Connections Cast Episode 1 with Richard Freedman

3 min read
Welcome to the first edition of Connections Cast, a TDN AusNZ Podcast hosted by Angus Roland, available on Apple Podcast and Spotify. The first edition features an interview with a top trainer and media personality Richard Freedman, discussing winning Slippers, Shakespearean family dynamics, eating old burgers and paint off the walls, plus; what a lifetime supply of beer looks like.

Freedman was born into a great thoroughbred racing family and he and his brothers, Lee, Anthony and Michael made a massive impact on Australian racing winning Australia's biggest races either in the partnership or under their own names over the past 30 years.

The brotherly dynamic has always been at the centre of fascination and Richard reflects on the family growing up in Hardwicke Stud at Yass, breaking in his first horse when he was 12, riding in show-jumping events, and even in a rodeo.

"I think it was a fantastic childhood growing up in Yass because we got to do things that we would never have done. And we would have never been horse trainers if we hadn't have grown up on that stud," he said.

Bruce McAvaney, Tye Angland, Kate Mallyon and Richard Freedman | Image Courtesy of Bronwen Healy

"Dad did say at one stage, that 'I spent $500,000 on you blokes' education and I ended up with four-horse trainers. I could have sent you to Yass High!'"

"Dad did say at one stage, that 'I spent $500,000 on you blokes' education and I ended up with four-horse trainers. I could have sent you to Yass High!'" - Richard Freedman

Freedman made an impact under his own name at just 18, becoming at that stage the youngest horse trainer ever to have a winner in Australia, with a horse ridden by his future Sky colleague John Scorse.

He talks through the 'FBI' years and reflects on some great and funny moments, the best he has worked with, both human and equine, and details the lifetime supply of beer that the Freedmans were granted after winning the 1996 Golden Sipper with Merlene (Danehill {USA}).

Merlene | Image courtesy of Freedman Racing

"We rang up and said 'Listen, mate, you said beer for life, we are still alive, but there is no beer."

Freedman has also pursued a successful media career, playing the role of antagonist which was natural to him in many ways.

"It's never worried me to say what I think. It has cost me from time to time saying what I think, but it’s never overly concerned me," he said. "I enjoyed that part of my career."

A comeback to training beckoned and it has proven a successful return in partnership with his brother Michael. He details the experience of winning the Golden Slipper this year with star colt Stay Inside (Extreme Choice).

Stay Inside | Image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

"Slipper Day is always a stressful day, especially if you have got a chance in it. We'd been there a few times before, that helps a bit. It wasn't our first rodeo."

And as for the three-month-old burger, well it’s a story only Freedman could tell.

"It surprised me when I bought the Maccas at Goulburn, and it sat under the front seat of the car for the entire summer that when I reached under the car seat to get a tyre level, I found the Maccas still in the blue Styrofoam box."

For the rest of the tale, you'll have to listen to the podcast.

Also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Richard Freedman
Connections Cast
Angus Roland