Free Zone 'a free horse' for Osborne after win

Jamie Osborne: has already recouped his expenditure on Free Zone

Jamie Osborne: has already recouped his expenditure on Free Zone

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

 By Graham Dench 9:00aM 11 JUL 2016 

JAMIE OSBORNE has done more than his share of horse trading over the years, but he has seldom had more fun at it than when turning a quick profit on comfortable Hamilton winner Free Zone at the weekend.

Osborne had no involvement with the seven-year-old until buying him on a whim at Newmarket’s horses in training sale on Friday, yet just 24 hours later he was in front on the deal after Free Zone was a comfortable winner some 350 miles away, carrying his own distinctive pink silks, but still in the hands of David O’Meara.

And there is more to come too, as the former 105-rated handicapper, who has now won eight times yet was racing off only 80 at Hamilton, is likely to turn out again quickly at Redcar.

‘I’ve got myself a free horse’

Recalling the turn of events with understandable relish, the Lambourn trainer said: “I was at the sales when Free Zone was going through the ring on Friday. He was going through for 3,000gns, which was far too cheap, so I stuck my hand up and got him for 3,500gns.

“I didn’t know at the time that he was declared the next day at Hamilton, but David’s a very good fellow and I said to him that so long as he didn’t screw me on the transport he could put him on the lorry to Hamilton.

“The Hamilton race was worth £3,800, so after owning him for 24 hours I’ve got myself a free horse with David O’Meara. The hardest part was getting my colours to Hamilton, but I left that to my secretary Deb and when I turned on the television to watch the race there they were.”

Staying with O’Meara

Osborne bought Free Zone expecting to train him himself, but that plan has been shelved for now.

He said: “I’ve left him with O’Meara because I think he wants a bit of soft ground and he’s more likely to get it up north than down south.

“In any case, I can hardly take the horse away now he’s won – I’ll get a reputation – and I think David is going to put him in at Redcar at the weekend.”

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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