Freedman Excels with century of winners

Excelling (Michael Rodd) makes all at his first start in Singapore.

Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

Singapore champion trainer Lee Freedman reached another milestone on Friday when he picked up his 100th winner with Kranji debutant Excelling.

The Australian Hall of Fame trainer, who began his Kranji stint in September 2017 and captured his first Singapore Derby with Sun Marshal (winner No 98) last Sunday, was unfortunately not on hand to celebrate the new landmark.

It must, however, be highlighted that his century of wins does not include Mummify’s win in the now-defunct Singapore Airlines International Cup in 2005. Technically, it was Freedman’s first win in Singapore, but he was not a trainer licensed by the Singapore Turf Club then.

Travelling like a $13 favourite and a winner when taken to the front, Excelling, aptly running in Freedman’s Mummify stable colours (red, purple sash and cap, white sleeves), was never in doubt once jockey Michael Rodd stoked him up for his final dash to the line inside the last 300m.

The Manhattan Rain four-year-old opened up steadily to go and post an easy 2 ¾-length win from Effortless (John Powell) with Wonderful Knight (Chin See Cheng) third another half-a-length away. The winning time was 1min 5.06secs for the 1100m of the $50,000 Class 4 Division 3 race.

Before being imported to Singapore, Excelling was a two-time winner over 1200m from eight starts for trainer Joseph Pride when he raced in Sydney.

Rodd, who was aboard at Excelling’s winning barrier trial on July 9, was a little surprised they landed in front when the gates crashed back, but was always confident the gelding’s natural ability would take care of the rest.

“It was a bit of a funny start. The pace horse was slow out, and mine went around and came underneath me nicely,” said the Australian jockey.

“He quickened up well. He’s a lovely horse with a lovely action.

“The provincial Sydney form is always good. I thought he’d run in the top three even if he was going on Polytrack for the first time.

“He’s going to be better than Class 4.”

Author: iRace