A breath-taking battle up the straight between Attrition and Antino resulted in Attrition holding on by the narrowest margins to win the Group 1 Toorak Handicap. The tensions were high and after being on the wrong end of two photo finishes, it was pure elation for Mitch, the ownership group and jockey Beau Mertens, for his maiden Group 1 also.
After failing in the Group 1 Underwood, Attrition bounced back with a vengeance, announcing himself as a star of Australian racing. From barrier 10, there was plenty of speed to his inside and Beau Mertens was able to hold a position, following Savannah Cloud across into a trialing position three-wide, just behind the speed. Attrition travelled sweetling, showcasing his toughness riding the hot speed set by Pride Of Jenni and approaching the bend Mertens positioned Attrition in the clear and he sustained an enormous run, fighting off all challengers like a true Group 1 champion.
The mounting yard post-race was filled with joy, highlighted by Mitch Freedman sprinting back to his owners, running, jumping and punching the air succumbed with emotions after winning his first Group 1. Lost for words, Freedman described the feeling as simply “unbelievable… This is why we get up in the morning.” After finishing in the minor placings four times (and a close fourth) in Group 1 races, Attrition was Mitch’s first horse to reach the pinnacle.
Freedman re-calls the day he first laid eyes on him at the sales and promised himself that he was the one. Paying $180,000 for the colt, his most expensive purchase to date, Freedman syndicated the horse to some loyal stable clients and was thrilled to have them along for the ride, culminating in Group 1 success. Attrition races in the Halo Racing colours of Mr Colin McKenna and includes a number of owners who have supported the Mitch Freedman stable from day one. “I’m so grateful for the support the ownership group and it is an honour to win a Group 1 for them.”
After going agonisingly close in the Australian Guineas, Attrition faced a baptism of fire stepping from 3yo grade to weight-for-age but proved he was well and truly up to the challenge in the P.B Lawrence and Feehan Stakes. The Toorak Handicap has been the main target for Attrition’s Spring campaign, benefiting with some weight off his back at handicap conditions and this proved to be a winning move. Congratulations to Group 1 winning jockey Beau Mertens, Attrition’s ownership group and all the staff involved of Mitch Freedman Racing who have been involved in the journey.
Finally and most importantly, to our Group 1 winning trainer, Mitch Freedman. Wow, what an incredible achievement. The first of many to come!