Trainer Anthony Freedman’s son Sam is overlooking the Brisbane Winter Racing campaign of the stable’s gun Japanese import Ambitious and is tipping the galloper to return to “world class” form in Saturday’s 2018 Doomben Cup.
The Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) steals the show on Saturday and the field is down to a dozen after the scratching of the Godolphin-raced It’s Somewhat (8) due to a virus.
It is a wide open affair in the latest Doomben Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au with three single figure hopefuls including Deep Impact six-year-old Ambitious at $4.50.
He trails on Mick Price’s last start A.D. Hollindale Stakes winning mare Oregon’s Day ($4) and has ace hoop Craig Williams aboard for his fourth Group 1 bid down under.
The entire debuted down under at Flemington on March 10 at ‘Super Saturday’ when ninth, only four lengths off the winner Harlem in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
He improved heading to Sydney next-up later in the month when second as a $21 chance behind Almandin in Rosehill’s Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) over the mile and a half.
Last time out Ambitious took on the world’s best mare Winx in Randwick’s Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) where ran a disappointing but forgivable eighth.
Freedman has warned punters not to write the horse off based on the Queen Elizabeth Stakes run and that the galloper, a winner of over $3.3 million in career prize money, was set for better things in Brisbane.
“He’d done everything right since he’s been in Queensland and I couldn’t be happier,” he told Racing Queensland.
“He’s got no vices, and intellectually, he’s a great horse to deal with.
“You have to forget his run in the Queen Elizabeth as he pulled three shoes.
“His action in the straight was very different to the Tancred because he lost both front shoes and one hind shoe.”
The feet issues that have so far seen Ambitious end up winless in Australia are now behind him according to Freedman who is full of pre-race confidence going into the Doomben Cup.
“He’s had a long preparation but he’s freshened up nicely for tomorrow,” he said.
“His form was world class before he came here and he’s showing the ability here that he could be getting back to that form.”
Ambitious has won five of his 19 career starts to date but hasn’t been first past the post since defeating subsequent Japan Cup champion and multiple Group 1 Japanese star Kitasan Black in a Group 2 over 2000m in April of 2016.
Freedman’s father Anthony is after a third Doomben Cup success.
He prepared Mawingo for a win in the wet back in 2012, his first success as a solo trainer, before success again in 2016 preparing Our Ivanhowe for an upset win at 15/1 in partnership with his brother Lee two years back.