Free Of Debt’s thrilling victory on the line in the $127,250 DC McKay Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville was just the latest chapter in a career that has continued to amaze trainer Chris Bieg.
Dom Tourneur used all his experience to get the five-year-old home over a gallant Savatoxl for Tony and Calvin McEvoy, the six-year-old opponent never giving up.
But Free Of Debt used his spot four-wide to get his neck across the post first.
And Bieg was delighted with his gelding’s sixth triumph from 23 starts, mentioning Free Of Debt will now be aimed at the Group 1 $502,250 The Goodwood over 1200m on May 21.
“That’s amazing. I’m very excited by that win. I actually went and sat by myself away from everyone, and took it all in,” he told Racing.com
“The way he hit the line was pretty impressive.
“Now his prizemoney is over half a million dollars. To get him from where he was and competing at Group 1 level as a two-year-old to now as a five-year-old again in Group company is amazing.
“In two weeks’ time there’s a pretty handy Group 1 coming up here on his home track.
“He’ll be there and he’s going to have a crack.”
After Saturday’s performance, it is no surprise Bieg has a soft spot for his star sprinter.
“To have this bloke back first-up today is right up there. It’s exciting times and some good horses I’ve had through the stable,” he said.
“But to have him back firing is definitely a highlight.
“I love this horse. I’ve been everywhere with him, and the highs and lows of racing with him.
“And he’s an amazing horse to have around the stables. We love him and we love Dom at the moment.”
Tourneur had faith Free Of Debt would continue running hard despite the worsening soft track conditions.
“With the track deteriorating a bit it probably helped to have something on the bridal and travel through it,” he said.
“I knew halfway down the stretch that he was going to keep pinning his ears back. He really dug deep and had a go.
“Full credit to Chris and the team, and to the connections for putting me on.
“He’s certainly been going well this prep in his jumpouts, and we deserved this win.
“He’s been a great horse for the stable.”