Freedman Giving Rising Stayer Chance To Make His Mark

It’s a Benchmark 78 that has produced an Australian Derby winner and runner-up in its past two runnings and trainer Michael Freedman hopes that’s the path Wymark can follow by fronting up and performing well at Rosehill on Saturday.

Trainer Michael Freedman (Pic: Bradley Photos).

The emerging three-year-old is only a month out of maiden company but it was his near 10 length win at Newcastle two weeks ago that has put him in the spotlight for a tougher assignment in the Quayclean Handicap (1900m).

That race a year ago saw Major Beel run fourth, then second in the Tulloch before taking the Group 1 at Randwick. A year earlier Benaud ran fifth in the Benchmark race,then fourth in the Tulloch and just went down in the Derby.

“It might be by coincidence but it’s not been a bad form guide,’’ Freedman said.

“My feeling would be to see how he measures up on Saturday and then if he was to run well we could have a look at a race like the Tulloch.”

Wymark, $2.80 with TAB on Thursday, kicked off his career with a placing behind Militarize at Canterbury and was showing Freedman a heap of potential.

He missed the spring when he became a bit too difficult to handle and the decision was made to geld him and start again, and so far it’s proved to be the making of him.

“When he came back for the spring he was a bit too colty and lost his way a bit so we gelded him and brought him back for this prep,’’ he said.

“He was a bit unlucky not to win first-up at Hawkesbury then he went up to the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions maiden and drew 17 of 17 and flashed home to run fourth.

“He seems to be regaining some of that early form and enjoying stepping up in trip.”

After an unlucky second at Newcastle in early February he knocked over the maiden at 1600m then ran away with a Class 1 on March 2.

Freedman frankly says it wasn’t the strongest race but there were other things that tell him the penny is starting to drop and he’s earned the chance to realise his early promise.

“I think it was very moderate opposition but he did it well and ran decent time,’’ he said.

“He’s not a horse in my mind that has sprung from nowhere because he was showing nice ability as a younger horse.”

Freedman sends Bunker Hut in the $150,000 Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships Qualifier (1200m) at Gosford on Saturday convinced he’s ready to run well but concerned about how the race might pan out for him.

The four-year-old won at Warwick Farm in June and Rosehill in September and has trialled against the likes of Ozzmosis, Platinum Jubilee and recent qualifier winner Short Shorts.

“I thought his trial the other day in a very strong heat was a good trial,’’ he said.

“I don’t know that Gosford is necessarily the ideal circuit for him being a bit of a tight track.

“I figured it was a nice race to kick him off in and if he puts it all together he might front up in the main race.”

Meanwhile, Manaal is set to be ridden by Jason Collett in next week’s $5 million TAB Golden Slipper after Tommy Berry elected to partner Espionage.

Freedman said the filly is in good shape since her impressive Sweet Embrace win two weeks ago.

“She’s ticking over nicely, Jason came and had a sit on her on Tuesday and was really happy with her,’’ he said.

– Racing NSW

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