Michael Freedman is happy to talk up multiple Group 1 winning mare Forbidden Love as a potential TAB Everest horse and you’d be hard pressed to argue if she can wrap up a stellar autumn in Saturday’s Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
So far this preparation she’s proven herself at weight-for-age, at Group 1 level up to 1500m and on all surfaces and that’s something few prospective Everest runners can boast.
The All Aged won’t be a gift for the four-year-old, though, after she drew near the outside but she’ll be back in her comfort zone after her gutsy fourth in the Doncaster Mile two weeks ago.
“She’s had three goes at the mile now and she’s just come up that tad short,’’ Freedman said.
“She was very unlucky in the Expressway first-up over 1200m, she won the Canterbury over 1300m she’s won the Surround over 1400m (at three) and the George Ryder over 1500m.
“Her sweet spot is somewhere in between.”
Forbidden Love was one of three $4.80 favourites in the All Aged on Wednesday, with Hugh Bowman back in the saddle, and that’d largely be due to the number 16 barrier next to her name.
She’s a $26 chance in the TAB Everest market but Freedman believes she’s being under rated.
So far only Masked Crusader has been locked in for the 2022 TAB Everest, though he didn’t fire this autumn and drifted to $15, while there’s been talk around impressive Arrowfield Sprint winner Mazu as a potential contender in a year that could see a changing of the guard.
“A couple of the best of our sprinters aren’t getting any younger and I don’t know what’s coming through of the current crop of three-year-olds,’’ he said.
“And I don’t know what may come through out of the two-year-olds.
“It’s a long way off but, I think if they’re talking other horses that have been winning set weights against their own age group, she’s been winning over those sprint distances at weight-for-age so why wouldn’t she be in consideration for a race like that.
“I’m throwing her name out there because I think it’s worth it.
“If the cards fall the right way and she comes back in as good form, if we ended up with a wet spring, I think her credentials would match up with some of the others.”
Freedman said the mare has pulled up well from the Doncaster run and given she’s so deep into her preparation hasn’t asked a lot of her since that race.
“She had a steady week after the Doncaster, she didn’t do much at all and she hasn’t done a great deal this week either,’’ he said.
“It’s her sixth run for the prep, I don’t think fitness is something she’d be lacking.”
The Randwick trainer elected not to accept with American mare Alnaseem and she’s likely to appear in a barrier trial next week as Freedman waits for some firmer footing.
The six-year-old has been purchased to be served by last year’s Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside in the spring but Freedman said it’s worth seeing if she still wants to race in the meantime.
“We thought we’d give her a preparation and see how she measures up or if she’s decided she’s ready to become a mother,’’ he said.
“But I’d like to see her on a dry turf track.”
– Racing NSW