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Missile not Forbidden Fruit as Freedman eyes Winx target

3 minute read

If an Everest slot holder wants to circle multiple Group 1 winner Forbidden Love as she resumes at Randwick on Saturday, trainer Michael Freedman is happy to let that happen but his short-term focus is adding to her Group 1 tally.

FORBIDDEN LOVE. Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

That chance will come in the Winx Stakes in two weeks and Freedman said the Group 2 $250,000 Expedo Missile Stakes (1200m) is an important part of his early season plan.

Forbidden Love returns after a sensational autumn that saw her claim the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes and George Ryder Stakes, and run a brave fourth in the Doncaster Mile, and is on the $26 line in TAB Everest betting with five of the 12 slots filled.

"I've mapped out a program around what suits her and in terms of the Everest it's really out of my control,'' Freedman said.

"By virtue of the nature of the race I don't think you can plan too much around it.

"If she comes back in good form then someone might be interested in taking her up. It's more a case of getting a nice run into her as a lead up to the Winx.

"I know it's pretty early in the season but 1400m weight-for-age at Randwick is her sweet spot. Rather than going to 1400m first-up off a spell I'd prefer to get a run into her."

The five-year-old enjoyed a six week spell after she finished midfield in the All Aged Stakes and while she's only had the one trial Freedman said he can't fault the way she's coming up.

It is noteworthy that Forbidden Love was winless last spring, with a third in the $2m The Invitation her best result.

But she kicked off her autumn with a gutsy Expressway Stakes second over 1200m and the trainer is confident he has the same horse that raced at the highest level last campaign.

"She gives me that indication and everybody that's had a sit on her has given me that feedback,'' he said.

"She seems to have come back in decent order, she put in a trial last week that was all right and I thought her work on Tuesday was okay.

"You'd like to see them come out and put it down on race day and you can go home with plenty of forward plans from there. She's had a nice steady build up but she seems nice and bright.

"She's not fully screwed down just yet, you wouldn't need her to be at this stage, but she's fit enough for the 1200m."

The mare has drawn 10 in the field of 12 but she's adept on wet tracks and Freedman is comfortable to leave the steering to Hugh Bowman who was on board in her two autumn Group 1 wins.

"He knows the mare well now, far be it from me telling Hughie how to ride races,'' he said.

Freedman said the enhancements to the spring carnival announced this week add further options to Forbidden Love's potential program.

"With a few of these new announcements if the Everest didn't materialise and we got plenty of wet tracks and we wanted to keep her a bit fresh we could run in the Sydney Stakes for $2 million,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Freedman is on weather watch with talented filly Queen Of The Ball who could kick off in Melbourne on Saturday week.

The Widden Stakes and Black Opal winner trialled on Tuesday in a star studded heat won by In The Congo. If she doesn't go to Melbourne she may have a second trial at Rosehill next Friday.

"She's totally dictated to by the tracks, she has a total dislike for anything worse than about a soft 5,'' Freedman said.

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