Five times Melbourne Cup winning trainer Lee Freedman will renew his association with successful owner Lloyd Williams when he takes up the new position of director of training and racing at Macedon Lodge.
Freedman will oversee Williams’ private training complex at Mt Macedon with current trainer Robert Hickmott remaining the stables number one trainer along with assistant John Chandler.
“The director of Macedon Lodge and Hudson Conway Racing will continue to be run by the family but Lee will be the boss of all operations – raceday activities, gallops, buying and selling horses and, importantly, mentoring the great staff we have here,” Lloyd Williams son Nick said.
“Dad and Lee have been great mates for 25 years and they had a meal last week and Lee was saying how he wanted to put back into the industry. It was just a casual conversation but suddenly the opportunity popped up and both grabbed it.
“It is really exciting. You don’t often get an opportunity to have one of the great trainers in Australian history come to offer his knowledge.”
Freedman and Williams’ association goes back twenty-five years and between them they can boast nine Melbourne Cup winners, Freedman training five and Williams owning four.
Freedman’s Melbourne Cup winners were Makybe Diva twice (2004, 2005), Tawriffic (1989), Subzero (1992) and Doriemus (1995) while Williams collected the winning trophy with Just A Dash (1981), What A Nuisance (1985), Efficient (2007) and last year’s winner Green Moon.
Freedman also had huge success training for Williams in the 1990s with numerous Group 1 wins with the great Mahogany, a Golden Slipper with Merlene, and a Blue Diamond win with Knowledge.
The Hall Of Fame trainer had tested several different ventures since standing down as head trainer of Freedman Brothers training operation at Markdel at Rye on the Mornington Penninsula and handing the reins over to his brother Anthony at the end of 2011.
Since then Freedman took up training in partnership with trans-Tasman trainer Graeme Rogerson with limited success before returning to Markdel to set up a spelling and pre-training centre this year.
“I’m really thrilled about it. I think it will be a terrific opportunity,” Freedman said.
“I’ll be directing racing and training, which means I will be integral on giving opinions and thoughts on training and placement of horses along with Malcolm McLaren and Lloyd.
“I’ll be mentoring a lot of the young staff that Lloyd has. He has a huge opinion of the people he has up there.
“Everyone will jump to the conclusion that I will be training the horses, but that’s not the fact.
“I will just be part of the team that supports Rob Hickmott. The thing that came across in the discussions with Lloyd is that he’s very passionate about training young people.”
Freedman’s training record is impeccable with seven Melbourne training premierships, 124 Group 1 winners, including five Melbourne Cups, four Caulfield Cups, four Golden Slippers and two Cox Plates as well as being inducted into Racing’s Hall Of Fame in 2003.