|Record breaking yearling Don Eduardo stamped himself as a genuine
Australian Derby contendor with an impressive win in this afternoon's listed Schweppes Cup
(1600m) at Caulfield.
An attractive bay colt by the
New Zealand champion sire Zabeel, Don Eduardo was a $3.6 million yearling purchase at
Karaka for Eduardo Cojuangco.
After four unplaced efforts, two of which were at stakes
level, the colt broke his maiden status when he thrashed Cherry Orchard by over three
lengths in a Maiden at Bendigo in late January.
His trainer Lee Freedman then sent the colt back to the
same track where he scored a runaway six length win against a weak field of Class One
Today was Don Eduardo's toughest test and he came through
in flying colours, sending out a warning there were better wins in store.
"It was a pretty impressive win and he's an exciting
horse," Lee Freedman said after the Schweppes Cup win.
Freedman will decide
whether the gelding needs another run before heading to Sydney in search of Group One
"We'll see how he pulls up after today before deciding
if he needs another run before the Rosehill Guineas," Freedman added.
Since joining the Freedman stable Don Eduardo had been
"a slow learner" according to his trainer.
"He is still learning and he tends to be a bit
lazy," Freedman said.
"With his settling in his races so well he appears to
be the perfect kind of horse for the (AJC) Derby," he added.
Adding further merit to the win were the sectionals posted
by the famous youngster. Don Eduardo covered his final 600 metres in an excellent 34.48
seconds. His last 400 metres was in 22.92, while the final 200 was covered in just 11.6
At the finishing post Don Eduardo had cleared away to win
by a length and a half over the $9 chance Leather Lane, while the $3.80 second favourite
Exaggerate was a half head away in third place.
The disappointing run of the race came from the $3
favourite Grey Song. The Hughes trained runner managed to only finish in seventh place,
some 6.3 lengths from the winner.
PICS - Quentin