Nicoscene on target for Christmas Stakes 2015

Lee Freedman believes the Christmas Stakes is within the grasp of Nicoscene, although he’s hoping the sprinter gets track conditions to suit.

Nicoscene has been winless in his three starts this campaign but Freedman is upbeat about the four-year-old’s chances of bouncing back in Saturday’s 1200m Listed race at Caulfield.

A winner of a Group Two sprint against his own age on soft ground in Adelaide in May, Nicoscene failed on a heavy track first-up at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival before finishing out of the placings on firm tracks at Moonee Valley and Flemington at his next two starts.

Freedman, who trains in partnership with his brother Anthony, is hoping the predicted rain arrives on Saturday morning as he believes Nicoscene will appreciate some sting out of the ground.

“I think it’s his opportunity, particularly with that predicted rain,” Freedman said.

“I want a bit of softness in the track.

“I think the hard tracks have been upsetting him. It’s been either heavy at his first run or hard. Somewhere in between would be good.”

Nicoscene will be ridden by Ben Melham and will carry the limit of 54kg from barrier four.

He is at $13 with the Robert Smerdon-trained Reldas the $3.80 favourite after opening $4.60 on Wednesday.


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