Freedman’s Gold rush
Hall Of Famer to relinquish his Singapore licence to train on the Gold Coast
It was, you could say, vintage Lee Freedman. On the final day of racing in his final full season at Kranji, Freedman signed off in the only way he knew how.
With a winner.
Like we have become so accustomed to - and that is, never to underestimate the horse trainer - he saddled Eastiger to win the first race on the last day of the 2020 season. Then again, that was the Freedman trademark. Excellence.
Now comes the crunching news. Come March 1, 2021, David Lee Freedman will dig up his three-year roots and head back to his hunting grounds Down Under.
His destination? The Gold Coast in sunny Queensland.
Then again, it was nothing too surprising.
After all, it was along the Gold Coast in the Sunshine State that the now 64-year-old began his illustrious career. That was way back in 1983.
Since then, he has become a household name in Australia with his "report card" reading like a huge success story.
Since that day in 1983, he dominated the Australian racing scene, winning - among other pieces of silverware - five Melbourne Cups. Three of those came courtesy of that brilliant mare, Makybe Diva.
There were other big race successes and in September 2017, he made a big decision. He decided to grace the Kranji racing scene with his presence.
He did not let down the Freedman brand. A year after taking up residence at Kranji, he was crowned champion trainer.
Fast forward to the present day and, as if to add grist to his story, he saddled the winner of the season's final feature - the Colonial Chief Stakes with Super Dynasty. The win was his 156th Singapore winner.
Eastiger would make it 157 for the 31/2 years he has been here and 44 for the tumultuous 2020 Covid-19-affected season.
On the prospect of returning to Australia, Freedman said on his Twitter feed that he was "excited".
The tweet went on to say that he was especially thrilled to be setting up camp on the Gold Coast.
He added: "Ian Brown, the GCTC racing manager, has outlined the huge infrastructure development plans for the club culminating in night racing as of 2022.
"I believe these developments, plus the healthy prize money in southeast Queensland will elevate the GCTC to an even more exciting racing destination.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time training in Singapore and I offer my thanks to the owners who have supported the stable over my 31/2 years here.
"Now is the time to renew my ambitions in Australia and I look forward to reconnecting with my Australian owner base, as well as continue to train horses in Australia for my Hong Kong, Singaporean and Thai clients that have supported me so much in recent years.
"In the meantime, I am aiming to gather a few horses from the upcoming yearling sales."
Knowing the man and his brand, the Gold Coast had better prepare itself for the "Freedman Fever" and some great racing.