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Mornington horseman Anthony Freedman has confirmed plans to head north for a shot at Sydney’s 2018 Tancred Stakes Saturday week with Japanese import Ambitious.
A six-year-old son of Deep Impact, the stallion debuted down under in Melbourne on March 10 at Flemington’s Super Saturday.
Coming off the one official Cranbourne trial, Ambitious finished just worse than midfield when ninth behind Lindsay Park’s upset winner Harlem and was only four lengths beaten in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
Plans are now to step the earner of nearly $3 million in prize money up to a mile and a half and run him the opposite way of racing on March 31 at Rosehill Gardens.
Formerly known as The BMW for sponsorship purposes, the Group 1 $1.5 million KIA Tancred Stakes (2400m) is the confirmed second-up option for Ambitious whose first-up run was better than it reads on paper according to Freedman.
“He didn’t get all favours, he drew the outside and had to go back and the way the track played that day it was impossible to win,” Freedman told Racing Victoria this week.
“I thought the run had merit and he has continued to please us since.”
The past two Tancred Stakes winners came off a lead-up run in the Australian Cup with Preferment doing the double in 2016 and the mare Jameka improving on a second to salute last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The last horse to come off a worse-than-second performance and take out the Tancred Stakes meanwhile was the Pat Carey-trained Cedarberg (7th in 2011) who scored an upset in the latter as a $26 roughie.
The latest all-in Tancred Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list Ambitious as a $17 chance.
Champion hoop Craig Williams is booked to ride the former Japanese galloper, replacing Damian Lane in the saddle, and is after a second Tancred Stakes success following that aboard Littorio in 2010.
“Craig came and rode him on Tuesday morning and we were really happy with his work,” Freedman said.
“All his form in Japan is on firm tracks and the weather for next week is looking good so we should get a good surface.
“On his best form, I think he can be really competitive in the BMW.”
Those pre-field Tancred Stakes betting markets are current co-led by the 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin who ran fourth in the Australian Cup and Darren Weir’s beaten Australian Cup favourite Gailo Chop at $3.50.
French import Gailo Chop was runner-up to Harlem on Super Saturday and gets the chance to atone in a rematch at Rosehill this weekend.
One of the key support acts on the Golden Slipper Day card, Saturday’s Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) features a number of horses that could potentially back-up seven days later in the Tancred Stakes field.
Gailo Chop is the short-priced $2 favourite in Ranvet Stakes betting.
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