The 2013 Caulfield Cup odds of Waldpark have shortened significantly this week and trainer Anthony Freedman is confident that the imported German stayer can produce his best run since arriving in Australia.
Waldpark made his Australian racing debut with an unlucky eighth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in September but failed to perform at his best in both the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield and the Benalla Gold Cup (2046m) a fortnight ago.
Freedman told RSN that he believes the Dubwai entire had plenty of excuses in the Benalla Gold Cup and has continued to improve throughout his preparation.
“I thought that the run was ok; he had 62kg and the track was probably a little firm for him and the race was won a long away out,” Freedman said.
“It made a lot of horses look below par but I thought that his run acceptable.
“I think that he has improved as the prep has gone on and he is set to run his best race this prep.
“Where that is I’m not quite sure but he is certainly ready for the race.”
Waldpark predominately raced between 2000 metres and 2400 metres in Germany and recorded an impressive victory in the Group 1 Deutsches Derby over 2412 metres in just his second career start.
Freedman said that the Waldpark will relish the step back-up to 2400 metres and feels that the five-year-old is close to returning to his top European form, which saw him finish within a neck of recently-retired equine superstar Novellist in the Group 2 Grosser Preis Der Badischen Unternehmer (2212m).
“He is a mile and a half horse, all his form is at 2200m and beyond, so he is getting to his trip now,” Freedman said.
“He has definitely reached his peak as far as fitness goes and he is probably on the ball.
“We have taken the blinkers off tomorrow, all his form in Germany was without blinkers, so we have gone back to that.
“His form was through a horse called Novellist who was going to start second or third favourite in the Arc last week and he ran him to a half-head.
“His form is there if we can get him back to that mark, which we are hoping we are getting closer to.”
The Freedman family has had plenty of success in the Caulfield Cup; with Anthony’s brother Lee winning the race with Mannerism (1992), Paris Lane (1994), Doriemus (1995) and Mummify (2003).
While Waldpark has received a great deal of support; Hawkspur remains the favourite in Caulfield Cup betting markets.