Anthony Freedman has extended the successful Australian Group One run of global racing giant Godolphin, claiming the Blue Diamond Stakes with Lyre.
While most of the Godolphin team are trained by James Cummings, Freedman has five two-year-olds for the Blue Army.
Lyre, a winner of three of her four starts, is the only one to have graced the turf this season and on Saturday claimed Melbourne’s premier two-year-old race.
Her win followed the Group One Godolphin success of Alizee for Cummings in the Futurity Stakes.
Ridden by Luke Currie, Lyre drifted from $5.50 to $7.50 before defeating Lankan Star ($41) by a half-length with Free Of Debt ($31) a long-neck away third.
Freedman and brother Lee, now training in Singapore, have had a long association with Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, firstly with Darley Stud and then Godolphin.
It’s an association Freedman suggests dates back 15 to 20 years but had waned somewhat over the past seven or eight.
“Out of the blue they rang me and said they would like to send me some horses. I was thrilled to get them because I didn’t have huge numbers,” Freedman said.
“She’s home bred and they have great systems and she came to us in great condition and it was a case of developing her and get her improving into this race.
“To get a result like this for them is a big thrill.”
Freedman said Lyre could arguably be unbeaten but he’s unsure whether the filly will progress to Sydney for the Golden Slipper at Rosehill on March 23.
“She’s had four good runs from January 1 through until now so we will take stock of today and see what happens,” he said.
“The ride worked out well although she was a little further back than I wanted but as they say, all’s well that ends well.”
Freedman said Currie had ridden infrequently for him but with Damian Lane committed to sixth-placed $4.80 equal favourite Loving Gaby, he was happy to engage Currie.
“I’ve always admired Luke’s ability,” he said.
“He rides two-year-olds very well and rides Caulfield well, so I had no problems putting him on.”
Having his first ride on the filly, Currie said he’d watched replays of her races over and over.
He said Lyre was shuffled back further than he wanted but he resisted pressing the button early.
“She was a long way back and she rounded them up really quickly.” he said.