IN Racing
Ceerseven scores at The Valley
"They didn’t have to keep me on today – he was only carrying 58.5kg before the claim. But they stuck with me, and I’m just glad I could repay them."
NZ Racing Desk | January 27, 2024
Ceerseven wins the Ascend Sales Trophies Challenger Handicap (1600m). Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Mitchell Freedman had already crossed the Tasman in search of new recruits for his Ballarat stable, and a win with Ceerseven at The Valley on the eve of the Karaka 2024 yearling sale added to his affinity with New Zealand-breds.

Ceerseven recorded the third win of an eight-start career in Saturday’s $80,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Challenger Handicap (1600m), lifting his earnings to A$97,100 for a big syndicate of owners.

Saturday’s victory was Ceerseven’s first appearance in metropolitan Melbourne since the Gr.2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at the same venue last March, where he finished outside the placings but within four lengths of the winner in only the third race of his career.

“It was really pleasing to see him score a good, strong win today,” Freedman said. “He’s a horse that’s always shown us a fair bit of upside and we expect to see him perform strongly over longer distances than today’s 1600m.

“We gave him a shot at the Alister Clark last season. The race was there, and he’d shown enough by that point for us to think that it was worth giving him that opportunity. In the end he was still just a little bit immature at that early stage of his career. He’s making good progress now and I think we’ve got a bit more to look forward to with him.”

Ceerseven delivered a first metropolitan win for apprentice jockey Jaylah Kennedy, who eased back to second-last from a wide gate and remained there until the 450m mark. She hooked the four-year-old to the outside at the home turn and pushed the button, and Ceerseven lengthened stride stylishly and finished over the top of Brooklyn Boss to score a narrow but authoritative win.

“It’s unbelievable,” Kennedy said. “Massive thanks to Mitch and the connections. They didn’t have to keep me on today – he was only carrying 58.5kg before the claim. But they stuck with me, and I’m just glad I could repay them.

“I wanted to see him sit three pairs back and one off, but I thought that would probably be out of my range from the barriers. I had to bite the bullet and ride him patiently. He wanted to tow me into the race before I really wanted to, but it was just about keeping him in his rhythm and keeping him balanced. He was really strong to the line.”

Ceerseven was bred by Mapperley Stud and is by their stallion Complacent. Ceerseven’s dam is the unraced Elnadim mare Calypso Miss, who has been represented by five winners from six foals to race including the Group Two-placed High Tower.

Mapperley Stud offered Ceerseven in Book 2 of Karaka 2021, where Freedman teamed up with Phill Cataldo Bloodstock and bought him for only $30,000.

Jaylah Kennedy Ceerseven Mitchell Freedman Mapperley Stud Phill Cataldo