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Freedman returns uncertain of future
Robert Grant
06:10 AEST Wed Dec 12 2012

Hall of Fame trainer Lee Freedman will return to Melbourne from Sydney uncertain of his immediate future.

Freedman decided to walk away from his partnership with New Zealander Graeme Rogerson at Randwick after less than a year, saying the venture had become unviable.

But he said on Tuesday he had not decided whether he would continue to train horses either in Melbourne or at his family's property, Markdel, near Rye on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.

Freedman admitted he had found it tough to crack the Sydney market and was disappointed at the slow growth rate of his new business.

"The partnership was dissolved here primarily because the horse numbers that I'd hoped would be achieved over the period of time wasn't happening as quickly as I would have liked," Freedman told Melbourne radio RSN.

"And that therefore puts the stable in a somewhat unviable position in terms of numbers in training.

"I made the decision, along with my partner, that it would be best if we dissolved the partnership and we can go our separate ways," he said.

Freedman said he and Rogerson had doubled the number of horses in training over the past eight months but he still felt the business needed to perform better.

He said he planned to take a break and decide what he wanted to do next year. He said he would continue to be involved with horses in some capacity.

"Obviously I've got a great love and affinity with horses so I would like to continue doing that but I'm leaving the rest of it in abeyance for three or four weeks," he said.

Freedman shocked the racing community when he handed over the reins of the family's training business to his younger Anthony last year.

Anthony Freedman has decided to move from Markdel to Flemington to take up the stables vacated by embattled mining entrepreneur Nathan Tinkler.

Lee Freedman said it was not his intention to begin training from the property and he would explore other options for the facility.

"I may have some ideas as to how we may best use Markdel which is an unencumbered family asset that we don't need to sell," he said.

"I have an affinity with the place and I would like to investigate some ideas about opportunities to make some use of it."

Freedman all but ruled out working for Racing Victoria, saying that would be "somewhat akin to putting a Tasmanian Devil into a cage".

Among his many achievements, Freedman has trained the winners of four Golden Slippers and five Melbourne Cups.


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