iskander

Freedman has two in Group one Sangster


Three-year-old filly Sugar Babe will will have her racing career on the line while stablemate Romneya has to overcome a horror draw as they attempt to give trainer Lee Freedman his fourth Group One Robert Sangster Stakes win in five years.

Lee Freedman Romneya is set for a tough run in the fillies and mares’ 1200-metre sprint at Morphettville on Saturday after drawing gate 18 in the 20-horse field while out-of-form Sugar Babe has drawn a little better in barrier 12.
After a sluggish first-up run at Caulfield, Freedman has changed the gear on Sugar Babe in the hope that she can deliver the big race win she has always promised.
"On face value her run the other day was disappointing," Freedman said.
"We are looking to take a positive lead with her and I worked her in blinkers and a tongue tie on Tuesday and I was very happy with how she went.
"It is a tough race to try and crack the code in, but hopefully she can find form."
Freedman said Sugar Babe didn’t have to win to save her career but needed to produce a competitive run.
"I will know if she runs good enough but if she runs terrible then she can go to stud," he said.
Sugar Babe is $26 with TAB Sportsbet after she beat only one runner home when first-up in the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1100m) won by Kirvinsky at Flemington on March 7.
She has won three of her nine starts and last season finished sixth in the Group One Golden Slipper Stakes.
Last spring she started twice for a Group Three win over Whobegotyou in the McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and a Group Three third to Ortensia in the Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m).
Sugar Babe will be Vlad Duric’s first Sangster Stakes ride.
Freedman’s three previous Sangster winners were Alinghi (2005), Ellicorsam (2006) and Universal Queen (2007).
He looked set to make it four wins a row last year with odds-on favourite Miss Andretti but she raced well below her best and finished fourth to Juste Momente.
At $8.50 and with Dwayne Dunn again taking the reins, Romneya looks Freedman’s better hope of winning the race again this year but her chances have been tempered by her wide draw.
"It is always difficult to win big races from those wide gates," Freedman said.
Last start Romneya was beaten in a photo-finish in the Group Two Surround Stakes (1400m) in Sydney after winning the Group Three The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington and the Group Two Fillies Classic (1500m) at Moonee Valley.
"She is in great form but you have to wonder where she is going to end up drawn out there," Freedman said.
"The best she can be is three deep with some cover, probably midfield if you’re lucky."
While Freedman was mulling over tactics for Romneya, Adelaide trainer Leon Macdonald was in an even bigger quandary after his two runners, Serious Speed ($26) and Impressive Eagle ($18), drew barriers 19 and 20 respectively.
Last year Just Momente won the Sangster from the outside barrier in a field of 13.