Champion trainer Lee Freedman rates new stable acquisition Ragnaar a top prospect for the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 31.
Freedman has already won three Victoria Derbys with the mighty Mahogany (1993), Portland Player (1996) and Benicio (2005) and says that Ragnaar has the right credentials and make up to collect his fourth.
“This is a horse who’s got the pedigree – he’s equipped to do the trip and he’s had the perfect little light two-year-old preparation,” Freedman told Racing.com’s Racing Ahead on RSN.
“He’s doing so well in the stable, I’d be surprised if we don’t get a long way down the track with him.”
Ragnaar began his career as a two racing old under the care of New Zealand trainer Nigel Tiley and was placed twice from two race starts, including a third in the Listed NZ$50,000 Great Northern Foal Stakes (1400m) at Ellersilie on May 23.
Freedman, who trains in partnership with his brother Anthony at Flemington, said that the Roc De Cambes gelding had settled in well to his new surroundings and is ready to barrier trial next week before he heads to the races.
“Has staying potential, looks a very set horse, settled straight into the stable here,” Freedman said.
“He trials next Friday and will probably go to a maiden about a week, 10 days after that.”
Ragnaar’s light two year old preparation fits into Freedman’s Victoria Derby strategy for an early three year old with staying potential.
“He’s perfectly placed because he’s had the two runs as a two-year-old – which is one of my formulas – don’t have too many runs as a two-year-old,” Freedman said.
“In a perfect world, we’re going to go 1400m straight to a mile in town and then probably to the (Caulfield Classic) or through another avenue to the (Moonee Valley) Vase and the Derby.”
Ragnaar is among the nominations for the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10 and the Group 3 $500,000 Caulfield Classic (2000m) at Caulfield the following week.