Moonee Valley A Concern For Ragnaar In Stutt Stakes

Ragnaar will take his place in the 2015 Stutt Stakes, but co-trainer Lee Freedman admits that he is unsure whether the promising gelding will be suited by the tight-turning Moonee Valley track.

Ben Melham has been booked to ride Ragnaar in the 2015 Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Ben Melham has been booked to ride Ragnaar in the 2015 Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Ragnaar was transferred to Team Freedman after he finished third in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie on May 23 and he made his debut for his new stable with a win in the Lois Ballantyne Memorial Maiden (1400m) at Bendigo on September 17.

Freedman told Racing Ahead that he was not getting carried away by Ragnaar’s Australian debut win, but he said that there was no reason not to run the three-year-old in what looks like a very weak edition of the 2015 Stutt Stakes.

“It probably wasn’t any better than three or four maidens that I have seen since,” Freedman said.

“I don’t know if the Valley is his track, but I wanted to run him over 1600 this weekend.

“It was the choice between what is basically a benchmark 68 at set weights for $200,000 or go to Caulfield with the rail out 37 and a half metres and take on the older horses.

“I think a couple of the other trainers were thinking the same thing and it wasn’t a very hard decision.

“I can’t fault him and I’ve stared to work him longer and he is a very relaxed horse that enjoys his work.

“I am perfectly happy with him.”

Ragnaar was settled just behind the speed when he recorded his maiden race win at Bendigo, but Freedman does not believe that is the ideal racing pattern for the son of Roc De Cambes.

Freedman said that he does not know how jockey Ben Melham plans to ride Ragnaar in the Stutt Stakes, but he is hopeful that the gelding will be able to find clear running in the final stages of the race.

“It will be different to running in maiden grade and it will be a different type of race,” Freedman said.

“I want the horse to learn to race properly and we probably used him a little bit more in his maiden to get that out of the road.

“I think he will be midfield or just forward of midfield and with space to move from the 600 on would be the perfect scenario.”

Ragnaar is currently available at 2015 Stutt Stakes odds of $4.60 with Ladbrokes and he is on the second line of betting behind Sovereign Nation ($4.40).

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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