17th Feb 2014
Inglis graduates Zac Spirit and Holy Empire fought out a stirring battle the Singapore Group 3 Three Rings Trophy over 1400m at Kranji on Sunday evening with only a neck separating the progressive pair on the line.
Zac Spirit (Flying Spur x Kidman) was sent out the odds on favourite for the day’s feature event at the Singapore Turf Club. As a previous Group winner Holy Empire was forced to carry 2.5kgs more than his rival, but he kicked strongly on the home turn to make Zac Spirit chase all the way to a gain a narrow victory at the finish.
"Holy Empire kicked first, but my horse went to him easy. The two horses fought out the finish and my horse [Zac Spirit] just got the better in the end," said winning jockey Alan Munro.
Purchased by trainer Cliff Brown for $140,000 from the draft of Newhaven Park Stud at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Zac Spirit is the fifth foal of Group 2 placed mare Kidman.
At the time of the sale Brown was training Kidman’s third foal, Zac Influence, which would go on to Group 3 success later in 2011. Kidman hails from the family of Newhaven Park Stud’s former stallion Zeditave.
After Sunday’s victory Brown indicated he’d keep Zac Spirit to the sprint distances for the time being.
"He came into this race underdone and there is still a long way to go, but I’m very proud of him because the second horse is a very good horse," said Cliff Brown.
"I’ve always felt he just needs a 1200m when the pace is really on. He just switches off better then and then he just sprints home. The Kranji Sprint is his next race," added Brown.
Zac Spirit’s record now stands at six wins and three placings from ten starts. His only unplaced effort was a fourth at Group 1 level. The son of Flying Spur has earned over S$450,000 for his connections.
Newhaven Park, breeders and sellers of Zac Spirit, have 14 yearlings set to be offered at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling in Sydney on 8, 9 and 10 April.
Flying Spur is set to be represented by nine yearlings at the Easter Sale in April plus 10 yearlings at this year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale that will conducted at Oaklands on 2, 3, 4 and 5 March 2014.
Among the 775 lots at the upcoming Melbourne Premier Sale is the half-sister to Holy Empire. The filly by Encosta de Lago will be offered by Kornong Stud Farm as Lot 222 during the ‘Blue Riband’ Session on Day Two of sale.
Both the Melbourne Premier and Sydney Easter catalogues can be viewed online at www.inglis.com.au and on the Inglis Sales iPad App. Hard-copy catalogues can be requested by email to email@example.com
10/2/2014 King Halo Set To Race In Hong Kong
Impressive three-year-old winner King Halo (NZ)
(Shinko King) is the latest promising Queensland
galloper to be sold to race in Hong Kong.
King Halo scored a stylish win at his second start at
Doomben last Wednesday.
Trainer Liam Birchley confirmed the three year old had
been snapped up by Hong Kong buyers for an undisclosed six
figure sum in a private deal.
"Provided he passes the vet's test he will be off to Hong
Kong," Birchley said.
10/2/2014 Laser Storms away to easy win
After running second at his first two outings, Laser
Storm (NZ) (Lucky Owners) finally went one better
at his third start when he charged home to an
easy victory in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden (1200m) on
Polytrack on Sunday.
Wearing winkers for the first time, the Lucky Owners
three-year-old was always travelling like a winner once he
slotted into second spot on the fence. A little reluctant to
go through a rails gap upon straightening, Laser Storm
eventually complied with apprentice Tan Wei Li's urgings to
sweep past Aureus (NZ) (Guillotine) before pulling away to a 4
"It was an expected win, but he needs to improve on his
timing," noted trainer Alwin Tan.
"I put the winkers on him to improve his focus, but you
can tell he is still a bit of a thinker in his races. You could see
that at the 300m-400m and when the gap came at the home
"He looked a bit worried about going through, but once
he went past the other horse, he kept going very strongly.
"I think the claim on him was a big factor as well. Good for
Willy as it was his first win for me since he joined my stable
"I'm also glad I've won another race for the Warplan Racing
Stable who only joined me at the end of last year. My first
winner for them was Warspirit last December."
Laser Storm, who cost NZ$25,000 has certainly been a
smart investment as he has already amassed close to $60,000
in stakes earnings for the Warplan Racing Stable, better
known for racing last year's top juvenile War Affair.
Sunday's impressive maiden winner Laser Storm
9/2/2014 Sure Win streets 'em again
After opening his account by lapping his Resticted
Maiden rivals at his last start, Sure Win (NZ) (Stravinsky)
again made every post a winning one in impressive
fashion against stronger opposition at Singapore's Kranji
racetrack on Friday night.
Showing blistering speed for jockey Manoel
Nunes, Sure Win scooted to the lead with little fuss, a
commanding gap clear of his main rivals, made up of the
well-backed trio of Mia (NZ) (Castledale), Blue Diamond
(Tale of the Cat) and Final Countdown (NZ) (Coats
Choice) – all, like himself, last-start winners.
Winning trainer Michael Freedman was glad his prerace
battle plan has come off.
"We discussed before the race that, with his draw on the
outside, we should use his speed to come across and beat
the pressure horses," he said. "He was able to fly the gates and
landed in front rather comfortably. From there, Manoel was
able to control the pace and he was too good in the end."
For all the awesome power Sure Win exhibited in the way he
hit the line, Freedman said he could have been even better if
he had not been beset by some respiratory problems.
"It's nice to see him win as he's had a few wind problems.
The only way to deal with it is to just let him roll along and not
From only four starts, Sure Win has now registered two wins
and a second for stakes earnings topping the S$70,000 mark.
– Singapore Turf Club
5/2/2014 Trainer Todd Pletcher Nominates 41 Horses To Run in Triple Crown
The Kentucky Derby is still three months off but trainer Todd Pletcher has already guaranteed that he'll be the most talked about connection on the prep trail. This week he set an all time horse racing record by nominating 41 three year olds to run in the Triple Crown races. Last year Pletcher set a record with five Kentucky Derby starters and he could be set to equal or break that mark this year.
Pletcher has plenty of experience at having horses run in the Kentucky Derby with 36 entries all time heading into this season. The ultimate success—a Derby victory—has been highly elusive, however, with only one winner. Super Saver took the roses in 2010 though he did finish 'in the money' in 2013 with Revolutionary finishing third. The 36 all time Derby entries is tied for the most ever with D. Wayne Lukas and Nick Zito.
With so many nominated horses it seems that the odds of producing a serious Derby contender would be in Pletcher's favor. Some horse racing observers remain skeptical, pointing to a less than impressive quality of horses in the trainer's stable. The harshest critics have quickly dismissed half of Pletcher's list of nominated horses: Seven of his nominees have won on turf only. Four have yet to start a race. Four are fillies and few female horses have ever won the Derby. Seven have yet to break their maiden. Most of the remaining horses don't have a particularly impressive resume at this stage so the sum total is likely only five or six that have a legitimate shot of becoming contenders. Keep in mind that long shot contenders have ridiculous Kentucky Derby odds for high payouts, so if you do put your money down on a long shot, make sure to look at DerbyCraze.com for some picks.
Some skeptics of Pletcher's strategy suggest that there are ulterior motives. It's no secret that breeding horses is huge business and having run in one of the Triple Crown races means more money on the table. There are intimations that Pletcher's huge list of nominations has more to do with the potential payoff in the breeding shed and nothing to do with the competitive quality of his three year olds.
