The open spaces of the Flemington racecourse will suit German import Our Ivanhowe as he strives to win his first race on Australian soil in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) on Saturday.
Our Ivanhowe has started twice at Flemington since entering the stables of Lee and Anthony Freedman for a second to Let’s Make Adeal in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) and then finished tenth to Prince Of Penzance in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the 2015m Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The six year old stallion has had one run back from a spell when an unlucky fifth to Bow Creek in the Group 2 $200,000 Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 27 and Lee Freedman said that going from the tight turning Caulfield track to Flemington would help his chances considerably.
“I really think that Flemington is more my horse’s track,” Lee Freedman told Racing Ahead.
Freedman said that he was happy with the first up effort of Our Ivanhowe and with a bit of luck in the straight would have finished on terms with Bow Creek.
“I think that Bow Creek is a very decent horse and won very well the other day,” Freedman said.
“But I didn’t see anything in my horse’s run that didn’t suggest that he could match it with him and if we got the gaps that he got, albeit that he missed the start, I think we would have been just as competitive as he was.”
“He lived up to our expectations during the week, we thought he would run very well.”
“It was his first start at weight for age in this country. He has definitely been a set weights and weight for age horse in Europe so he is starting to get into the races now that will really suit him like the Australian Cup and The BMW.”
Even though Ben Melham had trouble finding a clear run in the straight in the Peter Young Stakes after jumping from barrier one, Freedman said that drawing the rails again won’t be a concern.
“In those big races I don’t mind drawing barrier one,” Freedman said.
“Flemington is such a lovely track, it gives the rider a range of options, where sometimes one at Caulfield can be a bit difficult.”
“I would like to be getting a nice soft run than being out three or four deep from a bad gate.”
The John O’Shea trained Bow Creek has drawn the outside barrier in the ten horse Australian Cup field and Damien Oliver will be hoping the English import steps away cleanly this week after missing the start in the Peter Young Stakes.
The Flemington track is currently rated a Good 3 but Freedman would happily welcome the showers that are forecast for Melbourne over the next couple of days.
“I would like a bit more rain because some of his best form has been on rain affected tracks, but that’s in the hands of the Gods. I don’t know what it is going to do over the next two days,” Freedman said.
Our Ivanhowe is on the second line of betting at $5.50 for the Australian Cup with Bow Creek heading the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.10.
The Chris Waller trained Preferment is listed at $6 ahead of Suavito at $8 and Rising Romance at $8.50.
Australian Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.10 Bow Creek, $5.50 Our Ivanhowe, $6 Preferment, $8 Suavito, $8.50 Rising Romance, $11 Fenway, $19 Awesome Rock, $21 Happy Trails, Almoonqith, $41 Extra Zero.