Just as he did in his previous preparation, six-year-old gelding Nozomi has caused an upset in his return at Flemington.
Nozomi won over 1400m at $151 first-up last August and as a $20 chance on Saturday proved too strong over the same course and distance in the Group Three TAB Multiplier Autumn Handicap.
“He’s a lovely old horse. He’s a stable favourite,” trainer Anthony Freedman said.
Nozomi’s victory at Flemington came shortly before stablemate Shoals took out the Group One Surround Stakes in Sydney.
Nozomi is the only Godolphin-owned galloper still in Freedman’s stable.
“They are great to have horses for,” Freedman said.
“They’ve said to me ‘whenever you’re ready to retire him, just do it’. But I said I think he deserves another preparation.
“He had a good spring without winning so we’ll push on to maybe The Blamey and maybe the Easter Cup.”
“He always works well. He’s a good track worker and he looks magnificent.”
Nozomi made his debut for Freedman as a two-year-old and as a three-year-old he won the Geelong Classic and was third in the Victoria Derby before a tendon injury forced him out for a lengthy period.
Saturday’s win was his sixth from 28 career starts.
Nozomi settled midfield under Jye McNeil then wound up between runners to hit the front at the 200m before holding off Voilate ($8) by a long head.
Cool Chap $14) was another short half-head away third while favourite Poetic Dream ($2.50) was fifth in his first Australian start.