Blinkers off as Freedman searches for a Winter Cup with Alakahan

Richard Freedman is always looking to get the best out of his stayers and Alakahan is the latest project attracting his attention.

The Motivator six-year-old is already a listed winner from last year’s Gold Coast Cup and has since promised another win without reaching that level again.

But Freedman, who trains in partnership with son Will, hasn’t given up on a return to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s Winter Cup at Rosehill.

If we can get him to run his best, he would win this race, Freedman said. It’s just finding the right way to get him back to his best.

The Gold Coast Cup was the last time Alakahan returned a winner, and came on a week’s back-up. That is also the case on Saturday coming off a game midfield finish in the Premiers Cup in Brisbane, which suggested to Freedman a gear change was in order.

Freedman has taken the blinkers off him since Alakahan returned to Sydney. They had been a part of his race-day make-up since March last year.

I just thought he was getting on the bit a little much and taking the blinkers off might just relax him and get that best run out of him, Freedman said.

In a listed race, which features more benchmark horses than stakes performers, Alakahan has the black-type references to suggest he can beat odds-on favourite Military Mission.

During the autumn he was only a couple of lengths from Mount Popa in the Neville Sellwood Stakes, running fourth, before being fourth again in the Chairman’s Quality a week later.

The father-and-son team will also have runners in Melbourne and Brisbane as they strive to find the right races for their horses. Love Tap resumes at Flemington, while Rosie Impact will be given her shot at a group 1 in the Queensland Oaks.

We are looking for a drier track for Love Tap and it’s raining down there, Freedman said. Rosie Impact is a 100-1 chance but I think she will stay the trip, you could see that at the end of her last run.

I know she was five lengths from Aravene, which is second favourite for the Oaks, but I think she should have finished much closer.

She had the winner’s back at 600m and let her get away coming around the turn, but the best part of [Rosie Impact’s] race was the last couple of hundred metres.

She will stay and I think she will finish closer to Aravene than last time.

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