Mornington horseman Anthony Freedman has described First Command as a horse every trainer would love to have 10 of in the stables ahead of the seven-year-olds’ title defense in the 2013 Kensington Stakes at Flemington Racecourse on the weekend.
The Commands gelding was a $170,000 buy from the 2007 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sales and has been with the Freedman family, originally prepared by Anthony’s Hall of Fame brother Lee Freedman, throughout the entirety of their career which has netted a tidy $857,690 in prize money so far.
“Every trainer would love 10 of them in their yards,” Freedman said.
Saturday sees them attempt to add another $72,000 to that figure as they seek back-to-back wins in the $120,000 Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m).
First Command won the Kensington last year second-up carrying 58kg from barrier 10 with Steve Arnold aboard.
They are second-up again this time in having resumed with an eye-catching one and a quarter length victory over fellow Kensington hopeful Rocking Force at Caulfield on January 5 and will be ridden by Glen Boss on 59kg from barrier three of only six.
“It was good to see him win at Caulfield. He looked like the First Command of old,” Freedman said.
“He looks well placed. It’s a similar race to last year.”
While they may not have recorded any other wins between last start and the Kensington 12 months ago the veteran has been a consistent money maker for his connections with other highlights over the past year including their second in the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes, very close fourth to Woorim in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate and their second to We’re Gonna Rock in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes.
They missed the spring however having just the one run when dead last behind Buffering in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes due to a bug and Freedman is just happy that connections allowed him to bring them back.
“I recommended to the owners that we pull the plug on last spring when he had that trouble, and they’re good, decent, patient people who allow me to get the best out of him as they have for all of his career,” he said.
Also happy with how the horse is travelling and excited about their chances on Saturday is Boss who partnered them for the first time for their Caulfield win at the start of the month.
“He’s a marvellous horse who’s got a good record at Flemington and he’s really at the top of his game at the moment,” Boss said.
The bookies have installed First Command as the shortie in the Kensington Stakes odds at $1.60 and firming.
To get behind the old warhorse head to bookmaker.com.au now and if their price is a bit short for your liking hit up their exclusive Pick Your Own Odds markets allowing you to choose the margin by which they will win to improve their fixed win price!