Freemason eyes Group 1 double.
Arena, trained by John Hawkes, gave the Ingham brothers their first win in the race last year after champion Octagonal was narrowly beaten in 1995.
Freemason, a colt by Grand Lodge (USA) from the Sir Tristram mare Sashed, has had Derby contender written all over him since winning the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm in June.
The colt has had four races since, gradually increasing distances, and he will derive a lot of benefit from his only recent Melbourne start when a close third in the Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago. Freemason is sure to appreciate the bigger Flemington track.
If the race develops into a walk, trot and canter, Shogun Lodge may prove too brilliant for some of his more dour rivals.
Blackfriars, raced by Robert Sangster, fits into this category, he gives the impression he'll stay all day.
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Oct 29, 1999|
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