Co-trainer Lee Freedman is looking to add the Australian Guineas 2015 onto the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival program of Nozomi after the colt’s impressive jumpout win at Flemington on Friday morning.
Freedman, who trains in partnership with his brother Anthony, was full of confidence about the new season campaign of his Victoria Derby placegetter with the Street Cry colt leading all the way in an 800m hit-out victory this morning.
A winner of two of his eight starts to date, Nozomi hasn’t raced since running a brave third when just run down in the final furlong of the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) on November 1 by Preferment (1st) and Bondeiger (2nd).
That followed from his back-to-back October wins firstly in a non-Black Type at Kyneton over 1875m and then when he narrowly nudged out his subsequent conqueror Preferment in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m).
Before his impressive Flemington jumpout, Nozomi trialled at Cranbourne on January 29 running sixth with a midfield finish over 800m behind Zebulon.
He’s come on since and now the stable is looking to kick off his autumn in the aptly named $200,000 Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Saturday week.
Plans are hopefully to head to Sydney for The Championships, but after such a strong run this morning he could now also run in the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 7.
“I wasn’t going to head that way, but I may,” Freedman told Racing Victoria.
“I’ll give that a bit of thought now because he did have pretty competitive speed there today and maybe the Guineas should be back on the table.”
He is also nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) back at the track on Super Saturday a week later.
In pre-field Australian Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Nozomi is a $34 chance in markets led by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win.
Then in the futures Australian Cup betting markets Melbourne Cup winning German import Protectionist leads the way at $5 and Nozomi sits at $26 to win.
Freedman said the main aim however was the lucrative $2 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 4.
“The end game for him the Derby in Sydney, that’s the race I want to win with him, but how we get there I don’t know yet,” he said.
“Before this morning I was going to run him next Saturday and run him two weeks later in the Autumn Classic, over 1800 metres, and then head to Sydney for the (Rosehill) Guineas and the Derby.
“That’s probably where I will go, but if I don’t I’ll probably run in the (Australian) Guineas first.”
The $200,000 Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) runs on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 28, while the $500,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) is scheduled for March 21.
All-in Australian Derby odds are also out now at Ladbrokes, the spring’s Victoria Derby winner Preferment leading the markets at $5 while Nozomi pays $21.
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