ON CUP day 12 months ago, Lee Freedman was in a hospitality tent dispensing refreshments to thirsty punters. Tomorrow, he hopes to be the toast of punters with a sixth Melbourne Cup success.
Freedman and brother Anthony saddle up Our Ivanhowe, an ex-German Group 1 winner in the $6.2 million Cup. Remarkably, it will be Lee’s first Cup runner since Maybe Diva completed her historic three-peat in 2005. During his break from training, Anthony prepared another former German, Lucas Cranach, third to Dunaden in the 2011 Cup.
Two weeks after Protectionist won last year’s Cup, Lee Freedman, who had trained briefly in partnership with Graeme Rogerson in Sydney and then as a consultant for Lloyd Williams, announced he would reunite with his brother in a formal training partnership.
Lee Freedman is a Hall Of Fame trainer with 125 G1 wins. He has a stunning record of training five Melbourne Cup winners—Tawrrific (1989), Subzero (1992), Dories (1995) and Maybe Diva (2004-05) as well as four seconds: Super Impose, behind Tawrrific, Paris Lane (1994 behind Jeune); Count Chivas (1996 behind Saintly) and Doriemus (1997 behind Might And Power). He shares second place with the late James Scobie on the Cup-winners’ table, behind the late Bart Cummings (12).
Before last November was over the initial steps in the Freedmans having a 2015 Cup runner were underway. Anthony saw Our Ivanhowe run sixth, beaten six lengths, to Epiphaneia in the G1 Ja...