First Impression might have to wait

Anthony and Sam Freedman surprised many when Post Impressionist appeared in the entries for this Saturday’s $300,000 Caloundra Cup and while the import is among the final field, a start is not yet guaranteed.

The father/son training duo is reluctant to run the gelding, who has 60kg and barrier 16, on a particularly heavy Sunshine Coast track.

The Lloyd Williams-owned gelding has undertaken a mixture of work and rest in Queensland since his Tancred Stakes flop on March 30 and Saturday’s 2400-metre Listed event fits in with a preparation that has been geared around spring.

“He’s been in work up in Queensland and Lloyd basically said, ‘if you’re happy with him, run him in a race that you think he can run in, if not wait’,” Freedman said.

“The old man’s been really happy with him and the team has done a good job.

“He’s fit, so he’s not lacking in that department, and it looks the best form on paper – he started $2.30 in a Group 1 at his last start.

“But he probably doesn’t want it really heavy and if it is really heavy he might come out.”

The Sunshine Coast track was rated a Heavy 9 on Thursday morning with showers predicted through until raceday, including up to 15mm on Saturday.

A son of three-time Melbourne Cup-winning sire Teofilo, Post Impressionist created a huge reputation when a dazzling winner of the Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m) at his Australian debut, but then did not handle the seven-day back-up when last in the Tancred Stakes (2400m).

Those runs came while still in the care of William Haggas and the Freedmans are hoping to use the Caloundra Cup to get a feel for what his spring campaign might look like.

“He’s a hard horse to get a ceiling on,” Freedman said.

“I still maintain, if you start that price in a Group 1 you’ve run some numbers that people are impressed by and his win the start prior was pretty breathtaking.

“He’s one of those imports that can go one way or the other. He could easily keep improving and get to a really high level.”

Even if Post Impressionist comes out, the Freedmans will be represented in the Caloundra Cup with Warning set to get the chance to improve on his seventh placing in last year’s edition in what could be his final start.

“The old man was buzzing after his work Tuesday, so he must have impressed him there,” Freedman said.

“But he’s probably on his way to retirement. We’ll chat to the owners, but we’ve been open with them through the prep to say this was his last campaign and he’s sound and well.”

The Caloundra Cup will be the 47th start for the seven-year-old, who is just $3900 short of $2.5m in stakes, much of which was contributed by his win in the 2019 Victoria Derby.

About RS NewsWire

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