Michael Freedman’s winter carnival plans for Ringmaster have hit a few road blocks but the experienced trainer has managed to navigate them and keep the horse on track for his Group 1 goal.
The two-year-old booked his passage north when runner-up in Sydney on debut but since arriving in Brisbane, he has failed to make the field for both the Group 2 Spirit Of Boom Classic at Eagle Farm and last Saturday’s Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Freedman was forced into a programming reshuffle, finding a race at the Sunshine Coast last month which Ringmaster duly won, while the next step comes in Saturday’s Listed The Phoenix (1500m) at Eagle Farm.
A victory there would catapult the youngster into contention for the J J Atkins (1600m), run at the same venue seven days later.
“He hasn’t had a great deal of luck in terms of race programming,” Freedman said.
“We are playing a little bit of catch-up with him but hopefully he gets his chance on Saturday up there and we will keep him in the mix for the JJ Atkins.
“If he was able to run well or win on Saturday and get himself a start, then we’d have a look at that race the following week.”
Tommy Berry, who partnered Ringmaster at his first start, will have the task of overcoming the outside barrier in the field of 14.
Freedman has already had some good news this week with multiple Group 1 winner Forbidden Love returning from a six-week break on Wednesday to begin preparations for the spring.