Pletcher explained the big nomination roster by simply saying that he wanted 'to keep his options open'. Although the didn't come out and say it he sounded resigned to the fact that there are few legitimate Kentucky Derby contenders among the 41 nominated horses:
“I guess if you asked me to name our top five prospects right now, they’d be Havana, Commissioner, Harpoon, Vinceremos, and Intense Holiday, but that’s only because they’ve all gone out and actually done something so far. You’ve got that next tier of horses where they’re only one more good race away from being in the top group, but it’s hard to put them on any kind of list until they go out and do it.”
The140th running of the Kentucky Derby 2014 will take place at the iconic Churchill Downs race track in Louisville on May 3, 2014. By that point Pletcher's list of Triple Crown nominees will likely be pared down to a more reasonable—and single digit—number.
27th Jan 2014
Australian bred and Inglis sold speedster Amber Sky had a successful Australia Day on Sunday. The four-year-old bolted away with the Hong Kong Group 1 Kent & Curwen Centenary Cup over 1000m at Sha Tin.
The win was the second Group 1 victory for Inglis Yearling Sales graduates in Hong Kong in as many Sunday’s following the Classic Mile victory of Able Friend eight days ago.
It hasn't just been in the sprinter-miler categories that Inglis graduates have excelled this season, with three of Australia’s most prestigious middle-distance and staying events falling to Shamus Award (2040m Cox Plate), Fawkner (2400m Caulfield Cup) and Polanski (2500m Victoria Derby)
Amber Sky (Exceed And Excel x Truly Wicked) bounded straight to the front in Hong Kong’s premier straight course event on Sunday and never gave any of his rivals a look in stopping the clock in a swift 55.86s.
Replay and result of the Kent & Curwen Centenary Cup can be viewed HERE
Bred by OE & DR Pope, Amber Sky was purchased by trainer Ricky Yiu for $80,000 from Rubiton Bloodstock draft at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Yiu headed to the Easter Sale to purchase a precocious sprinter and that is exactly what he got. Amber Sky was the Hong Kong Champion Griffin in 2011-12 after three consecutive victories as a two-year-old, including a Class 3 event against older gallopers.
There are multiple options now open to Amber Sky with the Gr.1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai and Gr.1 King Stands Stakes at Royal Ascot in England amongst them. The Hong Kong Chairman’s Sprint Prize, a race Ricky Yiu won twice with Inglis graduate Sacred Kingdom, is another option for the exciting sprinter.
"I didn’t expect him to win so easily today so now we’ll think about the Chairman’s Sprint Prize before we go to Dubai. We have a fair bit of experience in Dubai so we’re not worried about going there," said Yiu.
Owned by Hong Kong action movie star Hung Kam Po, Amber Sky has raced 13 times for six wins and three placings.
Australian bred sprinters have dominated the Kent & Curwen Centenary Cup in recent years, winning the last twelve runnings of the race. Past winners include Inglis sold champions Sacred Kingdom and Silent Witness.
Amber Sky became the 79th stakes-winner for his champion sire Exceed And Excel which will be represented by 12 yearlings at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale in March and 26 yearlings at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale in April.
Amber Sky’s half-sister by Lonhro will be offered by Blue Gum Farm as Lot 615 at the Melbourne Premier Sale.
The Melbourne Premier and Australian Easter catalogues are available on both the market leading Inglis Sales iPad App and online at www.inglis.com.au
27/1/2014 Tracer Eyeing up French Raid
Trainer, Chris Waller, intends to head off for the “trip of a lifetime” having laid out an ambitious plan for his smart mare, Red Tracer, that centres around a bid for one of France’s top mile contests, the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville on July 28.
There’s nothing like forward planning and, after struggling to find a suitable race for the winner of four of her last five starts over seven and eight furlongs, Waller had the idea to fly his star half way across the world and take on the best French fillies and mares in a race that is one of the highlights of the Deauville Summer Festival.
Fans of racing betting know Deauville as one of the most elegant racetracks in Europe, situated close to the English Channel, or La Manche, as the French call it.
The seven-year-old daughter of Dane Shadow is a winner of nine of her 24 career starts and has been in particularly good form over the last two seasons, only once finishing out of the first two in a series of top Australian contests.
She landed her first Group 1 success (after going close on a number of occasions), when getting the better of Stream over 1400 metres in the Sky Racing Tattersalls Tiara Stakes at Eagle Farm last June, and after a further Group 2 success at Caulfield in October added a second top-flight victory to her tally when winning the Group 1 Myer Classic at Flemington in November, battling on bravely to edge out Catkins by just a short-head.
According to bet365’s racing live betting page, Waller had originally been thinking about taking in another top assignment at Royal Ascot 2014, but after some consideration decided that the French race will suit his charge better and also has better prizemoney for hopefully paying the trans-continental round trip expenses.
19th Jan 2014
Powerful Australian bred and Inglis sold galloper Able Friend turned on the afterburners at Sha Tin on Sunday evening, steaming away with the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile in race record time.
Able Friend (Shamardal x Ponte Piccolo) was sent out the odds on favourite for the four-year-old feature and he duly saluted in emphatic style under Joao ‘Magic’ Moreira.
Replay and result of the Hong Kong Classic Mile can be viewed HERE
The John Moore trained star stopped the clock in a Classic Mile record time of 1:33.43 for the 1600m contest, netting his owners the lion’s share of the HK$6,000,000 race prizemoney.
Bred by Stuart Ramsey, Able Friend was purchased by George Moore Bloodstock for $550,000 from Ramsey’s Turangga Farm draft at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Able Friend’s yearling half-brother by Manhattan Rain will be offered by Turangga Farm at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney in April.
Able Friend is the most expensive son of Shamardal to be sold in Australia and he is living right up to his pricetag. Sunday’s win was Able Friend’s fourth win from five starts in Hong Kong.
20/1/2014 Clutha Lad picks up where he left off
Clutha Lad (inner) holds on gamely for a gritty win first up off a mandatory spell
A break of 100 days seems to have done little to the
emerging ability of the Mark Walker-trained Clutha
Lad (NZ) (Thorn Park) following a brilliant first-up win
in the $55,000 Class 4 race over 1200m on Sunday.
A regular placegetter at his recent lead-up runs, the Thorn
Park six-year-old duly opened his account at his ninth start at
Kranji last October, when lined up in a 1700m maiden race,
but the winning note was soured when the vets reported he
Walker had his own theory on the traces of blood found
on his runner on that day, but had no other choice but to
give him the mandatory time away from racing before being
passed fit to race.
Though unplanned, the time on the sidelines actually
proved beneficial to Clutha Lad, who seemed to have filled
out into a stronger individual this year.
Walker was reasonably confident the Te Akau Racing
Stable-owned gelding would race well first-up, but
apparently not the general public, presumably put off by the
short trip and his wide alley.
Sent out at $160, Clutha Lad, however, finished like a good
thing down the middle after racing three wide for most of
the journey. Favourite Golden Mission (Lucky Roberto) might
have changed the ending if he had not missed the start,
running on late for second another half-a-length away, just a
head clear of Accomplished (Golden Snake). The winning time
was 1min 12.53secs.
