Golden Slipper winners Richard and Michael Freedman have enjoyed a golden autumn carnival and will kick off a Queensland carnival assault on Saturday with a young colt they think has the potential to emerge as a winter Group 1 contender.
The $1 million Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) on Stradbroke Handicap day, June 12 is the winter pinnacle for two-year-olds and Warrior Hero has a long way to go to get there.
The son of Snitzel has had one start when only narrowly going down at Sydney’s Kensington track when he looked strong through the line over 1100m on a heavy track on March 25.
The Freedmans this week haven’t been able to take a trick with barrier draws for Warrior Hero.
He was scratched from Canterbury on Wednesday after drawing wide and came up with barrier 11 on the tight Doomben circuit for his Queensland debut in the QTIS 2YO Handicap (1200m) on Saturday.
The Freedmans briefly debated whether to run him from the wide gate but decided he needs to start somewhere to hopefully shoot for the stars during the winter carnival.
“There has been a bit of agonising over that, whether to run him from that wide gate,” Richard Freedman said.
“But he really needs to run and we scratched him from Canterbury on Wednesday because he drew a wide gate there which is pretty much suicidal at Canterbury.
“He is very much an improving horse and he has definitely got talent.
“We will be trying to get him into some of the nice races in Queensland, if he earns his way in.
“He would be in our thinking for the JJ (Atkins) – he would have to be ready to show he can do that, but he has potentially got that sort of ability.
“Even if he doesn’t win on Saturday but gives us the impression that he will win when things go right for him, then we will press on.”
Trainer Richard Freedman. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Even with the wide gate, bookies are keeping Warrior Hero safe.
The colt, who will be ridden by Jim Byrne is the $3.70 favourite and holding onto top billing from the Matt Dunn-trained Subterranean ($4) who has also drawn wide.
The Freedmans enjoyed a fabulous Sydney autumn carnival highlighted by Stay Inside winning the Golden Slipper and Forbidden Love winning the Group 1 Surround Stakes.
They are hoping their roll continues in the Sunshine State and Richard Freedman indicated the training team expects to have a good winter carnival hand.
Some of the Freedman horses in consideration for Queensland campaigns include Prime Star, High Supremacy, Tiger Of Malay, Paths Of Glory and Love Tap.
Love Tap is a promising three-year-old who suffered an infection in his hock after last being seen finishing fourth behind Montefilia in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick last October.
Originally published asFreedmans launch winter assault with promising Warrior
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