Trainer Lee Freedman is keen to see Java settle off the pace when he tackles the 1000m for the first time in the Listed $120,000 City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on Saturday.
Java has been setting the pace at his two recent starts before fading to finish eighth behind Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the Listed $120,000 italktravel Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 14 followed by a sixth to Famous Seamus in the Group 3 $150,000 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown November 14.
Freedman, who trains in partnership with his brother Anthony, can see Java sitting just of the speed over the 1000m which will give him a chance to finish off his race better.
“I just think the tempo of an open Stakes 1000m at Sandown will suit the horse, getting back just off the speed,” Freedman told Racing Ahead.
“Cause he has been on the speed all Spring, only in three starts, but I think he is better ridden off the speed and it gives me an opportunity to try that out over a 1000m.”
Freedman had also entered Java for the Listed $100,000 Quayclean Stakes over 1200m at Morphettville on Saturday but decided to stay in Melbourne and test him over the shorter course.
“There was a Listed race in Adelaide I looked with him over 1200m,” Freedman said.
“Then I entered him for the Doveton (City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes). I thought it was a handy field without being top notch.”
“But I never really run him over a 1000m. He won his Maiden at 1100m.”
Ben Melham has been aboard Java for three of his four Spring Carnival runs and has the reins again this week replacing Dwayne Dunn who was in the saddle in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes.
Java raced his way up through the classes during the Summer of 2014 and into 2015 with four wins on the trot.
The Medaglia D’Oro gelding broke his maiden status in a 1100m Kilmore Maiden on December 2 last year and then went on to win a 1200m BenchMark 64 Handicap at Mornington.
A winning double at Sandown followed with success in another BenchMark 64 Handicap over 1400m before he claimed his first black type race in beating Petrology in the Group 3 $150,000 Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on January 26.
Java has been installed as a $13 chance at Ladbrokes.com.au for the City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes after drawing awkwardly at barrier fourteen in the fifteen horse field.
The Mark Kavanagh trained Wild Rain heads the market order at $4.60 just ahead of Darren Weir’s Tuscan Sling at $4.80 and Robert Smerdon’s Reldas at $5.50.
City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Wild Rain, $4.80 Tuscan Sling, $5.50 Reldas, $9 Diamond Oasis, $12 Danger Close, Beau Rada, $13 Crane, Office Bearer, Java, $14 Tried And Tired, $26 Vatican, $34 Pago Rock, $41 Pretty Possum, $51 Down The Hatch, $81 Audino.
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