"I told Shafiq not to worry if he is caught wide as he's a big
horse. Just keep him rolling and he'll be right," said Walker.
"Shafiq rode him well. He's really come of age lately and I
hope it will go on.
"They scoped him after his last race and said he bled. But
he actually knocked his head when he came back to scale
and that to me caused the bleeding.
"Anyway, the break seems to have done him good. He had
a quiet trial the other day and I was happy with his condition
going into the race.
"The 1200m was too short, but that's the thing with horses
when they are fresh. They can sprint well."
From 10 starts, Clutha Lad has now registered two wins
and five placings for stakes money just edging past the
$90,000 mark for his connections.
17/1/2014 Black Caviar tops World Ratings in 2013
Champion mare BLACK CAVIAR has been afforded her final and ultimate accolade for her achievements on the track after she topped the 2013 LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings (WBRR), released by the International Federation of Horse Authorities in Paris tonight (AEST).
Peter Moody’s remarkable mare joined unbeaten French filly TREVE at the top of the ratings for the first time after being named behind superstar FRANKEL in 2011 and 2012, becoming the first Southern Hemisphere-trained horse to head the listings.
Black Caviar, who stretched her unbeaten streak to 25 in the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April, won all three starts during the 2013 racing season, each at Group 1 level.
In a remarkable season, the six-year-old daughter of Bel Esprit returned in February from a seven month injury lay-off to claim her third consecutive win in a race now named in her honour, the Black Caviar Lightning (1000m), eclipsing Special’s 25-year-old track record in the process.
A typically dominant win in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley followed before Black Caviar farewelled Australian racing with her second win in the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April.
Australia’s representative on the WBRR Committee, Greg Carpenter, said the rating assigned to Black Caviar, achieved in her wins at Flemington and Randwick, was a terrific reflection of the standard of Australian racing.
“The rankings confirm Black Caviar’s position as the greatest sprinter and the greatest female equine athlete world racing has seen in the modern era,” Carpenter said.
“In all, 51 Australian-trained horses were included in the listings and this is a great result for Australian racing and continues to show the high regard in which Australian racing is held worldwide.
“Black Caviar becomes the first horse trained in the Southern Hemisphere and the first sprinter to head the listings which is a terrific reflection of the manner in which her racing career was managed.”
Treve’s rating of 130 was achieved when claiming the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) at Longchamp in October, one of three Group 1 wins for the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained filly in 2013.
Star Japanese horse Orfevre and Woodbine Mile winner Wise Dan shared equal third place in the rankings on 129 with German-trained colt Novellist and Japanese sprint sensation Lord Kanaloa rated 128.
In addition to collecting overall honours, Black Caviar headed the Sprint division for a fourth successive year.
Aside from Black Caviar, PIERRO headed the three-year-old sprint category when he was assigned a rating of 122 in winning the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in March, the first time the race was run at Group 1 level.
The other Australian-trained horses to achieve ratings of above 120 were ALL TOO HARD (122), ATLANTIC JEWEL (122), RELIABLE MAN (122) and EPAULETTE (120).
Star New Zealander IT’S A DUNDEEL was rated 121 for his Group 1 wins in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and ATC Derby (2400m).
The Ed Dunlop-trained stayer RED CADEAUX was given a rating of 120 when runner-up in the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), with the winner FIORENTE rated 119.
The 2013 WBRR take into account all performances throughout the world, irrespective of where individual horses raced or were trained, during the calendar year.
To merit inclusion in the rankings, a horse must have been rated at 115 or above in the period under review. In total 307 horses made the listings, trained in 20 individual countries, with 51 of those trained in Australia.
Total Number of Australian Trained Horses Rated 115+
The 2013 World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are released at 9pm AEST (10am GMT) in Paris on Thursday, 16 January. The information contained herein is embargoed until that time. Full details can be accessed at the International Federation of Horse Authorities Website http://www.horseracingintfed.com
A full list of Australian trained and bred horses in the 2013 WBRR is attached.
Rating categories are as follows:
Sprinter: 1000m – 1300m (1000m – 1599m in USA /Canada)
Mile: 1301m – 1899m (1600m – 1899m in USA/Canada)
Intermediate: 1900m – 2100m
Long: 2101m – 2700m
Extended (Stayer): 2701m+
6/1/2014 Easy's winning streak rolls on
Although off the scene for almost three months, an overweight Easy Man has
little trouble winning the main race on Friday night's Singapore programme
Easy Man (NZ) (Ishiguru) underlined his growing
potential and reputation as a quality sprinter with his
fifth straight success when he recorded a comfortable
win in the S$75,000 Kranji Stakes C over 1100 metres at
Singapore's Kranji racetrack on Friday.
Ridden by apprentice Tengku Rehaizat, the New Zealandbred
gelding was far too strong for his competitors as he
coasted to a wire-to-wire victory by a three-quarter length
margin over Perfect Charger (NZ) (One Cool Cat) with Super
Kenny (Host) a neck away in third.
It was the four-year-old's fifth win from six starts, an
impressive stretch in which he has produced a series of
dominating performances, including setting the Polytrack
course record of 1:4.27 over this distance last September.
"He was a little bit on the fat side today," said trainer
Leslie Khoo, explaining a 14kg rise in the horse's bodyweight
compared with his previous start, in October. "He gained a bit
of weight after suffering a bruise on Monday and was off work
for a couple of days."
Not that it bothered the Singaporean handler – or punters
who backed Easy Man as the five-to-four-on favourite.
"He's such a good horse, though. He was up against a
strong field and still did very well."
With a perfect getaway, Easy Man took full advantage of
his inside gate and seized the lead from the off.
"The way he travels, he's just an amazing horse," said
Rehaizat, who was in the irons for the first time, taking over
from the now Hong Kong-based Joao Moreira. "He may have
put on the extra weight but he really showed his quality and
you can see in the way he raced there was absolutely nothing
wrong with him, even with that extra fourteen kilos."
Khoo was also looking to maintain the winning habit of
his promising sprinter, who has already collected close to
S$250,000 in stakes, and will look to enter him in bigger races
"I think he can only get better and better but I also have to
be careful with him," he said. "He's suffered bone fractures in his
knee which required surgery so I don't want to overrace him."
While he did not rule out entering Easy Man in this year's
S$1 million International Group One KrisFlyer Sprint, he was
also keen to downplay expectations at this early stage.
"He's only raced once on the turf," Khoo said, "so I want to
put him on that surface a few more times before I decide."
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Kranji C S. 1100m
Winner Easy Man (NZ) 2009
Owners Khoo Peng Ann Leslie
Trainer Leslie Khoo (Kranji)
Breeding by Ishiguru (USA) out of Limelight by
Deputy Governor (USA)
Breeder Chequers NZ Ltd
Sales 2011 Ready to Run Sale; V: Chequers Stud,
P: Mr L Khoo; $60,000
16/12/2013 Mycaptainoblivious survives drama filled affair
Trainer Shane Baertschiger has higher hopes for
Mycaptainoblivious (NZ) (Captain Rio) following his
victory in a drama filled $65,000 Initiation Stakes over
1100m on the Polytrack on Sunday.
