Co-trainer Lee Freedman is expecting a forward performance from French import Sarrasin when he makes his Australian debut in the Group 2 $250,000 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Sarrasin is also nominated for the 1600m Open Handicap at Flemington on Saturday but the prospect of a rain affected track in Sydney is influencing Freedman to travel interstate to Sydney for his first outing in the Southern Hemisphere.
“It appears as though we’re going to get some give in the track up there, which would be nice for his first start in this country,” Freedman, who trains in partnership with his brother Anthony, told racing.com.
“He’s been here for 12 months now and hasn’t raced for 18 months so we’d like to get a run into him.
“The Villiers is a tough race and it’s hard to say that he can be a winning chance in it but I’d be delighted if he could run well and then we could give him a little let up for the autumn.”
Freedman expects Sarrasin to develop into a handy middle distance horse or further but wouldn’t be surprised if he did race well fresh over the shorter distances and reminds him a lot of his German import Lucas Cranach who the Freedman Brothers prepared to run third behind Dunaden and Red Cadeaux in the 2011 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
“Being a Monsun he’s going to obviously get out over a further distance than 1600 but fresh he should run a nice race,” Freedman said.
“He’s very much in the mould of a Lucas Cranach, he’s very athletic and light on his feet and not your typical dour Monsun and I think with a run under his belt it will bring him on nicely for the autumn.”
Sarrasin has been marked at $15 for the Villiers Stakes in early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Fabrizio as the clear cut favourite at $2.80.
Victorian galloper Hazzabeel is on the second line of betting at $8.50 just ahead the Queenslander Cylinder Beach at $10 and Chris Waller’s Amovatio and the Lindsay Park trained Dibayani at $11.
Early market order for Villiers Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.80 Fabrizio, $8.50 Hazzabeel, $10 Cylinder Beach, $11 Amovatio, Dibayani, $14 High Midnight, $15 Sarrasin, Pajaro, Loyalty Man, Duca Valentinois, Hopfgarten, Moher, $19 Red Excitement, Big Memory, $21 Rudy, $26 Kenjorwood, $31 Man Of His Word, Malice, $41 Sense Of Occasion, $51 Centre Pivot, Berry Delicious, $101 Reiby The Red, $126 Foreign Prince.