While the Australian race debut of Lee & Anthony Freedman’s German import Our Ivanhowe was underwhelming in Adelaide this autumn, the team is confident of improvement heading into a Spring Cups bid.
A dual Group 1 winner back in Germany, five-year-old Soldier Hollow stallion Our Ivanhowe had his first run down under when a below par seventh to The Bowler in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 16.
He started at short odds of $2.40 on the day having last been seen running sixth in the Group 1 Japan Cup (2400m) last November in Tokyo and before that winning a Group 1 over the mile and a half in Germany.
Just getting accustomed to life in Oz however, co-trainer Lee Freedman wasn’t concerned about the unplaced run and was more than happy with the stayer heading towards the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival later in the year.
“His effort was very good, we were very pleased with it and more importantly he’s come through in excellent shape,” he told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“He’s just having a month off before coming back to work in the Spring.
“He’ll be back firing when it matters.”
Our Ivanhowe is set to target both the $3.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October and the world’s richest handicap, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November.
Early all-in markets on both races are out at Ladbrokes.com.au with Our Ivanhowe at the top end of betting for the two features.
Caulfield Cup odds are led by the Godolphin-raced The BMW winner Hartnell ($11) and Our Ivanahowe is equal $15 second pick with another John O’Shea-trained Group 1 winner in Contriubter and recent ATC Oaks winner Gust Of Wind.
For the 2015 Melbourne Cup it is Japan’s Fame Game ($15) leading the futures markets while Our Ivanhowe is further down those markets at $26.
Team Freedman meanwhile could have another import featuring in the elite levels of the spring after they recently secured German Derby hope Shimrano.
The Australian-owned galloper won in excellent fashion in Europe on Monday night taking out the German Derby Trial, an effort that excited his soon-to-be-trainer Freedman.
“It’s very exciting for the crew, who are predominantly the owners of Our Ivanhowe, to win the German Derby Trial and hopefully they can go in with a live chance in the German Derby now,” he said.
“He was a very promising two-year-old … he won his first start in a 1600m maiden by a big distance.
“The thing that appealed to us also was the fact he’s by Monsun, who of course has sired the past two Melbourne Cup winners.
“Being a two-year-old there was no point in bringing him out here so the view was to run him right through until the German Derby and then make some decisions.
“Any number of things could happen (after the German Derby) but I believe the initial response is that he will eventually come to Australia.”
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