Ridden by apprentice Hasri Rahiman, Mycaptainoblivious
scored a two length victory over Constance's Spirit
(Zensational) with Crazy Times (Lacryma Cristi) a length-anda-
half away third.
Drama occurred as the field jumped and continued
following the race.
Steed Expedite (Pollard's Vision) dumped jockey Saifudin
Ismail soon after the gates opened while the runner-up
Constance's Spirit collapsed through apparent heatexhaustion
following the race and Allpress was unable to
Fortunately both riders escaped injury. Steed Expedite was
eventually recaptured while after sometime later Constance's
Spirit regained his feet and made its way from the track.
Baertschiger said he was surprised with the $23 win
dividend, possibly helped by the fact his apprentice Hasri had
replaced senior rider John Powell on the gelding.
"I don't think any horse in this race would have been
capable of sitting three wide in a Class 4 race and run second,"
said Baertschiger of his debut run in Singapore back on
"Then last time he was taken on in front but still fought it
"I thought today with the 4kg off for Hasri and the blinkers
going on that he would be hard to beat.
"He's a genuine horse and there are more wins in store for
A four-year-old New Zealand-bred by Captain Rio from
Golden Sparkle, Mycaptainoblivious was having his third start
in Singapore and has a win, a second and third to his credit.
Mycaptainoblivious clears out from the
opposition during his win at Kranji on Sunday
15/12/2013 Goodman good for Laurie's premiership
Expat-Kiwi trainer Laurie Laxon all but snuffed out the
Singapore premiership hopes of fellow New Zealander
Mark Walker when Goodman (NZ) (Alamosa) posted
a six-length win in a 1200 metre S$65,000 Restricted
Maiden on the Polytrack at Kranji racetrack on Friday
night. The victory was Laxon's 77th for the season,
putting him five clear with just nineteen races left for the
Although impressed, Laxon tried to downplay the win.
"He's a handy horse," he said. "Things worked out well
for him when the favourite missed the start but he still
had to go out there and get the job done.
"He's by Alamosa, who sired the Victoria Oaks and
Wakeful Stakes winner, and this horse will also like a longer
trip. I'll just take him quietly through his grades and step him
up in distance slowly at the same time."
Jockey Corey Brown believes Goodman has the potential to
develop into a more than handy galloper.
"This horse is a real professional," said Brown. "He's got a
massive stride on him. He quickened up nicely when I asked
him and ran through the line."
A three-year-old from the Street Cry mare Lucky Street,
Goodman was bred by Wellfield Lodge's Bill Gleeson. He was
seen in public just the once in New Zealand, winning a trial at
Otaki in March of this year under the name Prolific, from the
stable of Awapuni trainer Matthew Eales.
– Singapore Turf Club
14/12/2013 Aussie Bred Chasing Korea's Richest Race
Australian bred colt Cheonji Bulpae will be out to continue a string of wins when he contests Korea's richest race in Seoul on Sunday.
A well bred son of Bernardini, Cheonji Bulpae heads into the Grand Prix Stakes (2300m) with an outstanding record of eight wins from 15 starts. He has won his past four starts.
The four-year-old is one of the nation's most progressive gallopers, but faces his toughest test to date in the race which carries a purse of approximately $600,000.
Cheonji Bulpae was purchased by Magic Millions' Korean representative Mr Yoo for $19,000 at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Horses in Training Sale from the draft of Waylon J Stud.
The talented four-year-old is a half brother to recent Sydney winner Berrimilla and is one of two winners, from three to race, for the group performer Purrfection.
A daughter of Tale of the Cat, Purrfection won two races in New Zealand and was third in the Group Two Breeders' Stakes at Matamata.
Purrfection is a half sister to three other stakes performers including the Group One New Zealand Oaks winner Boundless. It is also the same family as present day Group One winner Veyron.
Magic Millions Sales Director David Chester is in Korea and said excitement was building around Seoul in preparation for a massive weekend of racing.
"There's races here on Saturday and Sunday and the Grand Prix will take centre stage on Sunday and it's nice to see the sole Australian bred in the race was sold to connections by Magic Millions."
"We are also thrilled to be invited to be involved with the naming of a Trophy Race on Saturday," Chester added.
9th Dec 2013
Singapore’s Champion Three-Year-Old elect Stepitup (Hussonet x Ain’t Seen Nothin’) claimed his fourth Group win of the year on Sunday when winning the Gr.3 Colonial Chief Stakes over 1700m at Kranji.
The son of Hussonet had regular jockey Ivaldo Santana back in the saddle to extend their outstanding partnership to eight wins from nine starts.
Sunday’s victory over Trudeau and Street Legal has reconfirmed Santana’s belief that Stepitup will be a force to be reckoned with during the 2014 Four-Year-Old Series.
“He’s got a big, big heart and he never wants to give up. He’s back to the level he was before. He’s a very good horse, with a lot of quality,” said Santana.
Earlier this year Stepitup made a clean sweep of Singapore’s Three-Year-Old Challenge; Gr.3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m), Gr.2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) and Gr.1 Singapore Guineas (1600m).
Stepitup, which was purchased for $90,000 from the draft of Bellerive Stud at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, has now earned over S$850,000 in Singapore.
Racehorses sold at Inglis Select Yearling Sales have excelled at Kranji in 2013 winning 39% of the stakes races, including Better Life (Gr.1 Singapore Derby & Gr.2 Queen Elizabeth II Cup), Super Ninetyseven (Gr.1 Raffles Cup & Gr.3 Committee's Prize) and Holy Empire (Gr.3 Sass Fee Stakes).
The 2013 Singapore Racing Awards will be held on Thursday 20 February 2014.
9/12/2013 Glorious Days mows them down in the Hong Kong Mile
Glorious Days and a delighted Douglas Whyte score in the Gr. 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile
Despite what appeared ferocious opposition from
Europe – and indeed Hong Kong – it was the John
Size-trained, Douglas Whyte-ridden Glorious Days
(Hussonet) who produced some sensational acceleration up
the Sha Tin straight to win the Gr. 1 LONGINES Hong Kong
Mile on Sunday.
The victory maintained the stranglehold of the local milers
on the great prize – the Mile has now stayed in Hong Kong for
the last eight years – but extraordinarily it was a first win in
the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races for Size despite
his huge reputation and his seven trainers' championships.
"These races have escaped me in the past but it's sweet
now it has happened," said Size. Despite the fact that Glorious
Days was having his first start of the season, his first-up record
had read 1st, 1st and 2nd, and yet again he arrived off a break
in terrific shape.
Size said: "He's an easy horse to train, and I just left him
alone when he wasn't right earlier in the year. But about six
weeks ago he started to tell us that he would be ready to
compete at this International race meeting, and we've been
getting more and more confident since then."
Whyte certainly was always happy in the race itself. "We were always pretty comfortable. Once we went past
Moonlight Cloud I just needed to keep his momentum up,"
said the 13-time Hong Kong champion jockey.
Three-quarters of a length back in second was the
favourite Gold-Fun (Le Vie Dei Colori). After a positive ride, he
looked likely to strike for Richard Gibson and Olivier Doleuze,
skipping clear in the straight. But it was Size's miler whose late
surge proved decisive.
