The experienced firm of Lee Freedman and Damien Oliver will chase a fourth Caulfield Cup together when they join forces with the imported Exophoric.
Formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute when he raced as Exosphere in Europe, Exospheric is undergoing mandatory quarantine at the Werribee racetrack in Victoria.
Exospheric is equal third favourite at $9 for the 2016 Caulfield Cup behind Jameka ($3.70) and Scottish ($8).
Freedman and Oliver combined to win Caulfield Cups with Mannerism, Paris Lane and Doriemus during the 1990s.
Oliver partnered Exospheric in a leisurely hit-out at Werribee on Friday and said the stayer was lazy working by himself, but felt in good order.
“I’m sure he’s going to be better working with a mate as he only does what he has to do by himself,” Oliver said.
“I think he’s used to following other horses.
“He’s a very athletic type of horse and feels well and doesn’t need a hell of a lot of work to keep him up to the mark.”
Freedman, who trains Exospheric in partnership with brother Anthony, says the stayer is enjoying life at Werribee.
The champion trainer kept a close eye on Lucas Cranach in quarantine before his fifth placing in the 2011 Caulfield Cup and his subsequent third to Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup.
“I find the horses are always good in here,” Freedman said.
“They’ve been with these horses for two weeks and they travel with them, they’re stabled with them and it’s nice and tight in here so they can all see each other.
“It’s a good set-up.”
Freedman said it was a balancing act to have Exospheric at his top for the Caulfield Cup.
“We go through the procedures, feed him the way he wants to be fed but keep the work to a reasonable minimum,” Freedman said.
“You can overdo the work here after they’ve travelled halfway around the world.
“He did a fair amount of work at Newmarket before he came out.”
Freedman said Exospheric would work with a mate in a stronger work-out next week.
Photo by Liesl King