Trainer Michael Freedman might be flicking through the calendar in search of an achievable spring target for in-form sprinter Insurrection if he can complete a hat-trick at Randwick on Saturday.
And it’s a sense of déjà vu for the three-year-old when he lines up in the Kanebridge Handicap (1100m) – he’ll have to overcome a wide gate for the third start in succession over that course.
But Freedman said while “the poor little fellow” struggles to draw well he sees no reason why he won’t handle a class rise and continue on his winning way.
“It’s always difficult to continue to step up in grade but he seems to me he’s coping with it well and hopefully he can run another great race on Saturday,” he said.
“He seems to be in good order and holding good form and he’s at the track and distance he’s won his last two.
“If he was able to come out and run well or win again you’d have to start looking at the higher class sprints.
“I would doubt he’d back up into a Missile but you’d have to look around for some sort of black type. We could look to give him a bit of a freshen up and have another crack at them later in the spring.”
Insurrection, $2.20 with TAB on Thursday, would snatch the BOBS Horse Of The Year title from the Bjorn Baker trained Iowna Merc if he is successful on Saturday, with the $22,500 bonus for winning enough to get him over the line.
Freedman said the gelding has shown his strength in his past two wins, the latest three weeks ago where he sat outside Brudenell and surged away late, and will appreciate getting down to 57.5kg with Zac Lloyd’s claim.
“Both times he’s had to do it at both ends partially due to the fact he’s drawn wide,’’ he said.
“He has good gate speed and can take up a position and that can help offset a wide draw. If you have a horse that needs to be midfield with cover it can be a bit problematic.
“But he seems to be able to sustain that pressure and kick off it. He’s a horse that’s always shown good promise but I think it’s taken a bit of time to fully mature into himself and he’s putting it all together at the moment.”
The spring will become clearer for some of Freedman’s stable stars after Friday’s Randwick trials where Group 1 winner Communist and stakes winning mare Queen Of The Ball step out in a 900m course proper heat.
Randwick Guineas winner Communist could tackle the Group 1 $1 million Winx Stakes (1400m) on August 19 if he trials to Freedman’s liking.
“I want to see how he trials and comes back and then assess it from there,’’ he said.
“But that’s the race I’ve got in mind if he looks like he’s come up well enough.”
Queen Of The Ball will likely trial again at Rosehill on August 11 with the Group 3 Toy Show (1100m) on Winx Stakes Day her kick off point, weather permitting.
The rising four-year-old had her autumn cut short after two starts in Melbourne so Freedman will be closely watching her hitouts.
“She’s been off the scene for a little while, she had an interrupted autumn with some cosmetic surgery to tidy up something and she seems to be in good order,’’ he said.
“We need to dodge wet tracks with her so we’ll pick and choose where we run her.”
– Racing NSW