Sam joins Freedman family Cup tradition

7 November 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Sam Freedman becomes the latest member of Freedman family to win the Lexus Melbourne Cup

The Freedman family's connection with the Melbourne Cup stretches back beyond when Sam Freedman was born in February 1996.

The son of Anthony, who was part of the FBI – Freedman Brothers Incorporated – that first tasted Melbourne Cup success with Tawrrific when Anthony's brother Lee was steering the ship in 1989.

The FBI won further Cups with Subzero (1992), Doriemus (1995) and Makybe Diva in the last two of her hat-tricks in 2004 and 2005.

But their link to the Cup goes back much further than that.

Bill 'Midge' McLachlan, great-grandfather of Anthony, Lee, Richard and Michael, won three Melbourne Cups as a rider in the early 1900s.

So Sam has grown up entrenched in the history of the Melbourne Cup, which is why the enormity of what he achieved with his father and imported gelding Without A Fight on Tuesday is not lost on him.

"It feels pretty surreal, it feels like a bit of a dream," he said.

"You grow up watching these races and dreaming you could one day have a horse good enough to do it.

"It feels out of reach to be honest. We're not a big stable, about 80 horses in work, and your chances of getting a horse good enough to do this are pretty slim, so I'm pretty thankful the relationship with Sheikh Mohamed Obaid (Without A Fight's owner)."

The Melbourne Cup win is the highlight of a career that started officially when he and his father entered into a partnership in 2017.

He was hands-on before that, though, and part of his apprenticeship involved working in stables in Europe and has been the face of the operation that has stables at Pinecliff on the Mornington Peninsula and Flemington since gaining his licence.

Anthony was not on-course on Tuesday, but was one of the first phone calls Sam took after the race and was just as thrilled for his father as he was himself.

"He gave me 'that was pretty good today'," Sam said of his dad's typically low-key response a significant win.

"He's very measured, he's been there and done it, but I think for him it's great to have his name on it because he's been a part of Lee who had a lot of success.

"I'm sure it means a lot to him even though he won't say it."