Hazard undoubtedly found career-best form to date through the recent autumn and winter carnivals, and trainer Lee Freedman has revealed the classy mare will carrying excellent residual fitness into Saturday’s Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Posting a career total of ten wins and five minors through 26 starts so far, Hazard returned this year for wins in each of the Grand Hotel Frankston BM90 (1000m) and Ern Jensen Funerals Handicap (1100m) before making a seamless transition to black type racing in taking out both the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m).
Having returned to the paddock after running a credible seventh in less-than ideal conditions in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) on June 20th, Freedman told Racing Ahead he couldn’t have the Flying Spur mare in better condition ahead of the Cockram Stakes 2015, and is only concerns lie with her allocation of the wide and awkward barrier 17 and 58kgs handicap.
“I’m really happy with her – she only had a brief let-up after Queensland so she’s retained quite a bit of fitness,” Freedman said.
“She trialled well a couple of weeks back and her only issue tomorrow is barrier 17 and 58kgs.
“I can’t have her in much better condition ready for a first-up race and we’ll just have to go there and hope there isn’t too much against her.
“I think in these quality mares races there’s always reasonable speed and I haven’t really discussed with Ben (Melham) how we’ll ride her but I wouldn’t have thought we’ll be trying to hunt up from 17 to take on the speed.
“We rode her back off the speed in the Dane Ripper and she responded well to that so I think given the draw that’s probably how we’ll ride her.
“She’s very fit and looks terrific.”
Freedman is yet to set a specific major target for Hazard this time, but revealed a tilt at the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 26th may come to fruition should her form warrant a berth.
“She’ll got to the Let’s Elope and depending on how she goes in that we may have a look at the Rupert Clarke Stakes,” Freedman added.
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