Trainer Lee Freedman is thrilled with the condition of Our Ivanhowe, ahead of the Group 1 winner’s competitive return in Saturday’s 2016 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Our Ivanhowe returned to racing in autumn with a strong performance for fifth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), before again finishing fifth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) a fortnight later.
Having returned to the paddock for a brief freshen-up after failing to beat a runner home in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) on March 26th, the Solider Hollow entire was rated little chance of success in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 21st but mustered an impressive turn of foot in the final straight to post his first win at the highest level in Australia.
Freedman told Racing Ahead that Our Ivanhowe has thrived in his time away from the track and is confident he will lay a great account himself in the 2016 Makybe Diva Stakes on Saturday.
“He’s in great order, he’s had a great winter,” Freedman said.
“He did a bit of racing in Brisbane in winter, had a run up there and won the Doomben Cup so we’re looking enthusiastically at him coming back to the track tomorrow.
“To be fair to the horse, I’d say other than the first run I gave him in Australia, I don’t think he’s run at 1600m other than that. He would never have done it in Germany and I certainly haven’t run him in a 1600m since.
“I think if we get no more rain and the track is as firm as it is now, he’ll run a really top race. If the track gets wet then he’s a winning chance.”
Our Ivanhowe began his racing career in his native Germany and was a standout performer; posting wins in each of the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden (2400m) and Group 1 Pastorius (2400m) most notably.
Debuting in Australia for seventh in the 2015 edition of the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m), Our Ivanhowe clearly required a run when resuming in spring for ninth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) before finishing second in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) and third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m); returning to the paddock after a luckless run for tenth in the Melbourne Cup.
Ladbrokes Australia is currently offering Our Ivanhowe at 2016 Makybe Diva Stakes odds of $11.