Freedman in the Express lane
Two days after hitting the century of wins on Friday night, the Lee Freedman yard took the score further up with Yulong Express (NZ) (Shamexpress) shedding his maiden status at his sixth start on Sunday.
The reigning Singapore champion trainer is still overseas, but from the brilliant form his team of horses are running in, it’s clear the 100-win mark was always going to be put astern rather rapidly, with or without the Australian mentor at the helm.
Freedman, through his indefatigable right-hand woman Chi Iizuka, saddled only a small team of three runners on Sunday with his resuming maiden Group winner Circuit Land (Mizzen Mast) the headline act in the Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m).
After his first contender, favourite Sun Sniper (Redoute’s Choice), could only finish fourth in the Debt Collector 2016 Stakes, a Class 4 Division 2 race over 1200m, the 101st winner was sealed in the next race with another first-elect, Yulong Express.
Jumping straight on the bunny from barrier No 1, the Shamexpress three-year-old was never in doubt once jockey Michael Rodd had him ambling along within his own steam upfront.
Perennial bridesmaid Gamely (Golden Archer) did try and serve it up to him upon cornering for the judge, but once Rodd threw out the anchors, the race was as good as over.
Yulong Express did sway to the middle of the track under pressure, but in Rodd’s safe pair of hands, he strode on towards an easy two-and-a-quarter length-win.
“He was not too strong today. I just have to leave that mouth alone,” said Rodd who rode Yulong Express for the first time in a winning barrier trial on July 16.
“Barrier one helped, he landed in front. He showed a great turn of foot even if he got lost when he got there.”
Bred by Windsor Park Stud and a $210,000 graduate of Ohukia Lodge Ltd’s 2017 Ready To Run draft, Yulong Express made winning look easy from the get-go in the $75,000 Spalato 2015 Stakes, a Restricted Maiden-1 race over 1200m.