Melbourne Cup hopeful Fruehling is set to make a low key Spring return when he resumes in the Ahern’s At Highways After The Last 0-89 Handicap (1400m) at Sportingbet Park Sandown Hillside tomorrow.
The Anthony Freedman trained import is nominated for both the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 and the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 and will have to race well against moderate opposition be considered a chance in the major Spring Cups.
Regular rider Daniel Moor is one who thinks Fruehling will win first up and go on and improve into the Spring.
“I think he can win,” Moor said.
“His second trial was really pleasing. His first trial, they went steady and left him a bit flat-footed. I pushed him along because we needed him to be fairly advanced going into his first-up run.”
“In his second trial, he actually cruised through it and was the old Fruehling that we knew.”
Fruehling was sent to Queensland for the Winter and even though the five year old didn’t contest any of the major races, he managed to score an easy win at the Sunshine Coast against some fairly good opposition.
Moor said that Fruehling had matured as a racehorse since racing in Australia and the trip to Queensland had helped immensely with the entire’s manners.
“He looks to be a little bit more mature. That preparation, especially going to Queensland, has really held him in good stead,” Moor said.
“If anything, he is a bit more settled. He would sweat up behind the gates and get quite agitated. He is such a big strong horse and to be cooped up in the barriers, he can get agitated.”
“He seems to be really relaxed now. The team have done a really good job with him to settle him down.”
“His work has been really good leading up to this. We were going to go to a mile first-up but we felt that he could be really competitive over 1400 and that would give him a good grounding.”
Freedman had also nominated Fruehling for the Listed $80,000 The Advertiser Newspapers Balaklava Cup (1600m) at Balaklava tomorrow but was concerned the big striding galloper wouldn’t be suited by the tight South Australian track and elected to run on the spacious Sandown circuit.
Fruehling is the early $3.50 favourite for his resumption at Sandown with Peter Moody’s Vatuvei, who is also on a Cups’ trail, at $6.50.
Vatuvei showed good staying potential with a win in the 2800m Listed $150,000 VRC St Leger at Flemington on April 25.
And performed well in Queensland with a second to stablemate Brambles in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben on May 26 and fifth behind Brambles again in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.
Both stayers are certain to race well fresh but will definitely improve as the distances get longer as they progress into the Spring.