Five times Melbourne Cup winning trainer Lee Freedman said that Exospheric has earned his chance to take on super star mare Winx in Saturday’s Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’.
Exospheric has been placed at his last two Autumn Carnival runs with a third to Humidor in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11 followed by a third in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 25.
Freedman, who trains in partnership with his brother Anthony, said that those efforts were enough to warrant Exospheric running in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes but admits it will be virtually impossible to beat Winx.
“Look, you are probably kidding yourself that you can beat Winx, but there’s only one way you definitely can’t and that is to not turn up,” Freedman told racing.com.
“He’s (Exospheric) a high-class horse. He’s been placed in Group 1s at his past two starts so he’s not out of place in that field.
“But she kind of stands over it like a monolith.”
As well as filling the minor placings twice during the Autumn Carnival, the English import finished third at his first run on Australian soil behind Jameka and Scottish in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“We’ve been delighted with the horse,” Freedman said.
“He ran a terrific race in the Australian Cup without luck and then he didn’t handle the ground really in The BMW.”
Kerrin McEvoy takes over from Damien Oliver on Exospheric who has drawn barrier two in the nine horse Queen Elizabeth Stakes field.
Exospheric is listed as a $34 chance for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au while Winx dominates the betting at $1.09.
The John O’Shea trained Hartnell is the closest to Winx in the market order at $11 ahead of Doncaster Mile runner up Happy Clapper at $19 and last start Ranvet Stakes third placegetter The United States at $21.