Freedman deals a winning juvenile Prelude pair

5 min read
The Anthony Freedman stable laid its G1 Blue Diamond S. cards on the table at Caulfield where they trumped all their rivals with a winning double ahead of the 2-year-old feature in a fortnight’s time.

They played their first ace with I Am Immortal (I Am Invincible), who retained his unbeaten record with a gallant victory in the G3 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude for the colts and geldings and then Lyre (Lonhro) took out the fillies’ division.

“Anthony is very patient with his horses. It’s a bit surreal to have two live chances in the race,” Freedman’s son and foreman Sam said.

As far as dress rehearsals go, I Am Immortal couldn’t have played it any better at Caulfield with a Group 1 challenge looming in a fortnight’s time for the gallant colt.

“It’s a bit surreal to have two live chances in the race.” – Sam Freedman.

He made every post a winner on his way to a front-running victory in the G3 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (C & G) over 1100 metres off the back of his Listed success on debut in the Blue Diamond Preview (C & G) at 1000 metres.

Now the 64,000 question is whether I Am Immortal will be able to harness his pace and brilliance to stretch out to 1200 metres in the G1 Blue Diamond S. in a fortnight’s time. Certainly, Freedman junior is confident.

“He’s a tough horse and when the others came at him he fought and ran the trip out,” he said.

I Am Immortal's celebrating connections

“Whatever gate he draws he’s got the pace to get across and he’s going to be right there in the Blue Diamond.”

“He’s a tough horse and when the others came at him he fought and ran the trip out.” – Sam Freedman.

Freedman said I Am Immortal would also derive further benefit from Saturday’s outing.

“He’s not bottomed out at all and there is a bit of improvement to come. He’ll be at his peak in two weeks.”

A $200,000 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale purchase from Yarraman Park Stud's draft for the trainer and Dream Thoroughbreds, I Am Immortal is a son of the G2 Angus Armanasco S. winner Meliora (Ad Valorem {USA}). His half-sister by Hinchinbrook sold at Magic Millions earlier this year to Boomer Bloodstock for $600,000.

I Am Immortal as a yearling

It is essentially a sprinting pedigree and Ben Melham, who has been aboard the youngster in both of his starts, is naturally enough a big fan.

“He was going an extra 100 metres and he was a bit empty late,” he said. “He still has improvement in him and he’s got a bit more experience.”

“He still has improvement in him and he’s got a bit more experience.” – Ben Melham.

I Am Immortal pounced to the front and he surged clear half-way down the straight and clung on grimly.

There was an awful lot of merit in the performance of the runner-up Shotmaker (Shooting To Win), who was on debut for Mick Price.

He raced midfield on the outer and closed strongly under Damian Lane while the Michael Moroney- prepared Hawker Hurricane (Deep Field) also found the line strongly after racing in the last three.

“He’s a very good colt and very powerful out of the barrier,” Melham said.

“He’s that competitive that when the pressure comes on he can be a bit hard to hold back.” – Ben Melham.

“The Snowden runner (Aussie) came up outside of him and he wanted to run through the bridle. He’s still learning though and he’s a colt with a very bright future.

“He’s that competitive that when the pressure comes on he can be a bit hard to hold back.”

Jockey Ben Melham

From a Sale maiden to stakes success

While I Am Immortal was heavily supported, Lyre was at 25-1 after coming off the back of a Sale maiden success.

“She’s a filly that’s improving all the time. The win last start had merit and she learned a lot from it,” Freedman said.

“She’s a filly that’s improving all the time.” – Sam Freedman.

“Her work on Tuesday was very good and she was well over the odds, even though it was a hot field. We’ve always had a fair opinion of her.”

Lyre is raced by Godolphin and her victory continued a long and successful association with the stable.

“They’ve been incredibly loyal over the years,” Freedman said. “They gave us another six yearlings and this is the first of them.

“They’ve been incredibly loyal over the years.” – Sam Freedman.

“They’ve been great supporters and put so much into this industry.”

Lyre was ridden by Damian Lane and off a handy position the filly rounded off strongly to account for the pacemaker Vinicunca (I Am Invincible) and James Cummings’ Godolphin runner Athiri (Lonhro).

“She was great. I got a nice run from an awkward draw and she was too strong,” Lane said. “The filly has improved with every start and the Freedmans have done a great job.”

Lyre is out of the Street Cry (Ire) mare Erato and is a three-quarter sister to the dual Group 1 winner Impending, who is a son of Mnemosyne (Encosta de Lago), who was also successful twice at the elite level.