Another three-quarters of a length back in third was
Packing Whiz (Trade Fair) with Gordon Lord Byron (Byron)
doing best of the Europeans in fourth, the same position as
he filled last year.
Glorious Days began his racing career in New Zealand in
the stable of Stephen McKee where, after three trial wins, he
won his first start in impressive fashion before being sold to
Hong Kong interests in a deal brokered by bloodstock agent
The six-year-old son of Hussonet has now had sixteen
career starts for seven wins along with six minor placings and
over HK$31million in stakes earnings.
9/12/2013 Change in tactics work for Warspirit
A change in riding tactics paid off handsomely when
Warspirit (NZ) (Scaredee Cat) returned to winning
form in the $55,000 Open Benchmark 67 Stakes Div. 2
over 1000m on Sunday.
Ridden by apprentice Jimmy Kek, Warspirit rode the speed
throughout in scoring by three-quarters-of-a-length from
Smart Samurai (Haradasun) with Jet Man (Indy Wind) twoand-
a-half lengths away in third place.
A relative newcomer to trainer Alwin Tan's stable, Warspirit
had been ridden from off the pace in his three previous
starts, which included a last start last placing under Kek on
November 22 when in a Class 3 contest over 1200m, but on
Sunday he was up in the firing line throughout.
Southern Boss (Bletchley Park), which had been a little
slow to begin, hunted up on the fence under Ng Kok Keong
to lead from Warspirit and Jet Man back in third place.
Warspirit kicked clear with 200m to run, setting up a
winning break and while Smart Samurai whittled back the
margin he was never a threat of catching the winner and was
comfortably held on the line.
Tan said Warspirit had joined his stable about four weeks
ago, having previously been prepared by Mark Walker, and
said he was still learning about the gelding.
"I got him about four weeks ago and I'm still learning
about him," said Tan. "He's a bit of a lazy horse so I have to
send him out each morning to do two laps of the track at
"He's starting to work a bit better and I told the jockey
to ride him up on the speed today and he followed my
"My instructions were to go forward as it was a short race
and also a small field and that helped him as well.
"I also think dropping back in class a bit was also good for
A six-year-old New Zealand-bred by Scaredee Cat
from Lucerne, Warspirit has now won six of his 33 starts in
Singapore and took his prizemoney to around $270,000 for
the Very Stable.
8/12/2013 An Aussie guide to watching Hong Kong
Linton pictured during track work this week
Leading race caller Greg Miles provides a guide to Sunday's Hong Kong International Race Day
Racing’s attention focusses squarely on Hong Kong’s Sha Tin racecourse this Sunday.
Billed at the “Greatest Show on Turf” the quality of racing on Hong Kong's annual International Race Day delivers on the promise.
The first race to capture attention is the Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at 2.00pm Hong Kong Time (5.00pm Melbourne).
This is where many of the Melbourne Cup runners meet again and is probably the most interesting race of the day.
Australian punters will focus on Red Cadeaux (7.00) Dunaden (12.00) and Mount Athos(6.00), who will be partnered by Aussie hoop Craig Williams.
But it is British raider The Fugue (2.30) who is the one to beat.
The John Gosden trained 4 year old filly takes the highest international rating into the race (123) with a record of 5 wins and 6 placings in just a 13 start career.
There were initial fears she hadn’t done too well on the long journey to Hong Kong after being absent from track work but she’s bounced back and looked magnificent yesterday morning.
Red Cadeaux is quite a phenomenon and the durable 7 year old is a real head turner.
A magnificent horse, he thrives on his travels and is chasing his second straight Vase victory.
Trainer Ed Dunlop says his year has been remarkable after making 8 overseas trips this year alone 'He's in good order.
We were happy to miss the Japan Cup this year after he had a tough run in the Melbourne Cup, which wasn't the case the year before.
He's recovered from that race now and has done well here.
The Fugue's going to be very hard to beat but the old boy (Red Cadeaux) will run well and it would be nice if we could go back-to-back here.”
Dunlop added that the seven-year-old would begin his 2014 racing year in either Sydney or Dubai.
As for Dunaden, trainer Mikel Delzangles still has some concerns about how well he’s come through his recent travels to Hong Kong via Melbourne and Japan.
“My concern in coming here was that it might come a bit soon for him after his last run in the Japan Cup, which will have been only two weeks before Sunday.
While that is still a slight concern, I am as happy as I could be with his general well being, so I hope all goes well on Sunday, but we’ll find out in the race.”
Dubai and the Sydney carnival in Autumn are also on the radar for the French champion.
Charlie Henson, trainer Luca Cumani’s assistant said of the Melbourne Cup third placegetter Mount Athos “He did have a hard race in Melbourne but there's every indication now that he's come through that really well, and after Melbourne we now know we have options with him tactically.”
The Longines Hong Kong Sprint(Group 1) 1200m is set for 5.40 Melbourne time.
Australian eyes will be drawn immediately to Lucky Nine (4.60) to be ridden by Brett Prebble but last years winner Japan’s Lord Kanaloa(2.30) is a superstar and has had Lucky Nine's measure in the past.
He’s looked terrific on the track Shogo Yasuda, assistant trainer, said about Lord Kanaloa: “He has now switched on. He has a great mood this morning and I feel his energy is getting ready for the big game. He has a good gait and moved very flexibly. I am sure he is in very good form. His work has been perfect up to now."
Zac Purton got the gate he was after with Frederick Engels.
He’s been getting too far back from awkward gates lately and having to do too much to get into the race but from barrier 4 he might land in a better place to be amongst the money at good odds (13.00).
The Longines Hong Kong Mile (Group One) at 6.50 is where the Aussies really get going.
Linton(26.00) flies the flag but although he looks in sensational order on the track he’s probably just not good enough.
Stable manager Troy Corstens said his confidence was growing about the grey's prospects: “He's getting better and better every day here. I'd say he's close to spot on and now it's just a question of whether he's good enough but we do have a great jockey (Damien Oliver) and a good draw."
French mare Moonlight Cloud (2.25) has been a stand-out all week at the track.
A sweet mover the five year old mare has had 19 starts for 12 wins and 2 seconds (one of which was behind Black Caviar at Ascot).
Trainer Freddy Head said: “She's in very good shape after settling in beautifully. She's done all that we wanted of her on the track here. She goes to the mile but that's fine for her now, I think. In the early days she raced too keenly but now she settles well in her races."
Sky Lantern (7.00) might be the bet here. The grey British filly was a brilliant winner of the Gp1 1,000 Guineas in England and is a four time Gp1 winner overall.
The final feature is the 2000m Longines Hong Kong Cup (group One) where Australian eyes will be drawn immediately to Zac Purton’s mount Military Attack(3.30) who hasn’t had the perfect preparation.
He thrives on racing and goes in only 3rd up from a spell.
Cirres des Aigles will be a sentimental favourite with the Hong Kong crowd.
He is on his fifth trip here with a best result of 5th placing in this race.
Corine Barande-Barbe is quietly confident: “He will run his race this year, I'm sure of that. The signs have been good with him on the track and I think now that we understand everything that is required here, maybe this will help him win. He's really very well."
Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) winner Side Glance (21.00) is a free spirit and trainer Andrew Bading is confident despite the big price.
