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Our Key Partners - The Trainers

Anthony Freedman, need no introduction!

Anthony is the third eldest of racing's famous Freedman brothers. He has been in integral part of the vast Freedman Racing operation since the mid-1980s.

After completing Year 12 at Canberra Grammar, he joined his brothers Lee and Richard, as an assistant, at Warwick Farm in 1983. He was part of the move to Melbourne, training out of Flemington, in 1984.

Late in 1992, Anthony pioneered the Freedman brothers' first foray interstate, when he opened a stable at Randwick. In that first year in Sydney, Anthony (under Lee's licence) prepared Bint Marscay to win the 1993 Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill.

Anthony, who has a keen eye for a yearling, is heavily involved in the yearling sale inspection process. It was Anthony who selected and bought Naturalism as a yearling for only $35,000. And he also selected Mummify ($60,000) and True Glo ($40,000) out of the Adelaide Sales.

When Freedman's moved to Markdel, Anthony worked in partnership with Lee - specialising in the development of the two-year-olds - until Lee decided to hand in his licence in August 2011. Freedman Racing had produced 124 Group 1 winners, starting with Miss Clipper, who won the first in 1986. The record included 5 Melbourne Cups, 4 Caulfield Cups, 4 Golden Slippers, 2 Cox Plates, 8 Derbys, 11 Oaks, 3 Newmarket Handicaps and 7 Victorian Metropolitan Trainer's Premierships.

Anthony has been head trainer since the start of the 2011-2012 season, and almost gave the brothers their sixth Melbourne Cup winner when Lucas Cranach finished a game third in the 2011 Melbourne Cup behind Dunaden.

Anthony trained his first official Group 1 winner when Mawingo won the 2012 Doomben Cup at Doomben. He finished his first season as trainer at Markdel with the impressive record of 40 city winners (49 provincial), 4 Group wins and 8 Listed wins at the healthy strike rate of 15.6 per cent.

Anthony Freedman Racing was formed at the start of the 2012-2013 racing season and since then has trained over 400 winners.

Anthony has added 6 more Group 1 wins with Our Ivanhoe winning the 2017 Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill, the 2017 Myer Classic, 2018 Surround Stakes & 2018 Robert Sangster Stakes with Shoals, and he trained the quinella in the 2017 Rupert Clarke Stakes with Santa Ana Lane beating Mr Sneaky, and he recently won the 2018 Goodwood Handicap with Santa Ana Lane Group 1 winners.

Anthony has 2 training bases, "Pinecliff" located at Sunnyside Road, Mt Eliza. This training facility offers horses all the comforts of the country and beach surroundings. Each horse has the opportunity to utilise day yards, where they are allowed to roam free of their stabling in a small paddock, and stabled at night for protection and security.

And their main training base is located at the Headquarters of Racing, Flemington, with the vibrant action of trackwork every morning, there is a buzz that makes you feel alive when you enter. Horses switch on at Flemington, they put their game face on, and they are ready to rumble!

There is no doubt that with both environments, all horses are able to achieve their potential.

Dream Thoroughbreds look forward to an exciting and successful partnership with Anthony Freedman Racing.

 

Ciaron Maher, the new star on the rise!

Ciaron Maher first got involved in the racing industry as a teenager when he worked with a trainer after school each day.  From there he started his jockey apprenticeship.  He trained as an apprentice with Peter Hayes.  He worked two years in Adelaide and two years in Melbourne.  After finishing his apprenticeship as a jumps jockey he worked for several trainers in Flemington.  He travelled and competed in the Australian versus Ireland jockey challenge and then worked in Ireland and England for a year riding.  He returned to Australia before going to work for the United Arab Emirates riding in Dubai for six months. 

Ciaron returned to Warrnambool to set himself up as a trainer.  He had the foresight that he would become too heavy to ride and had always known that he would eventually become a race horse trainer.  By working with such a diverse range of trainers throughout the world, this provided Ciaron with the grounding to establish himself in his own career path in training.

He received his trainer's license in 2005.

What sets Ciaron apart is his individual attention he gives to each of his horses, ensuring that they have a chance to succeed and the attention to detail in knowing everything he needs to know about his charges.  He is a passionate and involved trainer.

