Our Ivanhowe is something of a forgotten runner in the 2016 Melbourne Cup field, but trainer Lee Freedman is confident that the talented six-year-old is primed to run out of his skin in the race that stops a nation.
Our Ivanhowe was a strong performer for Lee and Anthony Freedman through the 2015 Spring Carnival; finishing in the minors in each of the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) and Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) before a brave but completely luckless run for tenth in the Melbourne Cup.
Resuming this time for fifth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 10th, the Soldier Hollow entire failed to produce anything when eighth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 2nd, but ran on well for a credible sixth in the Caulfield Cup last start.
Freedman told Racing Ahead that Our Ivanhowe has impressed in his work since the Caulfield Cup, and he is confident that the horse is ready for a strong performance in the Melbourne Cup 2016.
“The only poor run he’s had was the Turnbull, when he’d had a course of antibiotics and I thought the horse raced very flat that day,” Freedman said.
“He showed in the Caulfield Cup that he’s fully recovered from that. I think even Dwayne (Dunn, jockey) would admit himself that a more positive ride in the Caulfield Cup, we’d have finished a lot closer.
“I think he’s in very good form. He’s obviously a more seasoned horse than the other horse and his gallops are better than the other horse, but that’s nothing new.
“We worked him with a slightly lesser horse last Wednesday and he thrashed that horse, really ran away from him in the last 100m or so.
“There’s good signs with him, he’s doing very well.”
Our Ivanhowe has posted six wins and three minors through twenty-two career starts, since making his competitive debut in Germany in 2012.
Winner of each of the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Baden (2413m) and Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Bayern (2414m) during his European tenure, Our Ivanhowe was unable to return to winning form through his first eight starts in Australia, but charged home to beat a classy field to the line in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 21st this year.
Champion hoop Damien Oliver will take the ride on Our Ivanhowe in the Melbourne from the ideal barrier 6, and has been charged with carrying a race-high 57kgs.
Our Ivanhowe is currently available at 2016 Melbourne Cup odds of $51 with Ladbrokes Australia.