Richard Freedman’s winning return to the training ranks at Canterbury yesterday came with a touch of irony.
Freedman won the 3YO Maiden Plate (1100m) with promising debutant Forever Dream, a well supported $2.70 favorite – his first success since he began training again, at Hawkesbury.
The Dream Ahead gelding is a son of 2012 Group 1 Coolmore Classic winner Ofcourseican. And who should have to play “second fiddle” to Freedman yesterday? None other than Ofcourseican’s trainer Ron Quinton, who saddled second placegetter Forever Dream ($4.40), also a son of Dream Ahead.
“That gave me a real buzz; it was a bit like the old days,” Freedman said after his three-year-old had made an impressive debut.
A member of the former FBI (Freedman Bros Incorporated) with brothers Lee, Anthony and Michael, Freedman began pre-training at Hawkesbury after the new season started and then took up training again in his own right this year, picking up some of the horses previously with Michael, who has relocated to Hong Kong.
Freedman has spent the last two decades both in the media and racing administration, and has quickly picked up where he left off in the 1990s.
In Forever Dream, he has a young horse which looks certain to make the grade in Saturday company.
Though he had only three rivals to beat yesterday, it was the manner in which he scored which stamped him as a definite up and comer.
Rider Tim Clark settled him last in the small field, then eased to the outside on straightening. Forever Dream picked up quickly and easily put paid to his rivals, scoring by nearly two lengths without being extended.
Freedman’s comeback starter was Orally (fourth at Newcastle on March 11), and he has since had minor placings with that mare at the same track on and March 25 and Hav A Nip at Gosford on Anzac Day. Forever Dream was his 11th runner yesterday, and only his third metropolitan starter since resuming training.
Meanwhile, Hawkesbury Guineas winning rider Jay Ford will team with Hawkesbury filly Spright in Saturday’s $400,000 Listed Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) at Scone. “Jay is riding as well as anyone in Sydney,” Frazer said.
Spright was amongst a number of runners luckless in the Hawkesbury feature, and Frazer subsequently reported to stewards that the Hinchinbrook filly had a pair of black eyes and swelling in her legs the following day. However, she responded quickly to treatment and has since pleased her trainer, clearing the way for a tilt at the Scone Guineas.