A SEEMINGLY endless list of triumphs by racehorses prepared by legendary Corowa trainer Richard Freyer were recalled at his funeral on Saturday.
St John’s Anglican Church in Freyer’s hometown of 69 years was overflowing with family, friends and racing industry participants on a rare race-free day on the calendar following his passing last Monday.
Freyer’s niece Fiona Atkins said the trainer, who dominated Riverina racing for two decades, became hooked on the sport when he witnessed greyhound racing as a five-year-old before inevitably following his late father and champion trainer, Jack, into the training ranks.
But his introduction to the sport of kings was firstly as an amateur jockey, who was credited with becoming the tallest jockey to win a race at Randwick when he rode Swift Chief to victory for his father in 1965.
Racecaller Paul Francis described as “destiny” Freyer following in the footsteps of his father Jack, who died 12 years ago.
Between them they won 13 Albury Cups, but the victories weren’t confined solely to Riverina and North-East Victorian tracks.
Francis said Freyer was a “household name” in racing when In The Navy won at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day 1987 and just for good measure trained multiple winners at Corowa and Wagga on the same day.
Sir Knight was also a multiple city winner and Freyer displayed his training versatility when Miratec won the Australian Steeplechase at Sandown in 2005.
In the same year, Freyer produced Leica Falcon, who would run a gallant fourth behind Makybe Diva in the Melbourne Cup with an entire community right behind.
Freyer also produced four horses who would win the Corowa-Albury cup double beginning with Prince Tone in 1984.
“Richard has passed the post, but his legacy will live on and his records will never be beaten,” Francis said.
Father Rex Everett said Freyer also had a gift of bringing out the best in not so talented horses.
Among the fellow trainers, past and present, at his funeral were John Knight, Liz Aalbers, David O’Prey, Peter Maher, Brian Cox and Wayne Nichols and jockeys who had ridden some of his 2500-plus career winners, Graham Power, Nic Souquet, Brendan Ward, Matthew Cahill and Dale Broadfoot.