A strong showing from Nozomi in the Listed Golden Mile at Bendigo can earn him a place on the list of horses trainer Anthony Freedman is already targeting at the upcoming Queensland carnival.
Nozomi heads to Saturday’s Golden Mile for the third run of his current campaign and he steps up from 1400m to 1600m.
The Godolphin-owned gelding landed a Group Three win at Flemington first-up in the Autumn Handicap before finishing unplaced in a bunched finish at the same track in the Listed March Stakes when he had his momentum halted at the 200m.
“His two runs this preparation have been outstanding,” Freedman’s racing manager Brad Taylor said.
“He won first-up and then he just didn’t get all the favours last start when he was only beaten a couple of lengths.
“We’re really pleased with him. He’s got a wide barrier and we’ll probably expect him to get back a little bit further.
“His work (on Thursday morning) at Flemington was outstanding. We can’t fault him.”
Nozomi has registered six wins and five placings from 29 starts.
He won the Geelong Classic as a spring three-year-old and was placed in the Victoria Derby before a tendon injury forced him off the scene for more than a year.
Freedman has described Nozomi as a stable favourite, something echoed by Taylor.
“He’s a lovely horse to have around the stable,” Taylor said.
“He’s just a gentleman, so it’s always pleasing to see him race well.
“And hopefully he might join the team up in Brisbane if he was to run well on Saturday.
“A race like the Hollindale at the Gold Coast would certainly suit him.”
Freedman has a number of horses set to campaign in Queensland during the next couple of months, aimed at various feature races.
The Group Two Hollindale Stakes (1800m) is on May 5.
Nozomi was at $10 on race eve with the Darren Weir-trained Kiwia the $5.50 favourite.
Seven-year-old gelding Observational is chasing his third Golden Mile and is at $19.
Along with Nozomi in the Golden Mile, Freedman also has Queensland Derby hopeful Tavistock Abbey resuming in the Listed Bendigo Guineas (1400m) on Saturday.