Three-year-old Java has continued his rise through the grades and burst into Group One Australian Guineas consideration with victory in the Manfred Stakes.
Bringing up a stakes race double on Monday at Sandown for the training partnership of Lee and Anthony Freedman, Java continued his winning streak this campaign to post his most important victory yet in the Group Three race against his own age.
Java ($7) was positioned outside the leader Fast Cash in the 1300m race before surging to the front under jockey Damien Oliver in the straight to notch his fourth win from as many starts this campaign.
He had 1-1/4 lengths to spare on the line over Sandown Guineas winner Petrology ($5.50) which caught the eye in his return, charging down the outside from near-last for second.
Affirmation ($6) also hit the line strongly between runners first-up to finish another three-quarters of a length away third.
Nominations for the Australian Guineas (1600m), which is run in early March, close on Tuesday and Anthony Freedman said Java had earned his shot at progressing towards the Group One race.
“Obviously he had to come here and do that today to warrant going there but certainly after today we’ll throw him in (the nominations) and head that way,” Freedman said.
Freedman was unsure where Java would run next but the Group Three CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on February 21 is an option.
Java, described by Freedman as a real tradesman, won his maiden at Kilmore first-up this campaign at his third career start.
He added midweek metropolitan-class wins at Mornington and Sandown before making the leap to stakes company on Monday.
“He’s a winner and horses that win keep winning,” Freedman said.
Java’s victory came 40 minutes after stablemate Reparations took out the Listed John Dillon Stakes.