“He’s looking good, moving well and we’ve got a good draw in gate two, so there’s a lot to look forward to. I hope he can get a piece of the cake on Sunday.”
Speaking of dining around 70,000 racegoers from all parts of the globe will be in attendance and the HKJC has released some fascinating if not curious statistics.
Did you realise for example that customers will devour 4000 Yakitori Chicken Legs, 1,500 kilos of chicken, 3000 Jumbo Hot Dogs, 100 kilos of suckling pig, 7000 oysters, 1800 kilos of shellfish and 10,000 wontons?
Me either. This information does nothing in helping us find a winner. But im just curious. Good luck on the punt at Sha Tin… and from an Aussie perspective…go the grey!
By Greg Miles
8/12/2013 Stiletto too swift
After two narrow losses, Stiletto (NZ) (Strategic
Image) produced a commanding performance to win
the S$65,000 Initiation over 1200 metres at Singapore's
Kranji racetrack on Friday night, leading from start to
finish in a comfortable three length victory.
Trainer Bruce Marsh was delighted with the effort of
his promising four-year-old, who has collected close to
S$60,000 in prizemoney from just three starts for the Go
"She had the form coming into this race and I was
pretty confident that she would run well tonight," said
the New Zealand handler. "She's really come on well with
the training and ran well on the grass previously and I
knew the Polytrack wouldn't affect her too much."
According to jockey Barend Vorster, nothing was going
to stop Stiletto once she got going, "She's got a nice long
stride and travels very well," he said. "Even with 500 metres to
go she was giving me everything I wanted and didn't look like
she was tiring at all."
Only Kingsley (NZ) (Darci Brahma) appeared to be up for the
fight and tried valiantly to close the gap. But the three-yearold
rig did not have the legs to mount a sustained challenge
and Stiletto pulled clear to put clear daylight between herself
and the Laurie Laxon-trained galloper.
"I knew the pace was always going to quicken and Laurie's
horse was going to try and catch us but she kept fighting to
the line," said Vorster. "She was a nice little filly and she'll get
much better next year with a couple more races under her
– Singapore Turf Club
6/12/2013 Linton draws favourably in Mile
Linton has a big task in front of him in the Hong Kong Mile on Sunday, however he was at least given some positive news today
At the barrier draw for Sunday's Sha Tin meeting, which features four Group 1's, the John Sadler trained galloper drew barrier 3 in the 14-horse field
Martin Talty managing owner of Linton, Australia’s sole representative at Sunday’s International race meeting in Hong Kong says the horse is looking fantastic and if he’s good enough he’s ready to run well.
“He’s a horse that was going to get back anyway. Closer to the inside, inside other horses will help. It’s a fantastic field and we’ll have to give them a start but at least he’s close to the inside anyway”.
“He’s a finicky bugger, one of those horses that is like a hypochondriac but he’s great condition, I couldn’t fault him”
Linton’s international campaign will continue in Dubai under the care of Italian trainer Marco Botti.
“He goes to Dubai on Tuesday and will have two or three starts at Dubai carnival in March before he heads to England” Talti confirmed.
Linton is likely to be around a 50/1 chance on Sunday. The hot favourite for the prestigious Longines Hong Kong Mile (Group1) is French mare Moonlight Cloud. A back marker she drew barrier 6.
Outside of Linton Australia’s attention on the International meeting on Sunday will focus on some well know names, with most interest centred on the Hong Kong Vase.
Melbourne Cup placegetters Red Cadeaux and Mount Athos are set to clash again.
Journeyman Red Cadeaux, a winner of this two years ago and second last year drew barrier 11 in the 14 horse field at today’s barrier draw.
Mount Athos the Cup third placegetter drew barrier 6. He pleased race jockey Craig Williams in his hit out over 1200m on the turf this morning easily galloping 1200m on the turf in 1m 22.8s (29.4, 28.1, 25.3).
”He feels great and he looks better to my eye than he did in Melbourne. I’m not saying that barrier 22 beat him in the Melbourne Cup but we might have pressed the first two a bit further with a better draw and a softer run. I really like the fact that this horse has shown some versatility now and we’re not committed to riding him back.” Williams said.
Dunaden who finished 5th in the Japan Cup after his Melbourne Cup 11th. Has gate 12. He is settling into his Hong Kong surrounds in comfortable fashion.
Mathieu Brasme, exercise rider, said, “You can tell that he knows the place from his behaviour on his first day out. It is like recollecting memories. He was bucking around this morning and acting like a colt. Considering his last race is still pretty close, we wanted to leave him a chance to fully recover even though he had not had a hard race in Japan. The way he behaves now seems to show that we are right where we want him to be before Sunday’s assignment.”
Dandino to be partnered by Damien Oliver worked 1200m on the all-weather in 1m 27.8s (splits: 30.5, 30.6, 26.7) He has gate 5 and Simenon 4.
Mackinnon Stakes winner Side Glance worked 1200m on the turf in 1m 20.5s (splits: 30.7, 27.1, 22.7) He has gate 2 in the 2000m Hong Kong Cup.
Trainer Andrew Balding said: “I’m very happy with him. He looks well, nothing’s bothering him and we look forward to Sunday. I’m not totally sure he can win but he might be underestimated.”
Kerrin McEvoy defies the odds to win Hong Kong Jockeys’ Championship
Australia’s National Anthem rung out over Hong Kong’s Happy Valley racecourse last night to celebrate Kerrin McEvoy’s win in the Longines International Jockeys’ Championship.
McEvoy,33, is just the second Australian after Damien Oliver 10 years ago to take out the championship in its 16 year history.
Quoted a $51 rank outsider in the betting, McEvoy quickly put himself in contention with a superb front running ride to win the opening heat on outsider Home With Glory.
Second place in the following heat gave the South Australian champion enough points to stave off fellow Aussie Zac Purton to win 18 points to 16.
It’s the second year running Purton has finished second in the championship which is staged over four races at Happy Valley as a prelude to the International Meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Purton, however did ride a double at the meeting taking his season tally to 42 wins extending his lead in the highly coveted jockey’s title to 22 winners.
McEvoy earned AUD$72,000 for the title but won’t be taking part in the Sha Tin meeting on Sunday where Purton will be joined by Aussies Ty Angland (4th on the HK table), Brett Prebble,Damien Oliver, Craig Williams and Tommy Berry .
By Greg Miles
Linton takes part in trackwork at Sha Tin
Australia’s Hong Kong hope improving as International Raceday nears
Troy Corstens was happy with the greeting he received from Linton this morning at Sha Tin, where the striking grey will contest Sunday’s Hong Kong International Mile.
Corstens, general manager and assistant trainer at Malua Racing, attended his first trackwork session in the lead up to Sunday’s big day, where he witnessed the John Sadler-trained gelding take part in a leisurely canter on the all-weather circuit.
It wasn’t a taxing workout, but Corstens said the seven-year-old appeared bright and had almost regained the weight he lost on the flight over early last week.
“He’s back on his tucker now after taking a few days to settle in,” Corstens said. “He lost around 15 kilograms on the trip over but he’s nearly put that all back on now...just three or four kilos to go.
“He looks great in the coat. It’s always a little hard to tell with greys, but I think he’s the healthiest in the coat right now that he’s ever been.”
