A more acclimatised Exospheric will meet one of his Caulfield Cup conquerors again when he begins his second Australian campaign in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield.
Exospheric arrived in Australia with the international contingent for last year’s spring carnival features, joining the Lee and Anthony Freedman stable.
He finished third in his first local start in the Caulfield Cup with the winner Jameka among his rivals again in Saturday’s Group Two Peter Young (1800m).
The race is a key lead-in to the Group One Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington two weeks later.
Exospheric pressed on to the Melbourne Cup after his Caulfield placing, finishing eighth.
He has now had more time to acclimatise to Australian conditions in the build-up to his autumn campaign.
“He’s settled in much better,” co-trainer Lee Freedman said.
“I don’t see much physical difference. He’s probably carrying a tad more weight.
“He came as a lightly framed horse straight off a long flight, so he was always going to be a bit light-framed in the spring.
“But he’s looking better. He’s got a good stiff test against Jameka in the Peter Young.”
Exospheric, who raced as Exosphere in the UK, won the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket last year and was fifth in the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes (2092m) at York in August.
The Freedmans also have Tom Melbourne among the 16 nominations for the Peter Young.
Emirates Stakes winner Awesome Rock is scheduled to run second-up in the Peter Young while trainer Darren Weir has three entries – Stratum Star, Humidor and Real Love.
Another of the Freedman-trained imports, Our Ivanhowe could make his return in the Group Three Sky High Stakes (2000m) in Sydney on March 11 if the ground is soft.
“And then if he performed well in that and it comes up softish for The BMW, he’ll run in that too,” Freedman said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au