Co-trainer and Hall of Famer Lee Freedman believes fitness and consistency are the two big advantages for the stable’s Emirates Stakes 2015 hope at Flemington on Saturday Disposition.
The son of Reset was originally prepared in WA by Grant Williams where won his opening four starts before back-to-back seconds in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) last summer.
He spent a brief spell with Wez Hunter when first transferring to Victoria before heading to the Pinecliff Mt. Eliza stables of Lee & Anthony Freedman where he has put together an ultra-consistent record.
This campaign he ran a narrow second to Stratum Star in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in September and was a close second in elite level again at the start of October behind Lucky Hussler in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Last time out the four-year-old posted his sixth win at career start number 12 at Flemington on Derby Day on a Soft (5) track winning the Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m) with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Oliver retains the ride for the horse’s return to Group 1 company at Flemington on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Drawn midfield in barrier nine of 16, Disposition carries 54.5kg dropping three kilos from his winning weight seven days earlier, and boasts the fitness edge according to Freedman.
Freedman is confident the horse will be flying on the quick back-up and a likely rain-affected track, Flemington in the Heavy range still on Friday, is another tick for his camp.
“I think this year it is an advantage because they’re going in rock-hard fit on a back-up on a track that’s going to be Heavy again, on my guess,” he told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“It can’t be a bad thing to be backing up with that fitness under the belt.”
Barrier nine is a dream draw with three of the past five Emirates Stakes winning jumping from the gate that Freedman gives Oliver free range from this weekend.
“Knowing him well now, I’ll leave all those decisions up to Damien – he’ll get a feel of how the track’s racing, he’s a good judge of where the better ground is,” Freedman said of eight-time Scobie Breasley Medallist Oliver.
“He’ll have done his homework, we’ll have a brief discussion. Unless it varies greatly from what I think, he’ll be doing his own thing.”
Oliver shoots for his second Emirates Stakes winning ride after partnering the Paul Beshara-trained Happy Trails (2012) to victory from the same gate three years ago.
Freedman meanwhile hasn’t won the race since his success nearly three decades ago with Warned (1987).
The bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are running Best Tote or SP + 20% on the full Flemington line-up on Saturday, rate Disposition a good hope of breaking Freedman’s drought with the horse at $8.50 for the win in the latest Emirates Stakes odds.
Emirates Stakes betting is led by easing $5 favourite Bow Creek, the John O’Shea-trained imported having just his second run down under after a second in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) on Cox Plate Day.
The other single figure fancies are German visitor Magic Artist ($6) who ran fourth beaten only a length in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) last weekend, Murray Baker’s Crystal Mile winning four-year-old Turn Me Loose ($8) and the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler ($8.50) who was runner-up last year carrying three kilos less than his 58kg top weight 12 months on.
After the Emirates, Freedman plans to take Disposition back over to Perth for another shot at the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) that he was runner-up to Sydney visitor Moriarty in last year.
“If he comes through tomorrow’s race well, [the owners] want him to go over and race in Perth over the carnival,” Freedman said.
“He hasn’t had many runs this time in, and he’s trained on-course so he’s essentially a very fit and happy horse all the time.”
To back Disposition or one of rivals to win the Emirates Stakes at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au now and open a new account quoting the code SPRINGBONUS when making your first deposit up to $700 to have it matched as a bonus bet!