The Group 1-winning son of Galileo will tackle one of the strongest editions of the 1600-metre feature, in which he will be ridden by Damien Oliver.
He has had just two starts since his barnstorming Stradbroke Handicap win in June – a first-up fifth in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes on 29 September before finishing midfield in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) on 12 October.
Champion French mare Moonlight Cloud heads the list of rivals for Linton and while Corstens is not underestimating the task, he is confident Linton will do his country proud.
“The Mile looks an exceptional race this year,” he said. “It’s certainly the toughest race he’s contested and he’ll need all the luck we can get.
“We’re here with open eyes and under no illusions about how tough it’s going to be, but we’re still quietly confident that he’ll run well.”
With the improvement Linton has made in recent days, Corstens said he should be ready for a more solid hit out on Thursday, which is also the day that barriers will be drawn for the meeting.
By Brad Bishop
2/12/2013 Duty Free sprints home for impressive win
An explosive turn of pace did the trick for Duty Free
(NZ) (Keeninsky) as the sprinter charged home to
claim the $55,000 Natsteel Holdings Stakes Class 4
race over 1000m on Sunday.
The New Zealand-bred gelding, a rank outsider at $99,
narrowly edged past Probo Chandroso (Fastnet Rock) by a
neck for an unlikely victory in a winning time of 59.85sec.
Palombaro (NZ) (Rusty Spur) was one and three quarterlengths
behind in third.
It continued a recent improvement of form for the sixyear-
old galloper, who has now won three races in his last six
starts to the delight of trainer John O'Hara.
"He's got a good turn of foot on him and he's a horse that
comes home well," he said. "His form of late has been excellent
and he's really turned the corner."
After just one victory from his first 22 starts, Duty Free
has triumphed in half of his six starts since August and has
collected around $150,000 in stakes earnings for Rake Racing
This was Duty Free's fourth run in two months and will be
his last for the year, said the Singaporean handler.
"I'm going to let him rest up and decide what to do with
him in January," he said.
The son of Keeninsky by Ciao has also made a habit of
staging late charges, with his previous two wins coming from
way back in the field.
A familiar pattern was to follow as favourite Makawao
(Elusive Quality) grabbed the early lead while the other seven
runners followed behind with Duty Free hovering near the
rear and appearing to fall further back as they came around
But jockey Saifudin Ismail refused to panic and upon his
urgings, Duty Free came alive in the final 200m and stormed
past everyone, including the fading Makawao who finished a
"I knew the pace of the race, with the level of the horses
here, was going to be quick," he said. "I expected the other
horses to come on strongly."
"But I knew my horse had that one short burst which
would be enough to get him over the line first," said Saifudin,
who claimed his ninth victory of the season and seventh
overall with O'Hara. "It was all part of our plan and the horse
ran a solid race."
Duty Free explodes to the front for another impressive win at Kranji
1/12/2013 Goliath continues to add winning form
The Steven Burridge-trained Goliath (NZ) (Darci
Brahma) took his recent record to four wins from his
last six starts with victory in the 1700 metre S$95,000
Kranji Stakes B, main race on Singapore's Friday night card,
scoring by 1¼ lengths from the Lisa Allpress mount Meaisin
(NZ) (Zabeel) with Flying Tempo (Royal Applause) the same
margin back in third place.
Post-race, Burridge thanked the club's farrier and vet for
their work with the horse.
"He pulled up lame after the win back in May and we
just couldn't find what was wrong with him," the expat-Kiwi
trainer said. "He spent time in the stable while these guys
tried different things and eventually he came good.
"He's found his form again and he's done a good job
"While he's in form and racing well on the Polytrack we'll
keep him on that and hopefully we'll pick up a few more wins
Jockey Corey Brown gave Goliath a good run in transit,
having him in third position early then, with a moderate
tempo, allowing the gelding to slide up to share the lead
on turning for home. He took over with 200 metres to travel
before holding off the late challenge of Meaisin, who looked
like making a race of it until the last 100 metres.
Brown said he has been surprised with how Goliath had
turned his form around since riding the gelding in early
October at his first run back after the break.
"We had the perfect run tonight," said Brown. "We were
up there out of trouble and even though the pace was a bit
muddling he was well relaxed.
"In the last month he's really been a different horse. He
wants to put himself into the race and then attack the line at
A four-year-old from the French-bred mare Beautiful
Reward, Goliath gained his early education at the Cambridge
stables of Brett McDonald, leaving for Singapore after two
trial outings as a juvenile. He has now won five of his sixteen
starts for Jupiter Stable – all five victories coming on the
Polytrack – with Friday night's success taking his prizemoney
past the S$200,000 mark.
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Kranji B S. 1700m
Winner Goliath (NZ) 2009
Owners Jupiter Stable
Trainer Steven Burridge (Kranji)
Breeding by Darci Brahma out of Beautiful Reward (Fr)
by Diesis (GB)
Breeder Mrs H G & W G Bax & Go Bloodstock New
Sales 2011 National Yearling Sale, Premier Session; V:
Blandford Lodge, P: Mr L K Laxon; $70,000
Goliath adds to his refound winning form with this easy win on Friday night.
1/12/2013 Riedel wins for Darci's bro
Improved barrier manners saw Riedel (NZ) (Saperavi)
land his second victory in his last three starts when
taking out the S$55,000 Class 4 Stakes over 1700 metres
on the Polytrack at Singapore's Kranji racetrack on Friday
At his last outing, on November 15, Riedel missed the
start by three lengths before running on late to grab
third. This time, though, the four-year-old broke much
better and rider Shafiq Rizuan was able to take a closer
position to the speed, settling down in third spot before
hitting the lead with 200 metres to run and seeing the
race out to win by a neck.
Trainer Mark Walker, who notched his 66th winner for
the year, said his team had done a lot of work on Riedel
since his last start to improve his barrier manners.
"He's got a lot of scope and ability but he's got a few mental
issues as well," said Walker. "He's certainly a work in progress
but he's getting better all the time. Tonight was the best he
had gone down to the start as he's usually with the pony to
keep him quiet.
"He's going to keep improving and he's also going to be
better off when he gets over a bit more ground."
By Saperavi, a half-brother to Singapore's hit sire Darci
Brahma, Riedel is from the Align mare La Conga and has now
had ten starts in total. From his five starts in Singapore, after
arriving from New Zealand with a one-win-two-seconds
record, he's recorded two wins and a third and accumulated
around S$55,000 in prizemoney for Te Akau Racing.
– Singapore Turf Club
28/11/2013 Dunaden set for Hong Kong
Dunaden (right) and Red Cadeaux will continue their rivalry in the Hong Kong Vase
French star to chase another Hong Kong Vase
Melbourne and Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden will make a surprise appearance at Sunday week’s Hong Kong International Raceday, set to contest the 2400-metre Hong Kong Vase.
The Mikel Delzangles-trained seven-year-old was not among the original selections for the race as his connections had indicated that they would not decide on a post-Japan Cup target until they had assessed how the horse ran there.
His strong fifth, after forced to travel wide round the home bend, behind Gentildonna in the Japanese feature convinced them to head to the Vase – a race he won in 2011.
The French raider, winner of the G1 Melbourne Cup in 2011 and the G1 Caulfield Cup in 2012, had his place in the field confirmed when the Sean Woods-trained Autumn Gold was scratched from the race at the request of the handler.
