Freedmans eyeing free pass into All-Star Mile
RINGERDINGDING is primed to strike in Saturday's Group 1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield, in the hope of snaring the first of two golden tickets into the $5m All-Star Mile next month.
With qualification votes at a premium, the Anthony Freedman-trained swooper will attempt to win the Orr to be guaranteed a start in the March 14 feature.
Stable spokesman Sam Freedman expects Ringerdingding to be ultra-competitive on Saturday after a eye-catching run last start when fourth in the Australia Stakes at the Valley.
Stream over 50 sports Live & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >
"Ringerdingding is probably our No.1 (All-Star) candidate," Freedman said. "We really want to target that race with him.
"He's fit enough to run out a really strong 1400m … (winning the Orr) takes out all of the hard work - getting the votes - you let the horse do the talking and hopefully he can go and get a free ticket in."
ALL-STAR MILE: VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE HORSE
Ringerdingding is one of several All-Star Mile candidates chasing the CF Orr automatic entry, including Scales Of Justice, Begood Toya Mother, Alabama Express, Night's Watch and Kings Will Dream. A sticky barrier would only enhance the well-travelled four-year-old's chances.
"He's like a hamster on a wheel the first couple of furlongs (200m) of every race and almost looks like he's going nowhere but (jockey) John Allen knows him really well," Freedman said.
"He's actually better when he can draw wide and get outside horses and wind up in his own time."
Ringerdingding was originally trained in Sydney before going to disgraced handler Darren Weir, culminating in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas win. The explosive son of Sebring had a further seven starts for Chris Waller prior to joining the Freedman yard. Despite the stable confidence, Ringerdingding sits 43rd in the All-Star poll, with only 168 votes.
Top seed Alligator Blood is guaranteed a start, with 8600 votes, as of 5pm Tuesday, with Star Missile, Melody Belle, Kolding and Heart Of Puissance rounding out the top five.
"We think we've got him back to, watching his runs, to the form that saw him win Sandown Guineas and run well in the Australian Guineas last year," Freedman said. "He should go close on Saturday hopefully, and that might get a few more people over the line."
ALL-STAR MILE LEADERBOARD
Rank - Horse - Votes
1. Alligator Blood 8627
2. Star Missile 7262
3. Melody Belle 5544
4. Kolding 4619
5. Heart Of Puissance 2884
6. Aristia 2834
7 Catalyst 2708
8. Mr Quickie 2527
9. Begood Toya Mother 2414
10. Gold Fields 2336
Cup winner on track for autumn return
Trainer Danny O'Brien can expect a glowing report on Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare when he arrives back in Melbourne.
Vow And Declare had his first official trial in preparation for an autumn campaign, running second to the David Brideoake-trained Shepard at Cranbourne over 1190m on Tuesday.
Ridden by Craig Williams, Vow And Declare finished five lengths astern of Shepard, and was kept under a tight rein.
"He's not a flash worker but his action was good and his recovery was amazing as always."— Racing.com (@Racing) February 4, 2020
All systems are go for Vow And Declare, who has improved mentally according @CWilliamsJockey. @DOBrienRacing pic.twitter.com/F4pMF6vdMQ
O'Brien has missed Vow And Declare's two public appearances since the gelding's Melbourne Cup victory.
The first, a gallop between races at Geelong last Wednesday, was when O'Brien was in New Zealand attending the yearling sales, while the trainer was on his way back to Australia on Tuesday after attending the Super Bowl in Miami.
Assistant trainer Ben Gleeson said O'Brien is due back Wednesday and would be pleased.
The Miami Bound crew enjoying @SuperBowl @HardRockStadium and getting the Oaks-Super Bowl double across the line! Plenty of love for @PatrickMahomes @Chiefs #dannyobrienracing #wellnamedfilly #group1 pic.twitter.com/n27AJANI1z— Danny O'Brien (@DOBrienRacing) February 3, 2020
"When he looks at that trial and sees that he's finished second for a first trial, it's very positive," Gleeson said. "Craig couldn't have been happier with him and when he (O'Brien) sees the horse, and what shape he's in, he'll be over the moon.
"He came back not blowing and Craig said he was great in his action, everything you want to see from a first trial."
Gleeson said Vow And Declare was 50kg heavier than the 480kg he weighed before winning the Melbourne Cup.
Williams said Vow And Declare was a bigger more mature horse. "He definitely looks a lot fuller but mentally he feels more mature too," Williams said.
"With the stable knowing they've got 50 kilos on him they've got plenty to work with getting him to his winning weight at two miles." Williams said the trip to Cranbourne was ideal.
"He's not a flash worker but that was good," Williams said.
"His recovery was amazing, as always, and I just loved the way he is building up to run first-up over 10 furlongs, wherever that may be."
Vow And Declare will run first-up in either the Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 7 or the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in April.