By Andrew Eddy (racing.com)
It has now been more than 20 years since Lee Freedman and Damien Oliver combined to win their third Caulfield Cup (on Doriemus in 1995) and while neither were getting in front of themselves on last Friday morning, it was clear both fancied their chances of a fourth win in the $3 million race on Saturday.
Oliver ventured to the Werribee International Horse Centre to ride his Caulfield Cup horse Exospheric for his new trainer, and while Oliver did not press the 'Go' button on the horse, the former English galloper did enough to have the eight-time Scobie Breasley Medal winner thinking of another a fifth Caulfield Cup.
"He arrives a pretty fit horse I think," Oliver said after partnering the horse over a few laps of the Werribee racecourse.
"We only went 1400m at a bit better than evens but I'm sure he's going to be better working with a mate as he only does what he has to do by himself.
"He's kind of used to following other horses as he was a bit reluctant to leave the French horse (Vadamos) when I first went off but as he got going his work just got better the further he went." Freedman too was impressed when Exospheric opened up, but was reluctant to be too confident given his limited time with the horse.
"It's hard to guarantee you'll get him there in the order that they've been performing at their best in because we don't know anything about the horse, but we just go through a set of procedures we do: feed him the way he wants to be fed; keep the work to a reasonable minimum, not too much work for them and the horse will tell you," Freedman said.
"I'm pleased with him. He did a little bit of 14s over 1400m this morning and Damien had his first ride on him and he liked the horse.
"I think he'll be better on Monday when hopefully he has a horse to follow in the gallop - he looked around a bit - but he's in good order, he's eating well and he seems very happy."
As for getting the old band back together following Caulfield Cup wins with Oliver aboard Mannerism (1992), Paris Lane (1994) and Doriemus (1995), Freedman said: "We won three Caulfield Cups together and I'm very happy to have him aboard as he knows how to ride that race and he knows how I train the horses."
Photo: Racing Photos
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