Anthony Freedman may be looking to take the stable in a new direction after taking over from his brother Lee but it’s a bit of old blood that he’ll be relying on this weekend.
Black Piranha is a former Group 1 champion and at eight years of age he continues to run consistently every start at black type level.
His career record may only show eight victories and 17 placings from 60 career starts but for owners he’s been a regular money winner.
His last few starts highlight this perfectly as he was fourth in the George Main Stakes, fourth in the Chelmsford Stakes, fourth in the Warwick Stakes and then fifth in the Ramornie Handicap.
It’s Freedman’s job though to just extract that little bit extra from the veteran and hopefully claim that ninth win this weekend in the Salinger Stakes at Flemington.
“He’s only been here about a month but he’s enjoying the change, he’s a lovely old horse,” Freedman said.
“We’re still getting to know him but we’re happy to go there Saturday and just see how he runs.”
Black Piranha is the clear top weight with 58kgs but when you have in excess of $2.5 million to your name it tends to be expected.
“With his rating he’s always going to be near the top of the weights,” Freedman said.
It’s very much going to be a feeling out process for both horse and trainer and Freedman suggests he may not be quite at his peak this weekend.
“We’ll see how we go, I think he’s probably wanting further than Saturday, I’ll be happy just to see him run on in the race,” he said.
The strategy of taking in tried horses isn’t a new one for the Freedman stable so they know how to go about getting him right.
“We’ve had a lot of success with those sorts of horses,” he said.
“It can have a very positive effect, he seems to enjoy it, he goes out in the paddock every day.”
If Black Piranha can perform well he may earn himself a shot across the country over the summer.
“We’ll use this race as a guide as to whether we go over to Perth,” Freedman said.
His other major starter this weekend is Masthead who runs in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Even in the early stages of his career he’s looking like a horse that very much fits the same mould as Black Piranha.
“He’s only won one from eight but I don’t think he’s ever run a bad race,” Freedman said.
“I’m sure he’ll run well on Saturday, whether he wins or not I don’t know.”
The obvious danger is of course Sepoy but like many Freedman spots a chink in his armour when he hits the Flemington straight.
“I think purely his class gets him through, it’s certainly not his preferred track.”