Hazard No Certainty for Let’s Elope Stakes

Talented mare Hazard has undoubtedly returned to racing in career-best form this year and while pleased with her condition, trainer Lee Freedman has revealed he is in two minds as to whether or not she will contest Saturday’s Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

Lee Freedman has revealed he may bypass Saturday's Let's Elope Stakes with Hazard. Photo: Daniel Costello

Lee Freedman has revealed he may bypass Saturday’s Let’s Elope Stakes with Hazard. Photo: Daniel Costello

Hazard was due to retire into a career as a broodmare following an impressive 2015 autumn and winter campaign highlighted by wins in each of the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m) however Freedman was able to convince owners Godolphin Australia representative Henry Plumptre to leave the mare in work for the Spring Carnival.

Having boxed on for an agonizingly-close second in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) first-up, having left from the wide and awkward barrier 16, Freedman is lamenting Hazard’s second-consecutive draw of the outside gate for the 2015 Let’s Elope Stakes and is now considering his options.

“We’ve obviously offended the barrier gods at some stage in the last few weeks because we’ve copped two 18 extreme outsides,” Freedman told Racing Ahead.

“I’ve got to put consideration into if I actually run her under the circumstances because this race this year is almost a Group race in the quality of the horses running.

“From the draw she’s going to be giving horses like Noble Protector and Cosmic Endeavour, who probably ran as well as her in the Cockram, a lot of a start and may even have a wide run.

“I’ll discuss it with Henry Plumptre today but we do have the back-up option of the William Hill Series at Caulfield the following week where she races so well.”

Freedman has underlined races like the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on November 1st as possible targets for the Flying Spur mare this time, but revealed the conditions of events like the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) later this month have also pressed into the spectrum.

“I want to keep my eye firmly on a possible start in the Rupert Clarke because it might be the first time all preparation that she gets some major weight relief, albeit into a Group 1,” Freedman said.

“How we get to that race would have been perfect to go Saturday but it may not be the perfect way to go.”

Hazard has been confirmed to be partnered by Ben Melham should she contest the Let’s Elope Stakes, and currently figures as great value in Let’s Elope Stakes betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au at a quote of $16 for success.


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