Trainer Michael Freedman has been in sparkling form in the feature races run in Singapore this year.
Already at Kranji this year Freedman has been to the winner’s enclosure on six occasions to greet horses home following a feature race win.
On Sunday Freedman will again saddle leading chances in the two feature races – the Group 1 $1.15 million Emirates Singapore Derby over 2000m and the Group 3 $200,000 Paititi Gold Trophy over 1200m.
Derby contender Nandowra shows his winning style earlier in the year.
Freedman has Nandowra and Matterhorn as his representatives in the Derby while Super Easy, unbeaten in 10 starts in Singapore, will line-up in the Paititi Gold Trophy.
Winners have dried up for Freedman in recent weeks but as he pointed out he hasn’t had the number of runners that rival stables have had.
But that is all about to change as he gears up for the second half of the year.
“Since the international weekend (May 18 & 20) I’ve probably only had around 15 runners,” said Freedman.
“I gave quite a few of the team a rest following that weekend and I’ve got a lot of new horses that we’ve been working on and getting ready.
“Then there’s the older horses that are also back working along again so hopefully we’ll be in for a good time coming up.”
For good measure Freedman travelled Mr Raffles to Malaysia last weekend where the son of Storm Creek took out the Group 1 Penang Sprint Trophy over 1400m.
“He did a great job,” said Freedman. “He had a tough time getting there for the race. He had to endure a 17 hour float trip and lost 20kg along the way.
“To overcome that and still win, it was a mighty effort.”
Freedman is confident that both Derby contenders will run forward races and said Nandowra has done nothing wrong in preparation for the race.
A son of Group 1 Cox Plate winner Savabeel – by Zabeel – Nandowra has been somewhat of a revelation for Freedman this year.
“He’s had six runs for the year winning four of them, running second once and a first-up fifth over an unsuitable distance,” said Freedman.
“He just keeps stepping up. He can be a bit green at times. That’s the Zabeel coming out in him, but he keeps trying and the 2000m won’t be any concern for him at all.
“It’s a bit of a step up for Matterhorn though and we have to see whether he can run the 2000m, but I thought his win (on June 24) was good and he deserves his chance in the race.”
Super Easy will be having his first start since overcoming “traffic problems” in winning the Group 1 Singapore Guineas on May 18.
Freedman said Super Easy was given four weeks off following the Guineas success and had been back in work over the last four weeks.
“I’ve found with these colts that you can’t go giving them a good break as they can start getting too heavy,” said Freedman.
“He didn’t leave the stable but he didn’t go to the track for about four weeks. We just took him for walks and let him relax.
“He had a trial last week which I was pleased with and I’m happy with how he’s going, but he’s meeting some fit and in form sprinters and is giving some of them weight.
“It’s certainly not going to get any easier for him.”
Freedman has ruled out taking Super Easy to Melbourne for the spring carnival with connections instead wishing to concentrate on the Singapore scene for the time being.
“We’ll probably look at races like the Jumbo Jet Trophy, the Kranji Mile and if we think he’ll get the trip then the Raffles Cup,” said Freedman.
“After that, and if his form warrants it, we’ll consider Hong Kong for the mile race at the end of the year, but that’s still a fair way off.”