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Mornington horseman Anthony Freedman is eyeing the 2018 Futurity Stakes on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day as a possible Group 1 autumn target for his Japanese import Ambitious.
A winner of five of his 16 career starts overseas, Deep Impact entire Ambitious is gearing up for his down under debut with Freedman.
The six-year-old hasn’t raced since a June flop at Tokyo in a Group 1 mile event, but has been working well ahead of his likely first-up run at Caulfield Racecourse next month according to Freedman.
“He’s highly rated and he’s capable of being competitive at a very high level,” Freedman told AAP.
Ambitious, a winner of close to $3 million in career prize money, is best known for defeating Japanese superstar and last year’s Tenno Sho Spring winning stayer Kitasan Black in the Group 2 Osaka Hai (2000m) in April of 2016.
Freedman has been pleased with what he has seen from Ambitious around the stable so far and is considering kicking off the horse’s Australian racing career on February 24 in the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m).
To familiarise Ambitious with the Caulfield track, Freedman brought the galloper to the twilight race meeting there on Wednesday night that included a walk around the pre-parade rings.
A jump-out in three weeks’ time is likely to serve as a pre-race lead-up into the Futurity Stakes for Ambitious where he could meet fellow former Japanese gallopers Tosen Stardom and Brave Smash.
The stablemates join defending Futurity Stakes champion Black Heart Ba9rt at the top of all-in Futurity Stakes betting at bookmakers around the country for top Victorian trainer Darren Weir.
Seven-year-old Deep Impact entire Tosen Stardom is the early Futurity Stakes favourite following his Group 1 $2 million Emirates Stakes (2000m) win at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The $3.3 million earner also won the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) in mid-October at Caulfield and was runner-up to stablemate Black Heart Bart in last autumn’s Futurity Stakes results at just his second start in Australia.
Brave Smash is a five-year-old Tosen Phantom stallion who has raced in Australia four times for four top three efforts.
His most recent performance was the eye-catching third as a $31 roughie behind Redzel when just a length beaten in the Restricted $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 14.
As for last year’s Futurity Stakes winner Black Heart Bart, the now seven-year-old son of Blackfriars will be out to win successive editions of the weight-for-age showdown for the first time since Niconero (2008-09).
He hasn’t managed to win again since completing the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes – Futurity Stakes double last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, but has racked up a further three Group 1 placings.
He was last seen finishing a disappointing ninth in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot back in his former home town of Perth in early December.
To check out the latest autumn racing odds on upcoming Group 1 races like the Futurity Stakes 2018 visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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