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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
After three runs for the campaign, Sam Freedman is expecting Just Benjamin to go close at Ballarat

Having endured some frustration with Just Benjamin, the Anthony and Sam Freedman stable believe the galloper is ready to hit winning form.

While disappointed to have missed out on a start in the feature Ballarat Cup on Saturday,Sam Freedman conceded the Global Turf Handicap over the same 2000m course as the Cup was possibly a better race for the gelding.

Just Benjamin looked a potential Caulfield and Melbourne Cup contender in his first preparation for the Freedman’s having been purchased from the UK.

He scored over 1800m at Caulfield in February last year and went out favourite in the Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at his next start but had little luck, finishing fourth to Aktau.

Just Benjamin pressed on to the Mornington Cup where he finished seventh, again to Aktau, before having a year on the sidelines.

After a two-run campaign last autumn he was again spelled before reappearing in September, with Saturday’s outing to be his fourth of the campaign.

And Freedman said the signs have been excellent since his last start fifth at Flemington on November 4after a bumping duel with runner-up Fifth Position, who is also lining-up in Saturday’s race.

“He was pretty unlucky at Flemington last time out,” Freedman said.

“His preparations have been a bit mixed the last couple of times, but he’s really starting to hit his straps now and he should run really well.

“He handles sting out of the ground. He’s looking for that 2000 metres now and he’s got an inside gate so he should be midfield or there abouts in the run.”

Just Benjamin is a $12 chance with TAB while Fifth Position is a $7 chance with the Godolphin galloper Alcyone the $3.10 favourite.

“Both of us were unlucky last time andFifth Position ended up just getting nutted,” Freedman said.

“It looks the right form for the race, and he should run very well.”

 
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