Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Group 1 placed Mr Sneaky could target the 2018 Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes second-up this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival according to his trainer Anthony Freedman.
A four-year-old son of High Chaparral, Mr Sneaky finished off his spring campaign running in back-to-back Group 1 races at Caulfield Racecourse where he could return two runs into his next preparation.
He caught the eye in the first on October 1, crossing just three quarters of a length back second to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) after an ultra-consistent lead-up.
Things went amiss a fortnight later however when he looked outclassed during his 12th place finish behind Darren Weir’s Japanese import Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m), his first test at a mile.
Having spelled well, Mr Sneaky could race first-up Friday week on Australia Day at Moonee Valley in the Group 2 $200,000 Australia Stakes (1200m).
All going well, Freedman will then look at stepping the horse back up to elite grade on February 10 in the opening Group 1 of the carnival, the $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m).
“Mr Sneaky will maybe resume next Friday at Moonee Valley in the Australia Stakes,” Freedman told AAP on Thursday.
“Then he might run in the Orr. We’ll just see.”
Dissident (2015) was the last four-year-old CF Orr Stakes winner, the Peter Moody-trained stallion improving on a lead-up Australia Stakes third.
The Australia Stakes also produced last year’s CF Orr Stakes champion, Black Heart Bart (2nd in 2017), who returned to Caulfield a fortnight later on Blue Diamond Day to also win the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m).
Pre-field C.F. Orr Stakes 2018 odds at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au have Darren Weir’s defending champ Black Heart Bart at $5 for the win.
He trails only his Emirates Stakes winning stablemate Tosen Stardom ($4.50), while another of Weir’s impressive Japanese imports Brave Smash is at the same $5 quote as Black Hart Bart.
Mr Sneaky is also being kept relatively safe in futures CF Orr Stakes betting listed at $13.
The Futurity Stakes 2018 meanwhile could be on the agenda first-up for Freedman’s own former Japanese galloper Ambitious.
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