By Glenn Davis
Victorian trainer Anthony Freedman will be one of the first of the big interstate guns to launch their 2018 Queensland Winter Carnival campaigns at Doomben on Saturday.
Freedman has had great success in recent visits winning the Group 1 Doomben Cup with imported stayers Mawingo in 2012 and Our Ivanhowe in 2016.
Freedman trained Mawingo in his own right while he shared in Our Ivanhowe’s victory with elder brother, Lee.
The pair also teamed as co-trainers to win the Group 1 BTC Cup in 2016 with Malaguerra.
Freedman plans to have a team of 12 carnival runners based at Aquis Farm in the Gold Coast hinterland for the winter and hopes to kick off on a winning note at Doomben.
The Freedman team will have Japanese import A Shin Rook lining up in the Magic Millions National Sale Handicap (1350) followed by Mr Sneaky in the Listed Ascot Handicap (1200m) while Exocet and Bedford clash in the Listed Tails Stakes (1600m).
“We’ve got 10 up there at Aquis Farm and they are really appreciating the country environment,” said Freedman’s Racing Manager, Brad Taylor.
“There might be a couple more to come up for the Queensland Oaks as well as a two-year-old.”
Taylor said Mr Sneaky had thrived since his arrival but was disappointed with the four-year-old’s barrier 13.
“He’s coming along really well but he’s got the visitor’s draw on Saturday,” Taylor said.
“Hopefully we’ve got the bad draws out of the way for the rest of the carnival.
“He’s targeting three Group 1’s in the Doomben 10,000, Kingsford Smith and Stradbroke Handicap if all goes well.
“He’s coming off three runs in Melbourne during the autumn and will be competitive if there’s any sting out of the ground.”
Taylor said both Exocet and Bedford had settled in well and would also be competitive in their first Queensland runs.
“Exocet has been in work a long time and has been looking for soft conditions while Bedford had freshened up well since his fourth in a Listed race at Caulfield in late February.
“He’s had a break but is in very good form. He likes to get back in his races and not be amongst the others but he’ll go well if the track has the sting out of it.
“The original plans with him was the Doomben Cup but we’ll just see how he measures up.
“We’ve got no big plans just yet for the Japanese horse but with most imported stayers they tend to get better in their second and third preparations.”
A Shin Rook has had nine starts in Japan for a win and five placings and indicated a forward showing was likely following an impressive barrier trial at Eagle Farm last week.
Racing Queensland webnews April 19