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Sam Freedman is expecting some interesting forthcoming clashes between European imports Just Benjamin and Aktau

Sam Freedman is expecting some interesting forthcoming clashes between European imports Just Benjamin and Aktau.

Both are highly touted four-year-olds who meet for the first time at Caulfield on Saturday in the Mal Seccull Handicap (1800m).

Aktau made an impressive start to his Australian career for the Mike Moroney stable, winning at Flemington over 1600m last month while Just Benjamin was a luckless fifth over 1600m at Caulfield on January 4.

Freedman, assistant to his father Anthony, said Just Benjamin was poissibly heading towards the Mornington Cup in March, an early target for Aktau.

“They may well find themselves matching off against each other in races leading up to it,” Freedman said.

“That horse (Aktau) was impressive the other day and if it brings that form again, it will be hard to beat.

“But we’re still learning about our horse.

“He’s not a flash track worker but he had a nice trial last Friday and seems as well as he did before his first-up run and he’ll appreciate getting out to this trip.

“The small field should mean that he won’t find too much trouble as well.”

Freedman said Just Benjamin hit a flat spot in his Australian debut before picking up, catching Damien Oliver, who again rides on Saturday, by surprise.

“Ollie didn’t think he would take off like he did and then he was running into dead-ends,” Freedman said.

“It was one to forget, for sure, but in this small field if he hits that flat spot, he should come out of it fine and hopefully keep surging to the line.”

Freedman is hopeful Just Benjamin can continue an upward spiral and improve into his second Australian preparation, as did fellow imports Steel Prince and Aussie Nugget, who are owned in similar interest to Just Benjamin.

 
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