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Profile of a Champion

By El Cacique From Suntint
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Frecklesí name is listed as the winner of an Epsom Hcp during the years of WW2 but he was best remembered well into the 60s for his Australasian record of 1.22 for 7 furlongs (abt 1400m).  After that he only attracts a mere mention as one of the many feature winners ridden by Jack Thompson. 

Freckles was sired by El Cacique who was bred in Argentina in 1922 and sired by Tracery.  He was imported for the stud season of 1930 after the racetrack success of Pantheon and Gothic both sired by Tracery and imported from the United Kingdom to race in Australia in the mid to late 1920s.  El Cacique produced over 200 winners of over 380 races from 1931 to 1947 and died in 1941 at the height of his success.  In addition to Freckles other stakeswinners sired by El Cacique include Cacique (ARC City Hcp), Dark Elegance (AJC Kirkham Stakes & AJC December Stakes), El Nene (Hobart Cup & Tas Newmarket), El Senorita (City Tatts Cup) and Silver King (Warwick Stakes, Hobartville Stk and Rosehill Guineas). 

Frecklesí dam was Suntint who only had three race starts for a win at Wallsend in NSW.  Her first notable foal was a filly Glow in 1931 who produced Fermanagh winner of the 1942 Cameron Hcp and at one stage an on track rival of Freckles.  Freckles was foaled in 1936 and followed by a full sister Sunlit who was a 2yo winner with Suntintís final foal being a filly by Beau Pere who was named Sunbloom with the mare dying in 1941. 

Freckles was sold privately as a yearling to CJ Withycombe and was originally trained by Bill McGee.  He started his career as a November 3yo with an unplaced run at Rosebery.  Five weeks later on New Years Day he raced to victory by 1 ľ lengths in a 7 furlong Maiden Hcp at Randwick. 

A break until July followed where he was unplaced over 1 mile at Victoria Park but soon made amends with his first run as a 4yo winning the 1 mile 27 yard Novice Hcp by 2 lengths at Randwick.  Another victory followed in an Encourage Stakes over 1 mile at Kensington where he was the 2-1 on favourite winning by 1 ľ lengths from Foxhall.  A third successive victory in a Trial Stakes over 1 ľ miles at Randwick as evens favourite encouraged his connections to head to Melbourne for the big Caulfield races. 

He was unplaced in the Toorak Hcp but did enough for connections to decide to send him around again in the Caulfield Cup despite being a rank outsider at 100-1.  As a front runner Freckles didnít stay the 1 Ĺ miles and finished well back behind the winner Beaulivre.  Another long break followed which was probably due to leg problems (as an older horse he was trained and raced in bandages on the front legs and was sparingly raced throughout his career). 

First up on the final Saturday in July 1941 Freckles sped over the 6 furlongs to easily defeat Brazandt in a Flying Hcp and began his partnership with Jack Thompson.  Three weeks later over 6 Ĺ furlongs as the 5-4 on favourite he couldnít hold out the finish of Brazandt in another Flying Hcp but held second from the well performed Reading.   

Two weeks later he lined up against a quality field of seven runners in the Warwick Stakes which included the Queensland star High Caste and Kindergarten who is regarded as the best horse ever to emerge from New Zealand racing.  Over the 7 furlongs Freckles ran the best race of his short career to run second beaten only a neck by High Caste while Kindergarten dead heated with Lucrative for third two lengths away.  Next he lined up as the 3-1 favourite in the Tramway Hcp only to be run down by Evergreen over the 7 furlong trip.  Freckles went into the Epsom Hcp in 1941 as the 9-4 favourite but dropped out to run 8th of 16 as Rimveil went on to victory. 

Soon after the Epsom Hcp in October Freckles was sold to Frank Dalton on behalf of Norman Frazer for 2000 guineas and given a short let up.  He returned in a Flying Welter on Jan 3 1942 over 6 furlongs putting in an impressive display to win by 2 lengths as 2-1 favourite from Diadem carrying the big weight of 10.5. 

Three weeks later he went to the Challenge Stakes over 6 furlongs as the 7-2 favourite but was unplaced behind High Caste.  Taken to Melbourne for the Oakleigh Plate (run over the straight 5 Ĺ furlongs at Flemington due to the closure of Caulfield for the War) he was 4th of the 20 runners behind High Title. 

Another long break followed until September 1942 where the now 6yo Freckles was unplaced behind Merrimba in a 7 furlong Highweight carrying 10.4.  A week later he lined up in the Andrew Town Quality at Rosehill where at 15-1 he defeated a field of 20 over the 7 furlongs with close relation Fermanagh second. 

Despite his last start victory Freckles was sent out at 5-1 in a field of 18 for the Epsom Hcp two weeks later (due to the war there was now no racing on the first weekend of each month).  Carrying 7.12 Freckles defied all attempts to catch him over the testing mile at Randwick and went to the line in front by a neck from Merrimba in a time of 1.36.  A fortnight later he found the drop back in distance to 6 furlongs too much when unplaced in a Flying at Randwick but returned to the winners list a month later in the Camden Hcp over 7 furlongs.  It was in this race that Freckles set the turf alight leading throughout to win in the record time of 1.22.  After such a magnificent effort Freckles was back on the sidelines again until the following spring. 

He returned as a 7yo in mid August 1943 in the TC Flying Hcp over 6 furlongs and ran third beaten a long neck with victory going to Winnipeg.  Freckles didnít start again until October where he was unplaced in a field of 24 in the Epsom Hcp behind Kiaree.  Freckles was obviously having further problems and wasnít seen again in public until January 1945.  

The 8yo wasnít at the races he was put through the public salesring and was sold to J Kennedy for DE Brown for 300 guineas.  Three months later in late April Freckles sped over the 6 furlong course at Canterbury to win by a long head from Brazier in a Flying Welter Hcp carrying 9.12.  It was to be his last victory as he was unplaced in a Flying a week later and again 4 weeks after that.  He was spelled after another unplaced effort in a 6 furlong Welter Hcp in late June.   

Freckles was back on December 1 at Canterbury but was down the track behind Earl Pentheus.  Two more unplaced efforts followed before his final run at the end of January where he was unplaced over 6 furlong and 13 yards at Randwick.  Afterwards it had found he had reinjured his fetlock breaking down badly ending his race career.  A week later it was announced that former owner Mr N Frazer had purchased Freckles back for his retirement to the paddock. 

Freckles had 31 starts over 7 seasons for 10 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third for earnings of ₤3931

Photo credit - Trove newspapers Oct 1942



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