By Michael Lynch, The Age
ANTHONY Freedman has made a big impression since taking over the Markdel training complex from his elder brother Lee last year, training the former German horse Lucas Cranach to run third in the Melbourne Cup and score in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield during the autumn festival of racing.
Yesterday he produced another classy German galloper, Mawingo, a four-year-old entire, to make an impressive winning Australian debut in the 1600-metre Muscular Dystrophy Plate at Flemington, winning by two lengths from Eraset. Ridden by Daniel Moor, Mawingo was heavily supported to start $2.80 favourite.
And on the evidence of yesterday's effort, Freedman has cause to hope that Mawingo, a Group 3 winner in Germany almost a year ago, could make sufficient progress to be a threat, not just to Lucas Cranach, but anything else that might line up in the big spring cups.
First, however, he has to qualify, something Freedman is keen to do as soon as possible before turning the son of Tertullian out for a month's rest before bringing him back for a spring campaign. So Mawingo might be on the move again, to Sydney, for the 2000-metre group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 28. Victory there would get him into the Caulfield Cup, although he would need to win over a longer trip - 2300 metres or more - to qualify for the Melbourne Cup.
Mawingo fits the template of the European import who, in recent times, has come to dominate Australian middle-distance and staying races.
And no one can argue with the quality of German form. Not only has Lucas Cranach proved himself here but German filly Danedream won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. "I was really pleased with [Mawingo's] tactical speed," Freedman said.
"He obviously can race anywhere in a field. That's going to augur well. He really wasn't any closer than three deep the trip and it was first up over a mile [1600 metres] for a good few months. "He's only going to get better. We will see if we can qualify him by heading to something a bit longer.
"You learn a lot about these horses every day. He's only been in the country 10 weeks. It's a pretty good effort to front up here after getting off the plane in 10 weeks and run out a solid mile sitting deep.
"We may toy with a Queen Elizabeth. There may be another race in Sydney that suits better. In Brisbane there is the odd race but it's getting a bit deep into the winter.
"I would like to have him out by then. Ideally, I would like to have him qualified by mid-May and give him a month off.
"He has got great acceleration and that's what you need these days to win these staying races. You can't win them with ordinary horses any more."
Freedman also notched a feature-race double at Morphettville where three-year-old colt Cornell won the listed Port Adelaide Guineas, and three-year-old filly Crucial took out the Schweppervescence Stakes, both partnered by Vlad Duric.
Results 1 - 10 of 64 documents
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