Lee Freedman is set to start a new stage of his training career when Racing New South Wales approves his application today to train in partnership with Graeme Rogerson at Randwick.
Freedman, one of Australia’s greatest trainers in recent times and leading New Zealand trainer Rogerson conjured up the idea several months ago after Freedman suddenly quit as head trainer of the Freedman training establishment, Markdel, at Rye in August 2011.
Freedman has won most of Australia’s major races including five Melbourne Cups, two by the champion mare Makybe Diva, four Golden Slippers in a row from 1993 to 1996, four Caulfield Cups, two Cox Plates as well as the prestigious King’s Stand Stakes at England’s Royal Ascot racecourse with his top class mare, Miss Andretti.
Rogerson is regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest ever trainers with multiple Group 1 wins on both sides of the Tasman including the 2007 Melbourne Cup with Efficient and the 2004 Cox Plate with Savabeel.
“Graeme came up to me at the yearling sales with the idea and I thought about and thought why not? In the background was the likelihood that the decision on Sydney wagering would go the right way,” Freedman said.
The new partnership has already started building their stable with visits to breeders in New Zealand to secure new clients for their Randwick operation which will be kept to thirty to forty horses.
“We haven’t had one knock-back. Everyone’s been keen and really supportive,” Freedman said.
Freedman said that he had no intention of building a large stable as he had in the past and was happy to limit his numbers.
“We’ll have a boutique stable of 30 to 40 horses,” Freedman said. “We’re not there to take on Gai or Chris, though they might not be so happy to see us coming.”