NO MATTER what the outcome of this afternoon’s WS Cox Plate (2040m), it will be an emotion-charged day for Puissance De Lune’s minder Mitch Freedman.
Freedman, a key member of trainer Darren Weir’s Warrnambool Rsatellite stable, had a close association with late racing identity Mark Primmer, who is the father of his long-term girlfriend Jenna.
Primmer, a prominent Warrnambool trainer and businessman, lost his battle with cancer on Thursday night after more than a year fighting the disease.
Freedman said he hoped Primmer would be “riding along with us” in today’s weight-for-age championship of Australasia.
“Hopefully he’s on our side. I think he would be,” Freedman told The Courier.
It’s fair to say nobody knows Puissance De Lune better than Freedman.
The 24-year-old, who has spent time in Ballarat with trainers Andrew Payne and Dan O’Sullivan in recent years, is with the horse every day and will float him to Moonee Valley for his group 1 assignment.
Freedman will get out of bed before 3am this morning to prepare for his big day at the races.
He will clean up Puissance De Lune for his appearance and work his own horses – the three trained under his name – before making the three-hour trip to Melbourne.
Freedman is trusted with promising Weir gallopers Platelet, Lake Sententia and May’s Dream in Warrnambool, but puts in more work than anyone with the grey import that is pushing favouritism for the Cox Plate.
Puissance De Lune has thrived in the beach surrounds of south-west Victoria ever since he was sent there by Weir shortly after arriving in Australia.
“Mitch has looked after the horse through the whole preparation, but it’s the Warrnambool stable in general. Everyone does their bit,” Weir said.
“It’s not just Mitch, it’s a team effort, but Mitch happens to look after this horse.”
So if there’s an opinion that matters, it’s Freedman’s. And he’s upbeat about what might transpire when the field leaves the barrier at 5.40pm today.
“I reckon he’ll be running top three,” Freedman said.
COX PLATE MARKET
$4: IT’S A DUNDEEL
$4.60: PUISSANCE DE LUNE
$7: LONG JOHN
$11: HAPPY TRAILS
$17: GREEN MOON
$21: SHAMUS AWARD
$21: SUPER COOL
$35: MULL OF KILLOUGH
$35: MASKED MARVEL
$51: REKINDLED INTEREST
$51: SIDE GLANCE