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Legendary Australian trainer Lee Freedman is set to officially return to racing this Sunday in a partnership with his younger brother Anthony.
Anthony took over the family operation when Lee retired from full-time racing in 2011. Since then the Hall of Fame trainer entered an unsuccessful joint training venture with Graeme Rogerson as well as spending a stint working alongside Lloyd Williams at Macedon Lodge. For the last six months, Lee has been the Director of Racing of Sir Peter Vela’s NZ racing operation where he will remain as a consultant.
Freedman will oversee the Flemington stable currently run by Anthony, who will now run the stable’s pre-training operation at Pinecliff, from Sunday. The brothers are looking forward to working with each other once again.
“I’m very excited to be getting back into training. I’ve spent the best part of three years reorganising my life. I’ve missed the horses, the people and the great mornings and have unfinished business in the industry,” Lee said in a statement on Tuesday morning.
“I’ve got a real sense of expectation, am keen, reinvigorated and determined to achieve as much as possible.
“I’m very upbeat to partner Anthony. He’s my brother, an excellent horseman and we will carve a new niche in our previous racing history.”
The new training partnership will be a small team, focusing on the best wins for clients rather than winning premierships themselves, which Lee believes is where the future of training lies.
“We will devote 100% to the small team. This is the future in training, not huge factory operations. We won’t win premierships but want to deliver the very best results to our clients, old and new, whether it’s a maiden or a Melbourne Cup.”
Lee is one of just a few trainers who have prepared over 100 Group One winners in Australia. He’s won five Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cups (3200m) with Tawrrific, Subzero, Doriemus, and Makybe Diva (twice). He also won four Group 1 Caulfield Cups (2400m), two Group 1 Cox Plates (2040m), and four-straight Group 1 Golden Slippers (1200m) during his tenure as a full-time trainer.
Anthony, who has been training under his own license since August 2011 has enjoyed and learned from the independence of running his own stable but is looking forward to working with his brother once again.
“After spending 25 years in partnership with my brothers, the last three years on my own have been a great experience in so many ways,’’ Anthony told Racing Victoria.
“But I’m thrilled that Lee is coming back to training and can’t wait to get back to work with him. We’ve both learnt a lot over the last three years and that will be to the absolute advantage of our clients as we go forward.”
Anthony’s achievements over the past three years are impressive in their own right, including a minor placing in the 2011 Melbourne Cup with Lucas Cranach and victory in the 2012 Doomben Cup with Mawingo.
One thing is clear, the 2015 racing calendar just got much more exciting with this new training partnership on the cards.
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