Hall of Fame trainer Lee Freedman is looking to set up a training partnership with New Zealand’s top trainer Graeme Rogerson at Randwick.
Freedman broke his silence and revealed that he has had preliminary talks with Rogerson about forming a partnership to train out of Rogerson’s Randwick stables.
Rogerson currently has thirty-six boxes at Randwick but in recent times has leased most of them out to other training operations because of lack of numbers in his Sydney training ranks.
“I have been having talks,” Freedman said.
“I have had discussions with Graeme and some owners in his stable about perhaps a revitalisation of the Rogerson stable in Sydney, since Rogie has basically based himself completely out of New Zealand in the last few years, it probably needs a bit of a lift.”
“It’s only at the talking stage; we haven’t actually applied for a licence or anything.”
“I guess if you’re seen with someone and you’re talking to them, two and two makes five, but that’s where it’s at, at the moment.”
Freedman has been in limbo since handing over the number one spot in the family training complex at Rye on the Mornington Peninsula to his brother Anthony who has continued to run a successful operation.
The multiple Group 1 and Melbourne Cup winning trainer left behind a wealth of Australian racing glory when he stepped down as head trainer in August last year but now a move to Sydney would regenerate his desire for more glory.
Freedman stressed that he was only in early talks with Rogerson and no official approach has been made to Racing New South Wales or the Australian Turf Club.
Colin Tuck, the Australian Turf Club’s general manager of racing and wagering admitted to hearing rumours of the move but no formal notification had been received.
”We have received nothing official regarding a new partnership to train at Randwick,” Tuck said.
Freedman has remained an important part of the running of their complex, Markdel, after handing over the reins to Anthony but said a move to Sydney would mean a complete separation from the family business.
“It would certainly interest me, but there are a few bridges to cross first,” he said.
“This is not a decision you take lightly. There are a lot things to be mulled over.”
“Everyone thinks they know everything – so, that is what is happening.”
Freedman reached the pinnacle of his training career when he was inducted into the Racing Hall Of Fame in May 2003 after entering the training ranks at Warwick Farm in 1983.
The great trainer has prepared 124 Group 1 winners, five Melbourne Cups, including two with the mighty mare Makybe Diva, four Golden Slippers, four Caulfield Cups and two Cox Plates.
Most recently Freedman has been closely associated with the preparation of German five year old Lucas Cranach who was able to win first up for Anthony in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 25.