Promising sprinter Malaguerra is on trial for a start in the Stradboke Handicap when he lines up in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Co-trainer Lee Freedman is willing to forget Malaguerra’s last start failure in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 16 when sixth to English and is still keen to head to the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Freedman has always held a high opinion of Malaguerra as he worked his way up through the grades with four wins from his last five starts.
But the Magnus four year old blotted his copy book last start when sixth in the All Aged Stakes after jockey Blake Shinn relinquished the lead at the 1000m and was then unable to challenge the placegetters in the straight.
Malaguerra is among the nominations for the BTC Cup and Freedman is looking forward to a good performance from the four year old before aiming for the flagship race of the Brisbane Winter Carnival in a month.
“I’ll run Malaguerra but I’ll make my mind up about the Stradbroke after that,” Lee Freedman told AAP.
These days Freedman trains in partnership with brother Anthony, but twenty years ago Lee Freedman was the leader of the FBI when the Freedman Brothers Incorporated dominated racing in Australia.
And among their many Group 1 victories was the win of Danasinga in the 1996 Stradbroke Handicap and Freedman is looking to collect the winning trophy again twenty years later.
“Danasinga was 16-1 when he won the Stradbroke and the party was good, I can’t really remember much about it,” Freedman said.
“It would certainly be good to win another Stradbroke.’’
Freedman said that he had set a long range plan for the Stradbroke Handicap when Malaguerra win a $100,000 1400m Open Handicap at Flemington on the last day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival last year.
“I always thought Malaguerra was a good horse and his win in Melbourne Cup week last year confirmed that to me. It was then that I started thinking about him as a Stradbroke horse,’’ Freedman said.
Malaguerra was then spelled and returning to the racetrack in the Autumn with a win in the Listed $120,000 ATA/Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on March 5 and was in the winner’s stall again at his next race start when he won the Group 3 $150,000 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 26.
Malaguerra is on the third line of betting for the BTC Cup at $6 with Ladbrokes .com.au while in Stradbroke Handicap markets he is the second pick at $6 behind the Ciaron Maher trained Azkadellia at $4.80.
BTC Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Fell Swoop, $5 Japonisme, $6 Malaguerra, $7 Counterattack, Ghisoni, $9 Artlee, Music Magnate, $13 Delectation, $19 Charlie Boy, $21 Dothraki, Spill The Beans, Target In Sight, $34 Sacred Star, $41 Echo Gal, Stratum Star, $51 Stellar Collision, Two Blue, $67 Spieth, $101 Liberation.