Co-trainer Lee Freedman has described German import Our Ivanhowe as a “12 month project” and believes the Caulfield Cup placegetter is ready to show his best form in Saturday’s Peter Young Stakes 2016.
Plagued by feet issues during his time down under, the six-year-old son of Soldier Hollow shoots for his first Australian win first-up in the $200,000 Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day at Caulfield Racecourse on the weekend.
The progressive stallion, a winner of five of his 15 career starts to date, hasn’t raced since his luckless 10th when crossing under four lengths off the upset winner Prince Of Penzance in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) last November.
The brave Melbourne Cup run followed his third to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and second the start before to Let’s Make Adeal in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m).
Despite not having won under anything less than 2200m, Freedman is hoping for a strong resuming Peter Young Stakes run on the weekend as Our Ivanhowe progresses onto longer distanced targets.
“I’m really happy with him,” Freedman, who trains in partnership with his brother Anthony, told Racing Victoria.
“With a lot of these horses when they bounce off the short break between the spring and the autumn it’s a lot easier to get them up and going. The weather’s beautiful, they’re eating well and there’s not as much work that needs to be done to strip weight off them.
“His feet are a constant issue. We have to stay on top of them because he came with shocking feet and we’ve almost had to grow new feet on him, he has to have a special way of being shod but touch wood, it’s the best we’ve had them since he’s been here.
“A lot of these imported horses are a 12-month project and that’s what he’s been.
“He’s in really good nick and I’m really looking forward to seeing him run at weight-for-age [in the Peter Young Stakes] which he hasn’t done yet in Australia.
“These good imports can [handle 1800m first-up], but I’ll be interested to see if he’s sharpened up like I think he’s sharpened up.
“Certainly 1800 weight-for-age and given the tempo and the fact they’ll all have to carry the same weight as him, I think he’ll run very well on Saturday.”
The $1.5 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 26 in Sydney is the likely first major assignment for Our Ivanhowe, however Freedman also hasn’t ruled out the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 12 at Flemington Racecourse.
The galloper is also in the mix for the $2 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 9 and is the $9 third favourite in futures betting on the two mile classic through Ladbrokes.com.au.
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