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Freedman's Diamond double-up

Sam Freedman can well remember the last time the family held aloft the Blue Diamond Stakes trophy. It was the day he turned 10 and the winner was a freak by the name of Alinghi.

He's now coming on 23 and hoping that 13-year drought in Victoria's premier two-year-old race can be halted after his father Anthony trained the winners of both Blue Diamond Preludes at Caulfield on Saturday.

The wins of the stablemates could barely have been less similar.

I Am Immortal, who started the $2.50 favourite on Saturday on the back of a sizzling debut, is a jump-and-run type and he again showed enormous speed before holding on for a long neck victory.

The fillies' winner Lyre was not as well received by punters as she started a $26 outsider and she came from midfield to overrun her rivals and win by the same margin.

Notably, her time of 1:04.39 was only four-hundredths of a second quicker than the colts and geldings' division.

Freedman, standing in for his father at Caulfield, said he thought I Am Immortal was still capable of taking the $1.5 million race in two weeks despite being some query at the extra distance.

"He had a good blow last start and we haven't hammered him to get here today," he explained. "He hasn't actually been all that long in the system so hopefully, there's more to come.

"In time, he can learn to settle a little bit better.

"That's the question mark. I guess today he showed some toughness on speed. He showed some grit when they came at him, so that'll take him a long way."

I Am Immortal and Ben Melham, picture Quentinjlang.com

I Am Immortal was taking small steps late at his first try at 1100 metres but had enough on the line to hold off debut colt Shotmaker ($8.50) by a long neck, with a neck to Hawker Hurricane ($11) in third place.

Jockey Ben Melham was impressed with his strength and early speed and said he felt he might be able to stretch out to the 1200 metres of the Blue Diamond in a fortnight.

"He's a very good colt this horse. Very powerful," Melham said.

"He could sense the Snowden runner (Aussie) outside him and he just wanted to run through the bridle a bit in the middle stages but he's obviously a young horse who is still learning and he's got a very bright future.

"He was a little bit empty late but knowing Anthony and the way he trains, he's probably got that little bit more improvement in him.

"With pressure around him, he's that competitive, he's a little bit hard to hold back, you've got to go with him a bit."

Melham is still yet to commit himself to the colt, however, as he is also the rider of Brooklyn Hustle, who was beaten but not bowed according to the rider when fifth in the fillies' division.

"She was a little bit keen, a little bit fresh and raced a little bit ring rusty only having the one start so that is going to bring her on a heap," he said of Brooklyn Hustle.

"She wanted to get to the line well, just on the one rein a bit which is a bit of a concern but her action seemed fine so hopefully she benefits from the outing."

Lyre is the first of six Godolphin two-year-old's to be trained by the Freedmans, which are the only Australian stable to train for Sheikh Mohammed outside his main Godolphin yard run by James Cummings.

"They are very different types, although both are pretty smart," Sam Freedman said. "She's got scope to go further and he's fast."

Lyre and Damian Lane, picture Quentinjlang.com.au


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