ALL-CONQUERING Australian trainer Lee Freedman is, at 38, a man very much accustomed to success. His victories in just over a decade as a trainer feature two Foster's Melbourne Cups, a W. S. Cox Plate, a Caulfield Cup, Derbys, Oaks, Doncaster and Epsom handicaps, an Australian Cup and a Newmarket Handicap. Freedman also finished a close second with Naturalism - to Tokai Teio - in the 1992 running of the Japan Cup (2,400 metres) in Tokyo. And it could have been so much different if the then Naturalism had not sustained an injury in the build up to his date with destiny. With his horizons expanding, Freedman would dearly like to win the $4.5 million Hong Kong International Bowl (1,400 metres) at Sha Tin today. It would give him another chance to grab a slice of the world stage and he is only too well aware of how important the Asian market in particular is going to be to Australian racing in the coming years. But Freedman is also a realist and he has his doubts whether Simonstad, even with the advantage of having super jockey Damien Oliver in the saddle, will be equal to the task. 'Although the International Bowl is classified as a Group Three event I feel the race is not far below Group One standard,' said Freedman. 'Unfortunately, Simonstad is just not quite that good. He has won a Group Three and has three Listed race wins to his credit. 'I think that's about his right level. At the same time you never know in racing and that's part of the build-up, the excitement of an event like the International Bowl. 'It's all about having the horse produce his best on the day and then, if everything else falls into place, you might be able to win. 'So, for that reason, I'm definitely not giving up as far as Simonstad is concerned.' A five-year-old entire by Kaapstad, Simonstad has raced on 24 occasions for six wins, six seconds and three thirds for earnings of A$350,110. His most important success wash the Group Three Rupert Steele Stakes (1,200 metres), at Flemington. Simonstad's other wins include the Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1,300 metres), at Rosehill; the Listed Hall Mark Stakes (1,200 metres), at Randwick; and the Listed BATC Sprint (1,350 metres), at Doomben. After winning the BATC Sprint, Simonstad produced an outstanding performance to finish a close-up third behind All Our Mob and Baggio - carrying 55.5kgs - in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1,400 metres) at Eagle Farm on June 11. He was put aside for the spring after that but failed to fulfil expectations in three subsequent outings. Simonstad resumed with a pleasing third to Hareeba and You Remember in this year's Rupert Steele in October. That was followed by a well-beaten fourth to Sequalo in the Group Two Moir Stakes (1,000 metres) at Moonee Valley and a last behind Hareeba in the Group One Southcorp Packaging Stakes (1,200 metres) at Flemington. However, Freedman is quite prepared to forgive Simonstad for his last start failure. 'Obviously something went wrong with him that day. We don't know for sure but we suspect he got his tongue over the bit,' he said. 'There hasn't been anything wrong with the way he has worked since. In fact he had three trials down the straight at Flemington to prepare him for the International Bowl and I was very pleased with the way he went in each of them. 'There are no worries about his fitness and he goes pretty well when he's fresh.' But perhaps the most indicative things about Simonstad's chance is that Kim Telford, brother of the one of the owners, Mrs Jan Duncan, and one of Melbourne's leading punters, has not made the trip up. 'I think it's going to be very hard for him. I'll be cheering him but I won't be betting him,' said Telford who knows all about the racing scene in Hong Kong, having punted up here a couple of years ago. While Freedman is subdued about Simonstad's prospects - he does rate the other Australian entry Rouslan as a 'very big chance in the race' - he is a most enthusiastic supporter of Hong Kong's international events, and others like them. 'I think its great to see more and more races like the Hong Kong ones being held. It's a great thing for owners, trainers, jockeys and the racing industry in general,' he said. 'Nowadays everyone in Australia with a decent horse thinks about racing them overseas. It's an inspirational sort of thing. 'The other fantastic part about competing overseas is that you are looked after so brilliantly. I ran Storaia in the International Bowl two years ago and everything the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club organised was absolutely perfect. 'The problem was that things didn't work out with the horse that year. But ever since that I've wanted to have a horse or horses suitable to race in these events. 'I don't know whether Simonstad will be good enough this time but I'd like to think that, before very much longer, I'll be able to win one or two of these races.'