Co-trainer Lee Freedman has revealed that Our Ivanhowe will likely be removed from the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes field and will not return to the races this weekend.
Our Ivanhowe was included in the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes field that was released yesterday, but Freedman told Racing Ahead that he was forced into that decision due to the abandonment of the Cranbourne trials and he is now keen to give the imported stayer a barrier trial tomorrow rather than a run in the Group 1 event at Flemington.
“My hand was forced a bit yesterday with the trials being postponed,” Freedman said.
“We weren’t sure if they had been postponed or cancelled at Cranbourne and we very much needed that trial to fit him up for the following week.
“I had to take the measure of accepting with him, but as long as those trials proceed tomorrow I will probably scratch him and trial him and gallop as was my original plan.”
Freedman originally planned to run Our Ivanhowe first-up in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield next weekend and he believes that the handicap event that offers the winner ballot-exempt entry into the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) is the perfect race for the five-year-old.
Our Ivanhowe failed to fire when he made his Australian racing debut with a seventh place finish in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 16, but Freedman now believes he knows how to make the five-year-old tick.
“I am because it fits nicely in terms of time and the speed of a 2000 metres race particularly under quality handicap conditions will really suit him, rather than a weight-for-age contest against some of the best horses in the land that is over a trip that is totally unsuitable to him,” Freedman said.
“In the last two or three weeks we have made quite a few changes with him and I think I was on the wrong track with the type of work that I was giving him.
“We have lengthened that right out now and he seems to be really enjoying it.”
Our Ivanhowe is currently available at 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes odds of $31 with Ladbrokes, while Boban ($4.40) remains a clear favourite from early market mover Fawkner ($6), Tony McEvoy-trained Alpine Eagle ($7), Chris Waller-trained Weary ($10), Rosehill Guineas winner Volkstok’n’barrell ($11), Peter Moody-trained Hi World ($11) and Caulfield Cup runner-up Rising Romance ($11).