Freedman doubles up with Diamond duo
STABLE foreman Sam Freedman described it as a surreal feeling after the stable took out both divisions of the Blue Diamond Preludes with two-year-old colt I Am Immortal and filly Lyre.
"We don't have many two-year-olds run," Freedman said.
"Anthony is very patient with them, so it's quite surreal to think we've got two runners in the Blue Diamond Stakes."
The colts and geldings' division was taken out by $2.50 favourite I Am Immortal, who led throughout to win as he did in the Preview on debut.
The fillies' race was meant to be the race where one of Catch Me, Athiri or Brooklyn Hustle would win and become the Blue Diamond favourite, but $26 chance Lyre left them in her wake.
Freedman described them as very different horses, with I Am Immortal a speed horse and Lyre having scope to run over more ground.
In terms of winning the Blue Diamond Stakes, the Preludes muddied the waters.
Catch Me weakened to finish last after being part of the battle for the lead, Athiri held on well for third after racing three wide and Brooklyn Hustle came from well back to finish fifth.
As a result Ladbrokes' fixed odds promoted last week's Chairman's Stakes winner Loving Gaby as the new favourite, trimming her odds to $4.
Athiri is second favourite at $5 and Lyre firmed into $9.
Fillies' division runner-up Vinicunca firmed into $11.
I Am Immortal is on $6.
As he did at his debut, I Am Immortal led from the outset to win.
Freedman said I Am Immortal's speed would be an asset in the Blue Diamond Stakes as many of the leading chances settled off the speed.
"He's a tough horse," he said. "He found when they came to him. I suppose the 1200m could be a question mark but he showed grit when they came to him."
Freedman said I Am Immortal had more improvement to come, and he was hoping that run would help take the edge off the colt so he could run out 1200m in the Blue Diamond.
"He might be able to relax and run 1200m," he said. "He had a good blow after his first start and we haven't hammered him to get here. Also, he hasn't been in the system all that long.''
Jockey Ben Melham said I Am Immortal was hard to hold as he was so competitive.
"He tired late but showed his quality by digging deep," he said. "Whether he can sustain pressure for 1200m is a little issue but Anthony is a very good trainer.
"His ability will take him a long way."
I Am Immortal ($2.50) defeated Shotmaker ($8.50) by a long neck, with Hawker Hurricane ($11) a neck away third. Although Lyre started at $26 Freedman wasn't shocked by the win.
"She's improving all the time," he said. "The win at Sale had merit as she just didn't know how to put them away she's gone on with it and then she went to the farm and put a lot of weight on.
"Her work on Tuesday was very good, she's always shown a bit. We've always had a fair opinion of her."
Although Brooklyn Hustle finished fifth, Melham said it was a good run.
"She was a little bit keen fresh. She raced a bit ring rusty but the run will bring her on a heap," he said,
Lyre ($26) defeated Vinicunca ($20) by a long neck, with Athiri ($5) a neck away third.