Lee Freedman has the unique chance to win the Group One race named after the champion horse he trained when Our Ivanhowe makes his spring return in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Freedman, who is now in partnership with his brother Anthony, saddles up Our Ivanhowe in Saturday’s weight-for-age race at Flemington, named in honour of the three-time Melbourne Cup winner.
Freedman, who trained Makybe Diva to two of her three Cup wins, won the race three times in the 1990s when it was known as the Craiglee Stakes but hasn’t won it since it was renamed the Makybe Diva Stakes in 2007.
He believes Doomben Cup winner Our Ivanhowe can make a promising season return on his way to spring targets over further.
“He’s going very well and he’s in really good order,” Freedman said.
“He’ll run very well tomorrow. He’ll run even better if we got a lot of rain, but I can’t see us getting the rain that we need.
“He’s very good on dry ground anyway, but he excels even more because he really loves soft ground.”
Our Ivanhowe was placed in last year’s Caulfield Cup and that race will be a strong focus again this spring, with the seven-year-old high up in betting for the 2400m handicap.
The German import hasn’t won over less than 2000m and has only had one start at 1600m since arriving in Australia.
“On his form it would appear to be possibly a bit short, but staying horses often run very well fresh in that race,” Freedman said.
“And I expect him to run well too.”
Black Heart Bart is the $2.30 favourite after his convincing Memsie Stakes win while his Darren Weir-trained stablemate Palentino is at $6.
Should the track remain in the good range, Freedman admitted Black Heart Bart would be hard to beat.
Freedman says Our Ivanhowe has totally acclimatised and while he’s just turned seven he is still lightly raced having had 18 starts.
“He’s where he should be now and this should be a good campaign for him I would have thought,” he said.
Daniel Moor has the ride on Our Ivanhowe on Saturday and he will also be on stablemates Santa Ana Lane, Cool Chap and Authoritarian at Flemington.
“He knows this horse. He’s trialled him and he’s ridden him in work quite a few times,” Freedman said.
“It’s just a nice reward for all the work that he does.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au