FOR the past 10 years the name of Lee Freedman has been synonymous with success in racing. During that time two Melbourne Cups, a W. S. Cox Plate, a Caulfield Cup, the last three runnings of the Golden Slipper Stakes and a host of other feature races have gone his stable's way. But all of a sudden, at 39, Freedman's immediate future is in serious jeopardy. A four-month suspension - incurred for substituting a horse for another in a blinker trial at Flemington in March - is now threatening to wreck the remainder of the year for Freedman. Freedman, who pleaded guilty to the offence when hauled before the stewards, this week lost an appeal to the Victoria Racing Club committee. Now he is taking his cases to the Racing appeals Tribunal. The hearing of Freedman's appeal - he is contending that a fine should be imposed, rather than a suspension - will be heard next week. If he fails he will consider pursuing the matter in the courts in what he believes is a quest for justice. However, the situation is looking decidedly grim for Freedman and his brothers Richard, Anthony and Michael, who also play an integral part in the training operation. As the situation stands Freedman, who has 153 horses in his care and a staff of 45, cannot resume training until September 1. In addition he will not be allowed to nominate horses for races until 28 days after that. So, unless there is a reduction in his penalty when his case goes to the Appeals Tribunal, his suspension will virtually mean there is no chance of his stable being a major player at the spring carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne. That - especially given his high degree of achievement over the past decade - will lead to a significant loss of income. There will be an associated loss of prestige, which will not make the task of re-building his team an easy one. So, all-in-all, the situation is quite grim for the Freedmans. Unfortunately, racing is also a loser as a result of this messy affair. For the Freedman sag has created headlines and more unfavourable publicity for the industry at a time when racing's image is suffering enough. INTERESTING figures have come to light from the William Inglis and Son Australian Easter Yearling Sale. The sale grossed A$31,290,500 for the 434 lots sold. Of that, A$21,996,000 was spent by Australian buyers, leaving a total offshore expenditure of A$9,294,500. Following a trend which has become increasingly evident in recent years Hong Kong interests were by far the most influential overseas buyers at the sale. For figures prepared by William Inglis show that Hong Kong buyers, or their representatives, purchased 43 yearlings - 30 of them were colts - for A$,868,500 at an average of A$89,965. New Zealanders were the second highest overseas buyers with their purchase of seven lots for A$1,242,500 at an average of A$177,500. Then came Malaysia with 16 yearlings for A$1,052,500: South Africa 18 yearlings for A$1,037,000; Germany with five lots for A$805,000; Singapore seven yearlings for A$667,500; Dubai two lots for A$322,000; Japan five for A$247,500 and Ireland with one lot for A$52,000. HIGH-CLASS performer Durbridge, who was a member of Lee Freedman's stable, has run his last race. A seven-year-old Durbridge started on 72 occasions for 21 wins, eight seconds and seven thirds for prize money of A$3,358,743. He registered eight of his victories at Group One level, ranging from the 1,400 metres of the Orr Stakes, at Sandown to the 2,400 metres of the AJC Australian Derby at Randwick. Durbridge, who is by the Star Kingdom-line horse Durham Ranger, is now set to take up stallion duties at Emerald Park Stud in Victoria. LISA Cropp - rated the best female jockey to appear in this part of the world - will soon be leaving for a second visit to Japan. Lisa, who rode successfully in Japan last year, will be away for three months. However, she plans to return to Sydney in time for the spring carnival. 'The opportunity to ride in Japan was too good to refuse,' said Lisa, who rode nine winners during her 1994 stay. But Lisa, a New Zealander, says she is considering making Australia her home when she returns. 'Sydney's been great,' she said. 'I'll be back just before the spring and I think I will make it my home for a while . . . and see how things work out.' SHEIK Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has decided to continue racing Kalaglow six-year-old Jeune. 'The Sheik feels that, as a lightly raced rising seven-year-old Jeune still has a future on the race track,' said trainer David Hayes. 'So he wants to continue to race on next season, before being retired to stud.' With Hayes moving to Hong Kong in June the chestnut, whose 32 starts have yielded nine wins, 10 seconds and six thirds for earnings of A$2,783,970, will be in the care of his elder brother Peter. It is probable that Jeune will be aimed again for the Melbourne Cup, which he won in such authoritative fashion last year. Only three stayers - Archer (1861-62), Rain Lover (1968-69) and Think Big (1974-75) - have managed to win the Melbourne Cup in successive years, so Jenue has quite as assignment in front of him.