Dwayne [Dunn, jockey] was happy with him and he knows the horse well,” Freedman told Sky Racing.
“We didn’t want him to do a lot and Dwayne just opened him up for about half a furlong and then shut him down.
“We didn’t trial him in his blinkers so it was just an exercise in fitness.
“He’ll probably have another one before he kicks off.”
Nozomi has placed in half of his eight career starts, which includes a win in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) and a minor placing in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m). The colt was just off the leaders on the rails, managing to weave through and challenge at the straight. He was only run down in the last furlong, finishing one and a half lengths behind Preferment and Bondeiger.
The colt is nominated for both the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in the first half of March after which Freedman is hopeful his form will warrant a trip to Sydney for the remainder of the spring where a rematch with Preferment and Bondeiger is on the cards.
“Hopefully he’s made enough improvement to take on those horses again in Sydney,” Freedman said.
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