Kuro Considered for 2015 McEwen Stakes

New trainers Lee & Anthony Freedman are considering a first-up run at Moonee Valley on Saturday with recent stable acquisition Kuro in the McEwen Stakes 2015.


Kuro could debut for Lee & Anthony Freedman in Saturday’s 2015 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Formerly prepared by Joe Pride the now four-year-old Denman stallion hasn’t raced since late May in Brisbane when third behind Ball Of Muscle in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1200m), beaten under half a length.

Craig Williams was aboard that run as well as for Kuro’s Listed Mick Dittman Stakes (1200m) win the run before at Doomben.

Runner-up to Sweet Ida in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill during the autumn earlier this year, Kuro also ran in elite level company last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival when finishing off his prep with a third to star colt Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).

Group 1 sprint targets are again likely for the horse this time in with Team Freedman still considering their options, Kuro to gallop on Tuesday morning to help them decide on his resuming run.

“He’s coming along really well, he jumped out here at Flemington on Friday and I was very pleased with how he went,” Hall of Famer and co-trainer Lee Freedman told Racing Victoria.

There is a big chance he will resume on Saturday’s Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day card at the Valley though in the $200,000 Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) under weight-for-age conditions.

“Depending on how he works on Tuesday morning will determine on whether we run him in the McEwen or not,” Freedman said.

“He’s a pretty gross sort of horse and he needed the trial on Friday and he’ll need the work on Tuesday.”

Last year’s McEwen Stakes was won in an upset by Angelic Light who defeated champion Group 1 sprinter Lankan Rupee before a fourth to Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and second to the aforementioned Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).

Both of those Moonee Valley Group 1s will be considered for Kuro this campaign so long as he comes on as a four-year-old, the $450,000 Moir Stakes run on October 2 under the lights and the $1 million Manikato on October 23 the night before Cox Plate Day.

Another possible Moonee Valley runner for the stable on Saturday is smart Stryker filly Strykum, the three-year-old heading towards the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse on October 10.

A black-type winner in Adelaide back in May, Strykum returned at Moonee Valley on August 22 and enjoyed a nice one and a quarter length first-up win over Just One Moment with Ben Melham in the saddle.

Currently rated a $51 outsider in early Thousand Guineas odds a Ladbrokes.com.au, another win this weekend if she runs second-up on Saturday will see that price firm.

“I’ll enter her but I have trialled her down the straight a couple of times previously there’s also a nice 1100m stakes race at Flemington the week after that could suit as well,” Freedman explained.

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