Hong Kong interest in Communist, Freedman just wants a lightweight

The Randwick Guineas winner has attracted informal enquiries from Hong Kong but the three-year-old has plenty of lucrative incentives to keep him in Australia.

Zac Purton boots home Communist in the G1 Randwick Guineas. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

David Morgan

Chief Journalist


Communist’s G1 Randwick Guineas victory under Zac Purton last weekend has sparked interest from Hong Kong suitors but trainer Michael Freedman is focused on preparing his charge for a lead-up run into a probable Doncaster Mile assignment at his home track next month.

The Randwick-based handler confirmed that informal enquiries have been made as to the gelding’s availability for purchase, but “no formal offers in writing” have been forthcoming, and Freedman believes there is little desire, if any, to take up an offer should one be tabled. 

“I think the ownership group (which includes China Horse Club) are pretty much unanimous in the view that there’s lots of really good prize money on offer for those sorts of horses here in Australia,” Freedman said.  

“You’ve got potentially the Golden Eagle coming up in the spring for four-year-olds, which could be a suitable race, and it’s worth 10 million dollars, five million to the winner. I think, in general, the feeling among owners is you spend a lot of time and money trying to find a nice horse to race so trading out of them doesn’t make a lot of sense to most, if not all, of the owners.

“What sort of price do you put on the thrill of being able to compete, let alone win big races? Back in the day, when the prize money levels weren’t anywhere near what they are now in Australia, those big offers from Hong Kong were very enticing but perhaps a little less so these days with the prize money on offer here.”

Freedman’s plan is to target Sydney’s lucrative contests this autumn and give his three-year-old star a lead-up run prior to the Doncaster. He has two options in mind at Rosehill a week Saturday.


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    “The Doncaster Mile on 1 April is certainly the race I’m looking to target with him and he’ll probably go to either the George Ryder or the Rosehill Guineas as a lead-up,” Freedman said. 

    Purton will not be on board to repeat his brilliant Randwick Guineas ride in the Doncaster as  the Hong Kong champion jockey is unable to ride anywhere near the 49kg featherweight Communist has been allotted for the Group1 handicap. That means Freedman is working to find an alternative.    

    “I’ve got a few feelers out at the moment,” he said, with the likes of Jamie Kah and even Joao Moreira under consideration, should the Brazilian ace follow through on his stated aim to ride in Sydney this autumn.

    “It’s difficult because it’s such a light weight, you know, so to try and find someone who can ride, if not at the weight then somewhere near it, is difficult. I think it’s just going to be something we’ll have to continue chasing up over the next week or ten days.”  




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