"I love the thrill of winning and sharing that thrill with great people." - Ciaron Maher

Ciaron successes have included the Group 1 win by Tears I Cry at the VRC Emirates Stakes at Flemington in 2007, less than three years after becoming a trainer, and more recently he trained Skrikandi to win the 2015 Group 1’s Stradbroke Handicap & Tatts Tiara, Set Square to win the 2014 VRC Oaks and Jameka to win the 2015 VRC Oaks, and exciting 3yo filly Petit Filous.

His recent Group 1 wins have been with Jameka winning the 2016 Caulfield Cup & 2017 BMW. 

Ciaron has returned from his suspension, rejuvenated and keen to strive for success and boost his reputation as one of Victoria's leading trainers.

 

Trent & Natalie, from NZ but making a huge impact in Oz!

The pair spent 10 years together in Singapore, with Trent and his father Paddy saddling up outstanding gallopers The Mighty Finn, Firehouse, and Bocelli, who won an incredible eight races in a row and was named Singapore Horse Of The Year in 2001.

In about 2007, Trent and Natalie decided to return to New Zealand, where they took out their trainers' licences and purchased a property opposite the Cambridge Jockey Club training centre. But it was a horse named Sangster that really kicked off their career.

Busuttin and Young prepared him up for a ready to run sale before buying him for $19,000. Eighteen months later, the son of Savabeel would claim the 2011 VRC Derby.

"He obviously won the Victorian Derby, but he was a top horse," Trent said.

"He was very unlucky in the Spring Champion Stakes (running third) and then he went on as an older horse, winning the Group 1 Auckland Cup and a 2000m Group 1 in NZ.

"He also ran third in The BMW, but he was the horse that got us started and got us out there. You need that one good horse to kick you off and he was that horse for us."

It was then that the trainers, now in their 30s, decided a move to Melbourne made sense. So midway through 2016 - shortly after Tavago claimed for them the Australian Derby in devastating fashion - they made the move, setting up base at Cranbourne with a plane load of 12 horses that will eventually grow to 70 in work and 25 in pre-training.

While they've developed a profound reputation training rising stayers and potential Cups and derby horses - with recent examples being stakes winner Main Stage and dual Group 1-placegetter Sully - Busuttin is eager to shake that tag.

"I'd like to get rid of it; certainly whatever races you can win, you'll win - if we're winning derbies we're happy with that," he said.

"But we want to get out there and get some nice fillies and two-year-olds. We're aware of that and we've been buying up at the Magic Millions and other sales, trying to find that sort of horse." "We don't want to be labelled as staying trainers," Natalie added.

"We've purely been that because we've worked with New Zealand-bred horses and they're better stayers.

The Dream team idenitified their skill at preparing stayers a few years ago, and have now partnered with them giving them NZ bred yearlings to aim at the staying races in 2018 & 2019. Hoepfully we will have our first Derby and Oaks runners very soon, with this exciting combination!

 

Darren Weir, Victoria's current leading trainer!

Darren was raised on the family farm in the Mallee District. During this time he worked for various trainers in the area, including Jack Coffey in Birchip and John Castleman in Mildura.

Darren then worked for Colin Hayes at the world-renowned Lindsay Park training complex, and spent a few months working in a stable in Ireland. On returning to Australia, Darren worked at Lindsay Park Stud.

In 1990, Darren moved to Stawell and began working as a farrier, servicing trainers in the Wimmera and Western District areas of Victoria, he then began breaking-in horses for a large state wide client base.

Darren obtained his Owner-Trainer License in 1995 and his Full License in 1997.

On relocating to Ballarat in 2001, the property was completely refurbished and is constantly being upgraded.

Darren has been leading Country Trainer since 2005 training over 100 winners each season. He is prepared to take horses to the races where they have the best winning chance, demonstrated by a winning strike-rate of close to 25%.

Darren is a perfectionist by nature and leaves no stone unturned, in getting the greatest ability out of each horse.

Darren has the confidence, resources and right team to ensure the stable keeps on succeeding.