A recent stable acquisition for Lee & Antony Freedman, genuine staying type Cool Chap is “one of the ones to beat” in Monday’s 2016 VRC St Leger at Flemington Racecourse according to co-trainer Lee.
Formerly prepared by the suspended Peter Moody, the progressive High Chaparral three-year-old is one of the best in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to take out the $200,000 Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) on ANZAC Day in Melbourne this long weekend.
The gelding has a wide gate 10 of 14 draw in the set weights plus penalties clash, but the distance is there for he and jockey Daniel Stackhouse to overcome the barrier.
Leading VRC St Leger betting this autumn at $2.30 and firming is Victorian Derby runner-up Etymology out even wider in barrier 13.
John O’Shea’s well-supported New Approach colt comes off three Sydney Group 1 races including a fifth to Tavago in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) from April 2 and so is down in class on Monday.
Cool Chap on the other hand remains in Listed company on the back of his good second to Charlevoix on April 9 at Sandown-Hillside in the Galilee Final (2400m), and is the $4.50 second favourite for the VRC St Leger.
He has had six runs so far for two wins, two seconds and a third with his longest distanced victory being 2000m.
Freedman is confident he’ll develop into a genuine stayer and has the ability to see out a strong 2800m in the St Leger this weekend.
“He’s a really lovely little horse, very genuine,” Freedman told Racing Victoria.
“He has to run the trip, but he’s a very relaxed horse in his races and he should be one of the ones to beat.
“He’s a High Chaparral with a good pedigree.
“He’s got a good action and a good temperament, so he could make a nice little stayer in time.”
Two back Stackhouse, replaced by Ben Melham last start, guided Cool Chap to a nice one length win over Godolphin-raced Artesian at Caulfield over 2000m.
Twelve months ago Team Freedman took out the VRC St Leger with Authoritarian (2015), Lee Freedman not having won the race prior to that for a quarter of a century when Frontier Boy took it out in 1990 when it ran as a Group 2 feature.
Now he chases back-to-back victories with Cool Chap, who is the sole ANZAC Day runner for the stable on Monday.
Other notable hopes in the field this season include Group 2 placed Hardern ($6) for Mornington’s David Brideoake, Michael Kent’s Onemorenomore filly Alittle Loose ($11) out to improve on her ninth in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last start and the James Cummings-trained Joueur ($12) coming off a 2600m win at Gosford by nearly three lengths on April 12.
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