Running on for a credible third in the featured Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington most recently on November 1st, Hall-Of-Fame co-trainer Lee Freedman is excited by the prospect of top-level success for classy three-year-old Nozomi over the 2015 Autumn Racing Carnival, and has underlined the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on Day 1 of The Championships as an ideal target upon his competitive resumption.
Securing a commendable record of two race wins and as many minor places over his short eight race career so far, Nozomi jumped from the gates well in the Victoria Derby; settling mid-pack and receiving an ideal run in transit before displaying a keen turn of foot to finish just over a length off the pace of winner Preferment and half a length from second-placed Bondeiger.
Yet to competitively saddle the three-year-old having joined brother Anthony in a training partnership following Nozomi’s Victoria Derby third, Freedman told Racing Ahead he views the son of Street Cry as a similar runner to 2003 South Australian Derby and Caulfield Cup champion Mummify and is excited by his 2015 racing return.
“He’s built in the mould of a really good stayer, he’s a very strong horse,” Freedman said.
“He needs to take the next step but he reminds me of a horse like Mummify, not in type but of a horse that keeps improving with each start that can run a very solid 2400m.
“Of the horses we’ve got, he’s certainly the one that will be the most interesting to see his progress during the autumn.”
While identifying the Australian Derby as an ideal target, Freedman confirmed the team is yet to settle on a path for the talented three-year-old, with both the South Australian Derby (2500m) and Listed VRC St. Leger (2800m) also possible targets.
“It depends on how strong the Sydney Derby is looking because there are so many options during the autumn there’s the St Leger, there’s the South Australian Derby,” Freedman said.
“Last preparation when Anthony won the Geelong Classic (2200m) with him we kind of undersold that win and then we saw how good that form was in the Derby.
“To be ready for a race like the ATC Derby the horse will probably have to run by early February.”
Running fourth in a minor over 1107m on debut in April and returning to the paddock following an eighth place finish in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes, Nozomi steadily built to the task upon resuming in spring’ placing sixth in the Grand Hotel Frankston 3.y.o (1200m) first-up and securing back-to-back victories in the Sportsbet Fixed Odds Maiden (1875m) and Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) prior to his Victoria Derby third.
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