Freedman with Sneaky Group One chances

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September 28, 2017 - 04:18 PM

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Mr Sneaky gets his chance to deliver on a long-range plan when he makes his first appearance at Group One level in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

The Anthony Freedman-trained gelding head to Sunday's $500,000 race at Caulfield after a first-up win at the track in a benchmark-78 race and a second in Listed grade at Flemington.

"This has been the race we've aimed him at and he's got in now and he's on the limit (of 52kg)," Freedman said.

"I think if he's going to win a Group One it will be a handicap and it will be at 1400 metres.

"And I think Caulfield is his best track."

Mr Sneaky is one of two runners in the race for Freedman and the four-year-old gelding has drawn barrier five in the field of 16 with Brenton Avdulla to ride.

"Mr Sneaky needed a good draw and he got it, so he should get a lovely run," Freedman said.

The trainer said both Mr Sneaky and stablemate Santa Ana Lane were in great shape.

Mr Sneaky has five wins from 13 starts but his last-start second to Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes rival Theanswermyfriend is the only time he has contested a stakes race.

He is on the fourth line of betting at $8.50 while Santa Ana Lane is at $15.

A last-start fourth to Brave Smash in a Listed 1200m sprint at Moonee Valley, stakes winner Santa Ana Lane's only attempt at Group One level was his fifth, two lengths from the winner Vega Magic in The Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide in May.

"Santa Ana Lane has been racing really well for about six months now, so it wouldn't surprise me if he ran a big race," Freedman said.

Mr Sneaky had an eventful autumn campaign which included two trips to NSW that came to nothing.

After winning a handicap against his own age at Flemington in March, Mr Sneaky then travelled to Sydney for the Group Three Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Randwick but was scratched at the barriers.

He returned to Melbourne and won a 1200m benchmark race at Caulfield in late April before again heading interstate for the Scone Guineas.

He lost his jockey behind the barriers and got loose, ending up in a neighbouring paddock before being caught.

"Nothing went right," Freedman said.

"But hopefully he gets his turn now."