Young trainer Will Freedman has only saddled up 20 runners since going out on his own but he has already shown promise with a metropolitan placegetter and four winners, including Zaunkonig in the Dubbo Cup.
Formerly working with his father Richard at Rosehill, Freedman set up his solo Scone operation a few months ago and is grateful for the support he has received from a wide array of owners.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve been graced with blue-bloods at the moment, but we’re trying to get results with what we have,” Freedman said.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have some good supporters and also some horses that are still capable of winning a few races.”
Freedman showed that with tried horse Zaunkonig, winning the $100,000 Dubbo Gold Cup in September, the gelding being only his ninth runner to head to the races.
“I’ve known Zaunkonig for a while and some of those horses that come out of the city system come into the country lifestyle and find a new lease on life,” Freedman said.
“He’s been great for my stable, and that was a very timely win.”
With 21 horses currently in work, Freedman says he is comfortable with that amount at this early stage of his training career.
“I’ve probably got room for a few more, but I want to give all the horses their chance,” Freedman said.
“As they say, you don’t walk before you can crawl, so I’ll keep it at a number I can handle at the moment.”
Fellow Scone trainer Brett Cavanough tasted success in this year’s Kosciuszko with It’s Me and Freedman sees the financial benefit of being based in the country.
“These country-only races are worth some serious prize money now and I’ve got some owners that would love to have a runner in that race,” Freedman said.
“Undoubtedly, I’d have to go to the sales to find one. Trainers are usually pretty reluctant to give away the good ones.”
Freedman takes Leardo back to a Highway Handicap at Randwick this weekend after the five-year-old finished a close third in a similar event a fortnight ago.
“He was a challenging horse for me at the start,” Freedman said.
“Some city horses find a new lease on life in the country but some think it’s just a holiday.
“I’ve had to vary his training techniques and put a bit more work into him. He’s in terrific form now and I think he’ll run well.”
He also has Saint Ambrose in the same event, another horse inherited from his father.
“He showed a lot of early promise as a two-year-old but probably suffered a few mental demons early on,” Freedman said.
“You can’t knock winning form, albeit a class one at Gunnedah, but he drops significantly in weight and I believe he can be competitive.
“A bit of rain certainly wouldn’t hurt both their chances.”
Freedman has also been lucky enough to inherit Listed winner A Shin Rook from his uncle Anthony and has some possible targets lined up later in the year.
“He’s probably my best quality horse at this stage,” Freedman said.