Bedford (l) will come up against 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin at Caulfield.
In-form Bedford will face the biggest challenge of his career to date when he returns to Caulfield for the Mornington Cup Prelude against a field which includes Melbourne Cup winner Almandin.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Bedford has won his past two starts over Saturday’s course and distance, scoring by six lengths in benchmark-70 grade two starts ago before adding a narrow win in benchmark-84 grade last time out.
He steps up in class in Saturday’s Listed 2000m race and connections are looking forward to the challenge.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin headlines the 10-horse field and was the $4 favourite on Friday with Bedford at $4.40.
“We didn’t expect there to be a Melbourne Cup winner there,” Freedman’s racing manager Brad Taylor said.
“Even though Bedford has 54 kilos he gets in not that well at the weights being only a 78-rating horse, but he gets his chance.
“His last two wins have been very good.
“I know he didn’t win by a big margin last time but it was a very good effort to come off a slow tempo and still win.”
Taylor said Bedford, the winner of four of his 12 starts, had improved with time and was enjoying being trained out of the Pinecliff property on the Mornington Peninsula.
“Anthony has changed his training around this preparation and has done a fantastic job with him,” Taylor said.
“He doesn’t overtax him and he’s really benefited from living out at Pinecliff.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge on Saturday and it will give us an indication of where we head with him.
“If he’s competitive he’ll head to the Mornington Cup and if he was able to win the Mornington Cup he would be qualified for the Caulfield Cup in the spring.”