Trainer Lee Freedman has revealed he is considering setting Group 1 winner Our Ivanhowe on a short spring campaign in the lead-up to his major target; the 2016 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15th.
Our Ivanhowe returned to racing this year for fifth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on February 27th; progressing to a credible performance for fifth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) a fortnight later.
While failing to make anything of an impact nor beat a single runner home in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) on March 26th, the Soldier Hollow entire took plenty of benefit from a freshen-up when returning for a maiden win at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 21st.
Freedman has been thrilled with the benefit taken by Our Ivanhowe through his time away from racing, and told Racing Victoria he is eyeing a spring return for the rising seven-year-old in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on September 24th.
“He had three weeks off after the Doomben Cup, he has really thrived, those older imports love being in work, so we just gave him three weeks off, boxed him at night and he is back trotting and cantering now,” Freedman said.
“We are looking forward to the spring with him and hopefully we get some soft tracks with him.
“I’m leaning towards the Underwood, he is not a horse that needs a lot of racing to take him in to the Caulfield Cup, it would probably be just that and Turnbull Stakes and then in to the Caulfield Cup.”
Our Ivanhowe was a standout performer in his native Germany, through Europe and beyond prior to his arrival in Australia; posting wins in each of the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden (2413m) and Group 1 Pastorius (2414m) in 2014 most notably.
Arriving in Australia for seventh in last year’s edition of the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m), Our Ivanhowe returned in spring for ninth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) but responded well for second in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m).
Producing a typically gutsy effort to finish third in the Caulfield Cup, Our Ivanhowe was unlucky to be hampered in running in the final straight of the Melbourne Cup (3200m), and faded for tenth.
Ladbrokes Australia are currently offering Our Ivanhowe at 2016 Caulfield Cup odds of $21 in early betting markets.