Freedman cleans up at the Echuca races
THE Anthony Freedman stable at Flemington sent two horses to Echuca on Friday, started them in the races with the two biggest purses and scooped the pool.
It began in the second of the day, with Banter in the $22,000 Border Inn Plate over 1100m for three-year-old maidens, and was immediately followed up by Mr So And So in the $22,000 Echuca Newsagency Plate over 1400m.
And jockey Daniel Moor was in the saddle for both victories, with a textbook win from the front on Banter and then overcoming a mid-race setback to seize the lead in the home straight and never let it go.
The Freedman stable’s Brad Taylor said Banter had showed significant improvement since being gelded.
Taylor said the horse was a heavy and feisty colt that had bucked at his previous two starts but since coming back had won a jump out at Flemington and appeared a much more focused horse.
‘‘He was impressive in winning that trial before this start at Echuca,” Taylor said.
“Banter has natural early speed and rolled to the front on that occasion and was too good for them and with his nice barrier today did the same thing again,” he said.
“Daniel didn’t have to hunt him along, he used his gate speed and early speed to get across and then he was ridden a perfect ride from the front.
“He’s got a high cruising speed, was probably just coming to the end of it in that last little bit, so we will have to wait and see in the future if he gets much further than this.
“But he has a good group of owners who will be very happy with this.”
Banter jumped well, moved across to take up the running and was never headed although the heavily-backed Prezado, first up after its own spell, was absolutely flying over the last 150m and he got within reach before the finish line came up.
His last race had been as a two-yearold finishing fourth at Flemington in June.
Banter started at 13/2 and paid $6.80 and Moor said it had been a pretty easy run.
“He tried to be a bit tricky early in his career but he’s always shown us a bit, showed good ability and obviously just needed to focus, which he did today,” Moor added,
“The plan was not to drive him, we didn’t want him to buck, so we agreed to let him go a bit although he bottomed out about 100 out,” he said.
“But this is early this time in and he will improve on this run.”
In the Echuca Newsagency Plate Mr So and So, which has always been well respected in the market in his three previous starts was sent out clear favourite at 9/4 and paid $2.20.
Taylor said the race had been a lovely event for him as he stepped up to 1400m for the first time.
He said the stable expected him to get a nice run from an inside barrier after a good second from his first start this time in.
“He can be a little slow away from the barrier but he jumped OK, stayed a little wide down the back straight in a slower race.”
When the field came off the turn home Mr So and So went up to them very quickly as they straightened before running a little ragged, wanting to hang out.
But he stuck to his task and there was clear air between him and second place.
The son of So You Think out of a Danehill mare, Taylor thought he might have over-raced through the middle section of the run.
But Moor, happy with his winning double, did have an excuse for the horse.
“He wasn’t pulling, he had copped a big clod down the back and after that he threw the toys out of the cot and said he wanted to race with his head up a bit,” Moor explained.
“He eventually got it down again and was pretty steady, letting us go wide on the turn and then he was strong to the line,” he said.
“It wasn’t as straightforward at Banter, but this fellow’s always been a bit quirky and he is pretty green.
“But he’s not aggressive and on this run, and on his breeding, he’ll definitely get further, out to 2000m as he always settles well, so long as he doesn’t cop a clod, but it might be next prep though before he gets stretched out.
“I’ll say this though, if he comes back with an even better attitude next time round I am pretty sure he will be city grade.” ■ Club honours stalwart, page 23.
The Anthony Freedman trained Mr So And So (above left and right) storms to victory in the $22,000 Echuca Newsagency Plate and Banter (below) in its dashing win from the front in the $22,000 Border Inn Plate. Photo: