Having a few million dollars’ worth of somebody else’s horseflesh in your backyard would heighten most people’s anxiety – but Morphettville trainer Paula Trenwith handled the pressure with aplomb during the 2020 Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival.
Paula’s stable acted as home base for a string of high-profile runners from the Victorian-based Anthony Freedman stable, including Lyre, Santa Ana Lane, Warning and Realm of Flowers.
And the runners enjoyed great success, with the latter taking out the Group 3 SA Fillies Classic last Saturday.
However, just a few days later Paula’s fortunes took a turn for the worse, when the roof of her Morphettville home blew off in Wednesday afternoon’s fierce winds.
After the storm passed, Paula used Twitter to reassure her followers that all humans and horses were okay, and to thank the SES for their efforts.
She also came up with this memorable hashtag:
Earlier this week, Paula spoke about being responsible for the Freedman runners during the local carnival.
“I take my duties seriously, whether it’s for my owners, or someone else, but there’s added pressure when there’s millions of dollars’ worth of horses involved – I soon found that out,” she said.
“But Anthony said he was very pleased with how things went. And they’ve even got horses nominated this weekend, so they’re going to continue to send horses over to South Australia on Saturdays.”
Paula had Realm of Flowers for five weeks and all four of her South Australian runs, culminating in the filly’s resounding 2500m win at Morphettville last Saturday.
Her efforts with all horses involved in the SA carnival – especially Realm of Flowers – was noted by Freedman, who said he was “delighted” with how his runners were managed.
“This filly in particular we must commend Paula for,” Freedman told Racing.com this week, “because she was with her the whole time for her Adelaide campaign.”
The Freedman cohort under Paula’s care enjoyed a successful carnival, collecting a Group 3 race (Realm of Flowers) and two Listed races (A Shin Rook and Meuse). In addition, three-year-old filly Lyre placed in both Group 1 sprints (Sangster Stakes and Goodwood) and Warning came third in the Group 1 SA Derby.
The connection was forged around six months ago, when the Freedman stable needed some extra room to stable some of their Adelaide runners.
“They’ve got amazing horses,” Paula said.
“I was blown away with being given the responsibility of looking after some of their ‘A team’. They are really valuable livestock.”
Paula said she likes to keep her dealings with the Freedman camp simple.
“They tell me the fast work,” she said.
“Slow work is slow work, we’ve just got to make sure we get through that safely. Then we get told when to gallop them, and that sort of thing.
“And I’ve got a pallet of their feed, so they get fed all their own feed.”
She admitted taking care of Realm of Flowers gave her the odd anxious moment.
“I’m a worrier by nature,” she said.
“When the horses are doing the gallops, they’ve told me to do them – that’s not my decision, so I was actually quite relaxed about that kind of thing.
“But bringing them to and from the track is a bit different, because a few times she (Realm of Flowers) has reared up and she’s a big girl.
“All I wanted to do was keep her safe and get her to the races safely.”
Paula certainly did that and admitted she soon “fell in love” with the promising staying filly, who missed a run – as an emergency – in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks, forcing her to run in a midweek event at Murray Bridge en route to the 2500m Group 3 last Saturday.
“She really needed that run at Murray Bridge. She was so well, she needed to go do something,” Paula said.
“(That day) she came from the back, against older horses, against the pattern, to win. She’s only three, and was lumping 60-odd kilos.
“Lachy (Neindorf) gave me a heart attack when he rode her out the back. I thought, ‘I’m going to look like an idiot here’, but Lachy said he could feel what he had under him and he was in full control. He timed it to perfection.
“Gee she’s a nice filly. She’s still so raw and has got so much to learn.
“And after that Murray Bridge run she just blossomed. Her coat went shiny and sometimes when you lead them around you just know they’re right.
“I think the sky’s the limit for her.”
Paula said she would monitor Realm of Flowers’ progress closely from now on.
“I’ll keep an eye on her for the rest of her life, because we all fell in love with her,” she said.
“She’s the kindest, loveliest filly I think I’ve ever had anything to do with. She just loves a cuddle. She would walk away from her food and come and hang her head over the gate to get a pat.
“Sometimes fillies and mares can be quite aggressive, but she is so kind, she wouldn’t hurt a fly. She’s beautiful.”
Anthony Freedman has two horses scheduled to run at Murray Bridge tomorrow. Both are staying with Paula, who has all five of the horses in her stable in work at the moment.