Legendary trainer Lee Freedman has announced that he will be returning to training in a new partnership with brother Anthony Freedman.
Freedman retired from full-time training in 2011 and handed the reins of his operation to Anthony before he spent time working on a unsuccessful joint venture with Kiwi trainer Graeme Rogerson and spent a stint working alongside Lloyd Williams at Macedon Lodge.
The new training partnership will officially commence on Sunday and Freedman said that he was thrilled that he was now in a position in his life where it was possible to return to training after battling with depression and heavy drinking over the past three years.
“I’m very excited to be getting back into training,” Freedman said in a statement.
“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.
“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 Freedman team had one of the largest racing operations in Australia in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they dominated races like the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), but Freedman revealed that the duo will have only a small team of horses in work.
The hall-of-fame trainer said that he does not expect to add to his seven Melbourne Trainers Premiership’s, but he hopes that the stable that will be based at both Flemington and Pinecliff on the Mornington Peninsula can still be extremely competitive.
“We will devote 100% to the small team,” Freedman said.
“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.”
Anthony Freedman made a successful start to his career as a solo trainer, recording six wins at Group level in 2012 including the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) with Mawingo, but has struggled to make an impact at the highest level of racing in the past two years.
Freedman said that he had enjoyed the challenge of training on his own, but said that he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to work alongside his old 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 Freedman said.
“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.”
The Freemans played a pivotal role in in the careers of champion horses like Super Impose, Naturalism, Schillaci, Mannerism, Mahogany, Doriemus, Alinghi, Makybe Diva and Miss Andretti.