Promising gelding Java is set to receive a maiden opportunity at Group 1 level in the 2015 Australian Guineas after he recorded his fourth straight win in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown yesterday.
Java was pressed forward by jockey Damien Oliver in the early stages of the Manfred Stakes and he was settled on the outside of pre-race favourite Fast Cash.
Fast Cash kicked away from Java coming into the straight, but the Medaglia D’Oro colt responded well when asked for an extra effort to finish over the top of his rival and record his maiden win at Group level.
Co-trainer Anthony Freedman has been thrilled with the form of Java since he started his summer campaign with a win at Kilmore in December and he told the media after the race that the three-year-old had done enough to earn a tilt at the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7.
“As you know, horses that win keep winning and he’s gone up a level each time,” Freedman said.
“He’s been strong in everything he’ done. “It doesn’t matter for a horse like this how tough it gets because he will keep giving you everything he’s got.
“He can race anywhere.
The (Australian) Guineas entries close tomorrow and we’ll throw in an entry and see if he gets a mile and see if he can be competitive.”
Java made his racing debut as a two-year-old with a fourth place finish at Geelong on June 13 in the Impact Chapman Welsh Plate (1100m) and he was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished at the tail of the field in the Cranbourne Holden Plate (1200m) on July 3.
The three-year-old returned to racing with a two and a half lengths win in a maiden at Kilmore on December 2 and he proved that was no fluke when he took out The Point On Nepean Rest Handicap (1200m) at Mornington on December 17 by the same margin.
Java recorded his maiden metropolitan victory when he beat the likes of Pure Addiction and Hong Kong Captain in the Heading Out Hair And Beauty Handicap (1400m) at Sandown on January 7 before he made the transition to Group level in the Manfred Stakes.
The Freedman stable are chasing their fourth win in the Australian Guineas after previously winning the race with Mahogany (1994), Flying Spur (1996) and Mr. Murphy (2001).