Freedman happy with QEII Cup duo after trial

Trainer Lee Freedman’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup duo of Mr Clint and Sun Marshal went for an easy stroll at the barrier trials on Tuesday, giving their handler no cause for concern ahead of the big assignment next Sunday week.

Mr Clint
Mr Clint  Picture: Singapore Turf Club

Both gallopers have been set on a path towards the last Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series – of which the $800,000 Group 1 QEII Cup over 1800m is the second Leg – the Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) on November 10.

The Freedman pair, however, came out with mixed results in the first Leg, the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1600m) on September 22. Mr Clint again came agonisingly close with another narrow second (he finished a neck-second to Sun Marshal in the Singapore Derby over 1800m in July) to Makanani while Sun Marshal, who was first-up since the Derby, finished down the course.

Freedman said it was best to forget Sun Marshal ran on that day.

"It was a poor ride from Joey (Azzopardi) that day. They were wide on the speed when he was first-up," said the Australian trainer.

"He will be better for the run. Joey rode him today in the barrier trial, and gave him a nice run.

"Actually, both Sun Marshal and Mr Clint are gross sorts of horses and you need to keep them up to the mark with a stimulating gallop.

"That trial will do both of them a lot of good for next week's QEII Cup, and all things going well, then they are both going for the Gold Cup."

Mr Clint  had Vlad Duric aboard in the hit-out, but Freedman and the Oscar Racing Stable have again called upon Bernardo Pinheiro to do the steering, hoping the Brazilian jockey can finally shed the bridesmaid tag on the Power five-year-old.

While it's all systems go for his Triple Crown duo, Freedman was also keeping a keen eye on two other horses in Tuesday's barrier trial, Muraahib and new customer You Rokk, a six-year-old entire by Artie Schiller.

The former, who had Alysha Collett up, was impressive in the way he coasted to second place to Harbour Approach (A'Isisuhairi Kasim), while You Rokk (Zyrul Nor Azman), a former Sydney-based five-time winner trained by Peter & Paul Snowden, when known as Maximus, ran fifth, half-a-length clear of stablemate Sun Marshal.

"Muraahib trialled very well. He will run in a Class 2 race over 1400m in two weeks' time and Alysha will ride him as he will get only 51kgs," said Freedman of the Reset five-year-old he shares with the Oscar Racing Stable.

"You Rokk is an older horse and was at his second trial. He is going in the right direction and is not far off his first run here."

Singapore Turf Club