The young horseman related that the last time he or his family had been associated with a Blue Diamond winner had been back in 2004 when the Lee Freedman-trained Alinghi won the race on February 21 that year on Sam’s tenth birthday.
I Am Immortal is a son of I Am Invincible who is a classically speedy precocious type, able to get out of the barriers quickly to lead and try to dominate from the front.
Lyre, a Godolphin owned daughter of Lonrho, is a filly who will, says Freedman, get better as she gets over more ground than the 1100 metres of the Prelude and should be even better as a three year old.
Speaking of I Am Immortal, who was ridden by Ben Melham for the second time in his two starts, Freedman said: »I think whatever gate he draws he has got the speed for the first 50 metres to get himself across. He’s going to be right there in the Blue Diamond.
»Today he showed toughness and grit when they came to him, and that will take him a long way. Possibly a few of the contenders will come off the speed so he might have the edge on them coming into the home straight.»
Lyre is one of six yearlings that Godolphin sent to Freedman and she is the first to run as a two year old.
While I Am Immortal went off as a $2.50 favourite, Lyre, partnered by Damian Lane, started at $26 having drifted from an opening quote of $18.
But, said Freedman, the market had underestimated the chances of a filly who had been an unlucky fifth on debut at Flemington before breaking her duck at Sale.
»This filly worked huge on Tuesday, she improved out of sight since her win at Sale. We expected her to run very well, she was over the odds.
«She should have won her first start at Flemington. She’s hopefully going to line up in the Blue Diamond and if they think the fillies are better she should be right there.»
He said the colt and filly were very different sorts of horse.
»She has more scope and will need a bit further, but she is fast… we got her down to the farm and she put on a massive amount of weight and she was improving, so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see her do so well. He’s a very straightforward type and knows his job.»
Michael Lynch, The Age’s expert on soccer, has had extensive experience of high level journalism in the UK and Australia. Michael has covered the Socceroos through Asia, Europe and South America in their past three World Cup campaigns. He has also reported on Grands Prix and top class motor sport from Asia and Europe. He has won several national media awards for both sports and industry journalism.