rainer Lee Freedman says imported galloper Fanjura is ready to revisit a past glory and win his second Group Three Easter Cup at Caulfield.
The gelding is set to become just the fourth multiple winner of the race on Saturday, joining Future (1966 and 1969), Flail (1933-34) and Riffian (1911 and 1913).
Freedman said Fanjura’s honesty was his trademark and in his three starts this campaign he had run bravely without winning.
“He never runs a bad race and you would think he is just about due to win again,” Freedman said.
He lost no admirers first-up when third to Group One performers Whobegotyou and Dao Dao in the Group Two Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and was beaten less than two lengths when a fast-finishing fourth to Paddy O’Reilly in the Albury Cup (2000m).
Freedman said Fanjura was in the wrong place at the wrong time last week when he finished second to Niwot in the Racehorse Outplacement Program Handicap (2000m) at Flemington.
“He is racing well and had to give 3-1/2 kilos to the winner off a tearaway pace last start,” Freedman said.
He said Fanjura was the horse who had to chase down the pacemaker Grand Ducal and it left him a target for a late charge from behind.
“I was always waiting for something to run him down after that,” Freedman said.
Noel Callow, who won the 2005 Victoria Derby on the Freedman-trained Benicio, rode Fanjura last start and has retained the mount on Saturday.
The well travelled jockey resumed riding in Melbourne seven weeks ago and is again becoming popular with leading stables.
Last Saturday he won his first city race since his comeback on the Peter Moody-trained Highly Recommended at Flemington.
Fanjura did his early racing in England in the care of Barry Hills.
He won the Easter Cup at only his second Australian start last year and while he hasn’t been successful in seven races since, he has always been around the money.
“I am pretty happy with the horse,” Freedman said.
“He is in good form, drops a little bit in weight, and is back to Caulfield where he has won two from three,” Freedman said.