A rescheduled Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign could see Our Ivanhowe kick off his 2015 Caulfield Cup bid with a run in the Naturalism Stakes in late September at Caulfield Racecourse.
The six-year-old son of Soldier Hollow hasn’t raced since mid-May when debuting down under with a below par seventh behind The Bowler in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) in Adelaide.
A dual Group 1 winner in Germany over 2400m before joining the Lee & Anthony Freedman stables in Melbourne, Our Ivanhowe is likely to be seen again on September 19 in the Spring Cups’ qualifier – the $150,000 Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
Currently the imported stayer is targeting the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) back at the track four weeks after that on October 17.
The country’s premier online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au are offering $34 for Our Ivanhowe in the futures Caulfield Cup odds and he is even shorter at $26 in the early Melbourne Cup betting markets.
Known around the globe as the ‘race that stops a nation’, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) takes place at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 3.
On Friday Our Ivanhowe has a jump-out at Flemington over 1200m and ran a nice second, co-trainer and Hall of Famer Lee Freedman now considering a first-up Naturalism start over the $400,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at the same track a week earlier.
“I was going to run him in the Makybe but his trial was a bit dour on Friday,” Freedman, who trains in partnership with brother Anthony, told Racing Victoria.
“I’m probably going to ramp up his work and head straight to the Naturalism over 2000 metres and I think that will suit the horse a lot better than 1600m.”
The Naturalism Stakes winner is exempt from Caulfield Cup ballot, but with his two mile and a half Group 1 victories in Europe Our Ivanhowe is almost a certain starter in the Cup regardless.
“We’ve only seen one little cameo performance from him over 1600m and that was only because I wanted to get a run into him during the autumn,” Freedman said.
“We need to get him up to his right trip pretty quickly and then we’ll know what we’ve got.”
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