show me:

Sky’s the limit for Freedman’s Bird

3 minute read

Freedman’s faith in Exosphere filly set to justified in Thousand Guineas.

Skybird as a yearling.
Skybird as a yearling. Picture: Inglis

Mitch Freedman has often thought he'd discovered one at a yearling sale that might have escaped the attention of other good judges only to miss out when the hammer fell.

That is why the Ballarat trainer was so happy to land Skybird at last year's Inglis Classic Sale.

The favourite for Saturday's Group 1 Thousand Guineas is a daughter of Exosphere who went through the Highway Session, which is the offering that follows the premium lots at that Sydney sale, and the fact Freedman had to go to $110,000 for Skybird underlines how eyes are now on all lots.

"All those (bloodstock) agents see everything; it doesn't matter whether you're in Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, they see them all," he said.

"She's by a stallion out of fashion from a broodmare sire that's probably not doing all that much, but we just try and buy the athletes and the pedigree probably determines whether we can afford it or not.

"She was just a really athletic horse and she's putting it together on raceday now."

The appearance of a couple of household names on the damside of the pedigree page might have contributed to Freedman having to go to six figures for Skybird, who was a member of the HP Thoroughbreds draft at Classic.

The bay filly who shares the same birthday at Black Caviar – August 18 – is out of the Wanted mare Real Desire, a daughter of the Waajib mare Forest Finch who is closely-related to the dam of a Group 1 winner who has established himself one of Australia's great stallions.

Forest Finch is a half-sister to Snippets Lass, the dam of Oakleigh Plate winner and four-time Australian Champion Sire award winner Snitzel (Redoute's Choice).

"She doesn't have the A-1 pedigree as far as her stallion and her dam goes, but she's got a good pedigree if you go back through," Freedman said.

Skybird's value will increase immensely if she becomes Exosphere's first Group 1 winner in Saturday's 1600-metre event and Freedman said he realised early on that she had Black Type ability.

Although she did not race at two, the Ballarat horseman put a ring around the new Thousand Guineas date as a target race for the campaign.

The filly who carries the Scalzo family colours heads in favourite after a jaw-dropping last-to-first win in the Group 2 Fillies Classic at The Valley on Cox Plate Day, which followed wins at Ballarat and Bendigo at her first two starts.

"We always thought she had pretty good ability, so it hasn't shocked me, but it's been pleasing to see," Freedman said when asked what he made of Skybird's first three starts.

Skybird will start from barrier two in the 13-horse Guineas, in which she will be ridden by Beau Mertens.

Racing and Sports