Our Ivanhowe will have just his second race start in the 2015 Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield tomorrow and co-trainer Lee Freedman is very happy with the imported stayer ahead of the Group 3 event.
Our Ivanhowe was purchased by connections associated with the Freedman Stable after he finished a credible sixth behind Epiphaneia in the Group 1 Japan Cup (2400m) at the end of last year and he made his Australian racing debut with a seventh place finish in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 16.
Freedman said that he was happy with the Australian debut of Our Ivanhowe, but he believes that the Soldier Hollow entire is in much better condition ahead of the Naturalism Stakes and he told Racing Ahead that he would not be surprised if Our Ivanhowe won the Group 3 race.
“These horses are not easy to get a total grasp on because they are coming from different hemispheres to race on different ground and under different pace scenarios,” Freedman said.
“We gave him a break and we brought him back.
“I think the horse is far better this time around which is often the case with these imported horses.
“He is accustomed to our diet here and he is accustomed to the work that we are giving him now.
“It is a difficult thing to get a horse ready for a mile and a quarter because you don’t have the benefits of uphill gallops and you have to use your multiple trials.
“I am happy with where he is at and his weight is around where he raced at in Germany.
“His coat is great, his wind is good and it is a matter of going to the races tomorrow and seeing how well he runs and I expect him to run well.”
Our Ivanhowe was allocated barrier 14 when the 2015 Naturalism Stakes field was released earlier in the week, but Freedman said that he is not concerned by the outside draw.
Freedman does not expect jockey Ben Melham to press forward on Our Ivanhowe in the Naturalism Stakes, but he is hopeful that the imported stayer can show the same turn-of-foot he produced when he won races like the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Baden (2413m) and Group 1 Grosser Preis von Bayern (2414m) in Germany.
“I don’t see that as a disadvantage and that gives us option as to where we want to go to in the run,” Freedman said.
“He won’t race right on the speed because I don’t see that as a winning formula for the horse first-up for a time, but I want to see the horse show that brand of acceleration that he has shown in Germany.
“I wouldn’t want to run him on firm ground every day of the week, but I am not unhappy about going to firmish ground tomorrow.”
Our Ivanhowe is currently available at 2015 Naturalism Stakes odds of $8.50 with Ladbrokes and he is on the fifth line of betting behind The United States ($4.20), Magnapal ($6), Kapour ($7) and Bold Sniper ($8).