Last weekend’s Doomben Cup winner Our Ivanhowe will bypass the Brisbane Cup 2016 on Stradbroke Handicap Day and instead head to the paddock before a spring return.
Co-trainer and Hall of Famer Lee Freedman confirmed plans to send the stable’s star import for a spell to Racing Victoria this week after the Soldier Hollow six-year-old won the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane on May 21.
The former German-trained Our Ivanhowe enjoyed two Group 1 wins overseas in 2014 but hadn’t won any races in Australia since arriving early last year.
He was competitive in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival including a third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last October, but only broke his maiden status down under in the Doomben Cup.
“To strike with old Ivanhowe on Saturday was just marvellous, we’ve had a lot of bad luck with that horse,” Freedman said.
“Not that anyone ever deserves anything in racing, but I thought he deserved to get some luck for a change.”
While tempted to press onto Eagle Farm’s $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) on June 11, Freedman said they would save the horse for the spring where the major cups will again be on the agenda.
“The Brisbane Cup is out now because … he would’ve got topweight in it and now he would get even more weight and it doesn’t really fit in with my plans,” Freedman said.
“We’ll get him home to Pinecliff and he can have a box spell there and then start preparing for the spring.”
Our Ivanhowe is already at $26 in all-in Caulfield Cup betting to go two better than his placing last season.
He is at the same price in futures markets for the ‘race that stops a nation’ – the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November, which he finished under four lengths away 10th to behind last year’s upset winner Prince Of Penzance.
The Darren Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance returned to racing for the first time since his shock Melbourne Cup success as a $101 roughie last weekend in Adelaide.
The Pentire six-year-old put in a slashing first-up run, catching the eye when second and beaten only a quarter length by the winner Tonopah in Morphettville’s Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m).
Our Ivanhowe’s Doomben Cup victory was the second Group 1 success for Team Freedman in Queensland this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival following the BTC Cup win by Malaguerra on May 14.
The Magnus four-year-old is on track for a run in the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and Freedman couldn’t be happier with his progress since the BTC Cup.
“He worked on the course proper on the Gold Coast this morning and by all accounts worked really well,” he said.
“He’s picked up great after his win the other day and he’ll probably have a barrier trial over 1000m next week to keep his fitness right up for the Stradbroke.”
Early Stradbroke Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Malaguerra at $9 for the win, markets led by the Ciaron Maher-trained Azkadellia ($4.40).
Maher won last year’s Stradbroke with fellow mare Srikandi and Azkadellia will have a lead-up run in this Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), which she is also favourite to win.
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