Co-trainer Lee Freedman is confident that Our Ivanhowe has completely recovered from a minor hoof injury and will be fully fit to contest the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The German import developed the problem in the lead up to the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 26 and after treating the injury, he was passed fit to take his place in the field.
But a firm surface didn’t help Our Ivanhowe’s plight and the six year old failed to beat a runner home in The BMW when tenth to the Chris Waller trained Preferment.
Racing New South Wales club’s vet reported after The BMW that Our Ivanhowe was showing signs of lameness in the off foreleg and displaying a poor post-race recovery and Freedman’s initial thoughts wwere to send him to the spelling paddock.
Freedman, who traiins in partnership with his brother Anthony, then took Our Ivanhowe back to his Flemington base where he responded quickly to treatment on the sore hoof and a decision was made to return to Sydney for the second day of ‘The Championships’.
“We took him home because we wanted out team to be looking after him,” Freedman told racing.com.
“Basically it was just his foot got a bit angry from that hard ground here. It’s good now and we got shoes back on him yesterday and he will gallop down there tomorrow (Wednesday) and come up probably Wednesday or Thursday night.”
Freedman admits that the Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be a tough encounter but is hoping the Randwick track, which is currently rated a heavy 8, will remain rain affected on Saturday and help the imports chances.
“It is a tough race. We get so few heavy tracks and he has never struck one since he has been here,” Freedman said.
“He is really adept in heavy ground so we have to have a crack, the horse is fit and well.”
Our Ivanhowe will race in glue on shoes this week and will have to undergo a final inspection from the club’s vet before being passed fit to run in the $4m weight for age Autumn Carnival feature.
Before Our Ivanhowe developed his hoof problems, Freedman had selected the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) this Saturday as his main Autumn Carnival goal but had to switch to the shorter Queen Elizabeth Stakes with his interrupted preparation.
“More the Sydney Cup but since the little set back and the poor run it becomes obvious you run I the shorter race,” Freedman said.
Our Ivanhowe has failed to win a race from eight starts in Australia since arriving from Europe but was placed on two occasions during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
An eye catching second to Let’s Make Adeal in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 4 preceded a third to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield two weeks later.
Our Ivanhowe, marked at $18 with Ladbrokes.com.au, has drawn nicely at barrier four and will be ridden by Hong Kong based jockey Brett Prebble replacing Kerrin McEvoy who will be aboard the favourite The United States.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 The United States, $5 Preferment, $6.50 Criterion, $7 Hauraki, $7.50 Lucia Valentina, $12 Happy Clapper, $17 It’s Somewhat, $18 Our Ivanhowe, $21 Rising Romance, $26 Mongolian Khan, Dibayani, $51 Happy Trails, Fenway, Awesome Rock, $101 Leebaz, $126 Weary.