Freedman Fined for Twitter Outburst

Lee Freedman

Trainer Lee Freedman

Lee Freedman will meet with Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey after a post on social media site Twitter lead to the trainer copping a $750 fine.

Following the scratching of his two year old Our Smokin’ Rock at Caulfield, Freedman tweeted: “World First at Caulfield vet scr Our Smokin Rock at gate because he thinks it made a noise!!! What a disgrace”

Freedman said he wanted to gain an understanding of how a horse making a noise behind the barrier could lead to its withdrawal.

Veterinarian John McCaffrey told stewards he ordered the withdrawal of Our Smokin’ Rock because the two year colt was making a respiratory noise that he had never heard in his career.

“To my mind this is a world first. How many horses get scratched at the gates because they make a noise?” asked Freedman.

“Ninety per cent of horses that have wind operations make some sought of noise. Are they all going to be scratched at the gates because they make a noise?”

Freedman went onto say that there was no need to ever scratch a horse because of a potential respiratory ailment because horses with such problems normally just pull themselves out of the race.

Freedman admitted that he was wrong to use the word ‘disgrace’, but also expressed disbelief that he was the first trainer to be fined for comments made on a social media site.

“The stewards had to do what they did when I used the word ‘disgrace’. I could have easily tweeted the thing without using that word and saved myself $750,” Freedman said

Freedman’s vet inspected Our Smokin’ Rock an hour after he was removed from the race and could find no abnormalities.