By Tony Megahey
First season trainer William Freedman has his sights set on another country Cup as new acquisition Couru aims up at Saturday’s Nutrient Ag Solutions Christmas Cup (1600m) at Gunnedah.
Couru has 61kg in the $22,000 Cup, significantly reduced by the 3kg claim for New Zealand apprentice Casey-Mae Waddell.
As four-race winner after early success at Goulburn and Armidale she is ideally placed and weighted after winning a Muswellbrook BM 66 last month. Importantly, William reckons she is.
“Logically Muswellbrook where she led and won on a heavy with 59kg should hold up for this grade with the claim,” he assessed.
“Mares generally hold their form, the one query is a month between runs out to 1600m. But offsetting that is her ability to race on pace - Gunnedah is tight and you don’t get exposed too early.
“The weight relief too, 61kg is a task for anything. (Casey) is very capable, she’s ridden winners apprenticed to Cody Morgan and works hard.
“She rode her first winner for my dad and uncle and Dynamic Syndications.
Well bred Couru (by All Too Hard), moved on from the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable and then Brett Cavanough, retains enough zest at five years for another regional Cup off that Muswellbrook 1500m win in better grade last month with 59kg in heavy going.
Couru wins at Muswellbrook on November 1
“We’ve only had this mare for a short time but she’s done well enough for this grade,’’ he said.
“It always takes them a while to settle in but we’ve found enough balance, so she’ll run us a race, she’s an experienced race mare, straight forward train.”
Freedman, based at Scone with his jockey partner Rachel Hunt, has had a productive enough start with five winners, mostly moved on from his father Richard and uncle Michael at Rosehill.
Winning the $100,000 Dubbo Gold Cup feature with the former family trained Zaunkonig at $33, against the strongest regional stables, was exceptional in just his second month with a licence.
Of course William’s education, like that of the Cummings siblings has been meticulously planned to continue a rich racing heritage.
Aside from several years as a family training assistant at Rosehill, Will had externships in Dubai and New Zealand with leading stables, also worked at Yarraman Park and has a BA in media communications.
And he can obviously train a winner from a still modest team from 20 boxes at Scone.
Gunnedah endured the stifling heat state wide recently and at present is rated a good four track with hot weather predicted.