Japanese import Ambitious has had his first serious trial with a midfield finish at Cranbourne.
Trainer Anthony Freedman said Ambitious was progressing nicely for his Australian debut which was likely to be in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 24.
Ambitious led up early in Monday’s 990m-trial under Mark Zahra before being ridden along, finishing midfield, in a blanket finish behind Gala Moshea.
“We rode him forward as we wanted to see the horse get out of the gates in the trial,” Freedman said.
“That’s been his pattern in Japan but it may not be his pattern here.
“They’re little things that we’ll tinker around with but we’ve got plenty of time for that.”
Freedman said with the Peter Young Stakes still three weeks away, Ambitious would have another trial before that race.
“I was happy enough with what he did but we’re still learning about the horse every day,” Freedman said.
“As it is with these horses, it’s a learning process.”
The trial also featured three of the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained three-year-olds, Main Stage, Salsamor and Sully.
The trio pleased Busuttin with their performances against the older horses.
He has tentatively booked the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 17 for their return although ideally he would like to split them up.
He said they were likely to head to the Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 3 before switching to Sydney for the Rosehill Guineas and ATC Australian Derby.
If it looks like being a wet autumn in Sydney, Busuttin said his attention may switch north earlier, especially with Salsamor who appreciates give in the ground.