Horses To Follow » My Freedom

My Freedom

My Freedom, available at 6/1 in the morning, was well backed all day on Friday for the concluding race at Newmarket, the Class 3 TurfTV Handicap over a mile, opening up at 100/30 on course before easing back out slightly. He travelled like the best horse in the race over in the far side group, Dettori looking confident on him as he sliced through the pack to come and take it up entering the final quarter of a mile. Once he hit the front though, he began to show signs of inexperience, this was just his fourth start, as he first edged right on the downhill run to the furlong marker before edging back over to his left after a couple of cracks from Dettori’s right hand. Once the rider pulled his whip through, My Freedom repeated the trick back to his right, Dettori having to transfer his whip yet again to straighten him back up before driving him out just hands and heels for the last 50 yards in an attempt to keep him straight. It looked for all the world as though he was going to hold on, but Albaqaa, running straight down the stands side (which was probably the fastest part of the track, as the GoingStick and Brae Hill’s win in the Bunbury Cup the following day suggested) just got up on the line to beat him. My Freedom was soon back in front after the line, suggesting that he had plenty left to give.

For all that Albaqaa was a potentially well handicapped horse, dropping 16lb in just three runs this season already to a mark of 82, having won off 95 last season and achieved a rating as high as 100, he was allowed go off an unconsidered 50/1 shot, and My Freedom would probably have run out a comfortable winner had he not zig-zagged across the track in the last furlong and a half and given away a good deal of ground and momentum. The Godolphin horse, who traded at 1.02 in-running, is clearly well regarded given how well he was backed for this race (he had gone off a fairly short price for his debut last year before winning it readily), and he can soon make amends for this narrow defeat. His antics here can be put down to inexperience for now rather than any waywardness and, with hindsight, it may have been better to hold onto him for longer, he did hit the front a fair way out. That said, the front-runners all started to weaken some way out on the far side and the Godolphin horse was going so sweetly that he took Dettori there probably earlier than the jockey would have wanted.

Although, as a three-year-old, he was receiving weight from most of his rivals, the son of Invincible Spirit gave the impression that he was much better than most of the field, and it will be disappointing if he cannot make his presence felt in better company in the future. In the shorter term, a 4lb hike is not harsh, and he looks potentially really well handicapped now on his new mark of 90. He travelled so well that he would probably not want to go any further than a mile for the time being, although he did run on strongly after the line, and there is some stamina on his dam’s side of the pedigree. Saeed Bin Suroor’s horses are just starting to find some form, and this one should do even better when the stable starts to hit top form in the coming weeks.

8th July 2011