Import debuts for new stable at Flemington

Plein Ciel (GER) ridden by Ben Allen wins the Legacy 2018 Badge Appeal Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on August 18, 2018 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

German import Plein Ciel will step out for his new stable in the Listed March Stakes at Flemington with the opportunity to chase a first stakes race victory.

A winner of six of his 12 starts with five placings, Plein Ciel was trained by Darren Weir for his first 10 Australian starts which included five city wins in Melbourne.

The six-year-old has since been transferred to trainer Anthony Freedman after Weir was disqualified last month, and the gelding resumes in Saturday’s 1400m race for his first start since finishing third in a Listed race over the same course and distance last spring.

Plein Ciel has had a Balnarring jump-out and a Cranbourne barrier trial for Freedman as part of his preparation for Saturday’s first-up race and will race in blinkers for the first time on Saturday.

“He’s a lovely horse and he arrived in good order,” Freedman’s son and assistant, Sam Freedman, said.

“We’ve given him a couple of jump-outs. Most recently at Cranbourne he led them up and won the trial by a couple of lengths.

“That’s probably not the way we would be looking to ride him this weekend.

“The 1400 metres is probably a little bit short for him and he’s drawn a sticky gate (11) so we’ll probably look to get some cover on him, midfield or something like that, but he seems to be going really well and hopefully he can run a cheeky race.”

Freedman said they wanted to get a better guide on Plein Ciel on Saturday before deciding on upcoming options which could include the Listed Golden Mile at Bendigo a couple of weeks later.

“From what he’s shown us he’s clearly got good ability and he’s very consistent, so hopefully that can continue,” he said.

Plein Ciel was a $10 chance for the March Stakes on Thursday with last-start Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap placegetter Zebulon the $5.50 favourite.