Lee & Anthony Freedman could set German import Our Ivanhowe for a Caulfield Cup 2015 bid in Melbourne just two starts back from a spell this coming spring.
The Soldier Hollow stallion has had just the one run down under since his transfer to Australia when racing in Adelaide’s Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville back in mid-May.
He ran a below par seventh to The Bowler over the mile, a distance short of his preferred distance with Our Ivanhowe not having won over less than 2200m, before heading out for a spell before a light spring preparation.
A multiple Group 1 winner overseas, most recently at Munich last November over the mile and a half, Our Ivanhowe is preparing for a big Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign targeting the famous Cups Double.
Co-trainer Lee Freedman oversaw the spring campaign of another famous German import, Lucas Cranach, who ran fifth to Southern Speed and third behind French raider Dunaden in the 2011 Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup respectively.
That experience has boosted his confidence regarding decisions on the spring prep of Our Ivanhowe who has spent time at Pinecliff over his break with Freedman’s brother and partner in training Anthony watching over him.
Having won five of his 11 starts to date the now Victorian-trained galloper is a rising six-year-old and Team Freedman have the horse on track to run in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.
In the futures Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au the half-a-million-dollar earner sits as a $21 chance in markets led by the Godolphin-raced The BMW winner Hartnell and Australian Derby champ Mongolian Khan at $13.
The plan is to run in the Caulfield Cup after a first-up start in September, Freedman wary not to over-race the classy stayer.
“My experience with these types of horses, and I’ve had a bit to do with them, I tend to think that they can go down very quickly,” Freedman told Racing Ahead.
“In that respect I may only be giving him one lead-up run into the Caulfield Cup.”
After the world’s richest mile and a half handicap, plans are to take Our Ivanhowe to Flemington Racecourse for a shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ – the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) taking place on Tuesday November 3.
“If everything pans out we’ll probably head on to the Melbourne Cup,” Freedman added.
All-in Melbourne Cup betting has Japan’s Fame Game as the clear $13 favourite ahead of the nominations closing in early August while Our Ivanhowe is at $26 for the win.
Freedman said that the Melbourne Cup bid though was dependent on the weight allocated to the horse by Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter, and whether the feet problems that eventually ended the career of Lucas Cranach stayed at bay.
“Like a lot of these German horses you have to be very mindful of their feet but his feet are very good at the moment,” Freedman said.
“We’ve got a system of shoeing him that I’m confident will be perfect for him going forward.”
Freedman is also planning to bring over two more horses owned by the same connections as Our Ivanhowe with Shimarano and possible Caulfield Cup hopeful Guardini were Australian-bound after lifting bans over importing German horses were made in time for the spring.
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