Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
Ragnaar has pleased Lee Freedman since his arrival in Australia a few months ago, but the Flemington-based trainer has conceded the Kiwi import will be lucky to gain a start in Saturday’s Listed Pin & Win Stakes (1400m) at his home course.
Ragnaar had only two starts upon debuting to racing in New Zealand in May, but quickly stamped his claims as one to watch; running on for a close second in the Racing At Avondale Maiden (1200m) before boxing on for a credible third in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie last time out.
Having been confirmed as first emergency for the 2015 Pin & Win Stakes, Freedman told Racing Ahead he is thrilled with the condition of the Roc De Cambes gelding but believes the positive weather forecast will all but put an end to his chances of a racing return on Saturday.
“I don’t know if he can win,” Freedman said.
“The New Zealand has to be looked at a little differently at times and they were both on heavy tracks but I don’t think he’s a heavy tracker – I think he’s a horse that will prefer firm ground.
“I think it will be a fluke if we get a run given the weather forecast and the quality of horse going around at this time of year.
“I think if he was ridden quietly in a race like this he would finish off very well and would give me some indication as to where we’d be headed next.”
Freedman revealed he has always thought of the three-year-old as a serious 2015 Victoria Derby prospect but will have to saddle the horse soon if he is any chance of making the cut.
“We have to get going because we’re getting towards mid-September and the Derby’s only six or seven weeks away,” Freedman said.
“He works nicely but we haven’t put him under any real speed tests or anything but he’s a good doer and fits into the mould of the Derby-type horse I’ve had before.”
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Pin & Win Stakes odds, for which Ragnaar can be taken at a generous quote of $15 for success.
Prince Of Brooklyn remains outright $6 favourite in Pin & Win Stakes markets ahead of Odyssey Moon, El Greco and Snoopy, who share the second line at $7 odds.
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