“Given the news about Autumn Gold, we are delighted to be able to add a horse of the quality of Dunaden to the Longines Hong Kong Vase,” said Mr William A Nader, Executive Director of Racing at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“Dunaden is a three-time Group 1 winner, an international star and a past winner of the Vase, so it is great that he now has an opportunity to come back and try to reclaim his crown – his participation further raises the standard of an already high class Hong Kong International Races day.”
Dunaden’s acceptance takes to four the number of horses who contested this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup that will run in the Vase.
Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux, who won last year’s Vase, will run along with fellow Cup minor placegetter Mount Athos and luckless fifth placegetter Dandino.
27/11/2013 Melbourne Cup Form to be Tested in Hong Kong Vase
While Australian racing will have no direct representative in the eagerly anticipated Longines Hong Kong International Vase at Sha Tin on December 8, there will still be plenty of interest in the performance of a number of British-trained runners who ran with tremendous credit in the recent Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
In the first major examination of the form of the top-class two-mile international contest won by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente, runner-up Red Cadeaux, third-placed Mount Athos, and fifth-placed Dandino are all set to go into battle in the mile-and-a-half contest, bidding for a share of the monster US$2 million prize money.
Red Cadeaux (7/1 in the racing live betting), who failed by just three-quarters-of-a-length
to finally land the Melbourne Cup having been beaten just a nose by Dunaden in 2011 in one of the best ever finishes to the race before running eighth behind Green Moon 12 months later, is reported by his handler Ed Dunlop to be in great heart.
Together with the other British-trained runners who remained in Australia after ‘the race that stops a nation’, they arrived in Hong Kong on November 24 in order to have a couple of weeks to acclimatize before the task at hand.
Dunlop’s globetrotting star will be out to defend his Hong Kong Vase crown having landed last year’s renewal in tremendous fashion when outpointing local favourite Jaguar Mall in a memorable race. Luca Cumani’s Mount Athos (10/1) ran the race of his life to be third at Flemington (having been fifth in the 2012 renewal), and has seemingly recovered well from his exertions.
The same comment applies to Marco Botti’s Dandino
(12/1 in the racing betting markets), fifth in the Melbourne Cup under Ryan Moore, who rallied well after losing his place at a vital stage and might be better suited by the shorter trip in Hong Kong.
25/11/2013 Mayweather scores knockout blow
A return to the turf track paved the way to success for
Mayweather (NZ) (Darci Brahma) in the $65,000
Restricted Maiden over 1400m on Sunday.
Mayweather had two previous starts on the turf for a third
placing as well as two runs on the Polytrack in the lead-up to
Sunday's race finishing out of the placings on each occasion.
Trainer Michael Freedman had fitted blinkers to Mayweather's
gear prior to his last start in a 1600m Maiden on the Polytrack,
but the gelding failed to fire, finishing ninth behind Dark
Pulse (Midnight Lite).
Freedman elected to give the gelding one more start
before heading for a break and Sunday's race was the most
suitable on the turf track.
"We put the blinkers on him but he went terrible on the
Polytrack last time," said Freedman.
"I wanted to give him one more on the turf before the end
of season and this was the most suitable race. I was looking
for a 1600m race, but there was none available and this was
the next best option."
Freedman described Mayweather as a "big dummy" but
he is improving with racing and he believes the gelding will
appreciate getting up in distance.
"He's so green and still learning," said Freedman. "The one
thing I said to Corey was to give him some galloping room.
"He's a bit timid racing between other horses, so I was
Mayweather and Corey Brown scoring narrowly at Kranji on Sunday
wasn't too worried that Corey had him three wide as he was
travelling quite well.
"He can go off for a bit of a break now. I think he'll keep on
improving and will eventually get up to 2000m."
Brown, who notched an early double by capturing the
following race with Flying Ahead (Flying Spur) in the $55,000
Class 4 Stakes over 1600m, also believes Mayweather will
appreciate a longer journey.
"He doesn't know how to race yet," said Brown. "He's still
new and immature and is open to a lot of improvement.
"I also think once he learns how to race that he'll get a
A three-year-old New Zealand-bred by Darci Brahma
from An Lass, Mayweather has now raced on five occasions,
registering one win a one third placing and around $47,000 in
prizemoney for Mummify Stable.
Mayweather and Corey Brown scoring narrowly at Kranji on Sunday
25/11/2013 Consistent Golden Sand Steed wins again
Golden Sand Steed (outer) scores again on his favoured Polytrack surface
Ultra-consistent galloper Golden Sand Steed (NZ)
(Pins) added to his record by claiming the $75,000
Kranji Stakes C over 1000m on the Polytrack on
Ridden by apprentice Shafiq Rizuan, Golden Sand Steed
scored by a head from the well-supported favourite Got Luck
(NZ) (Danroad) with Shipping Forecast (Elusive Quality) twoand-
a-quarter lengths away in third place.
Golden Sand Steed has been one of the most consistent
sprinters racing in Singapore with the New Zealand-bred
gelding having now won six of his 18 starts, but he also has a
further 10 minor placings to his credit.
While most of his racing has been on the Polytrack, a
surface that all his six victories have been achieved on, he's
also been placed two times from three starts on the turf.
New Zealand trainer Mark Walker described Gold Sand
Steed as a "tough little bugger" and a great advertisement for
"He's got the heart of a lion," said Walker. "He was
purchased for NZ$65,000 out of Karaka and that win today
has taken his prizemoney to around $330,000.
"It's (Singapore) one of the best models for racing in the
world. This horse would not have been able to win this sort of
money back home.
"He's getting better with age. His sire Pins gets good
horses and is proving a versatile stallion as well.
"I don't have any big plans with him. We'll just pick our
way through the grades for the time being. He's still only
lightly-raced and hopefully can keep his record going."
Golden Sand Steed is a four-year-old New Zealand-bred
by Pins from Ambitious and is raced by ST Resources Stable.
25/11/2013 Coronation Cup Victory For Taichi Master
Taichi Master (Testa Rossa x Magical Sunday) continued the great run of stakes success in Asia for Inglis Select Yearling Sale graduates when winning the Malaysian Group 1 Coronation Cup over 1600m at the Perak Turf Club on Sunday.
The victory was hot on the heels of the recent Singapore Group 1 Raffles Cup win of Super Ninetyseven and the Hong Kong Group 2 Premier Bowl triumph of Sterling City in the past 30 days.
The Tivic Stable owned Taichi Master has flourished since his transfer to Malaysia earlier this year. The five-year-old has won five of his last six starts including the last start Group 3 Sports Toto Supreme Challenge Trophy going into today’s RM700,000 feature event.
Sunday’s win gave Inglis Select Yearling Sale graduates back-to-back Coronation Cups following the win of Easter buy Speed Baby last year. Speed Baby went on to be crowned Malaysia’s Racehorse of the Year in 2012.
Bred by Southern Breeding Ventures and Hybrook Pastoral, Taichi Master was sold from Vinery Stud’s draft at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale to Dr KC Yeoh on behalf of the Tivic Stable for $140,000.
Taichi Master has had 12 career starts for seven wins and three placings for the Tivic Stable, which also tasted Group 1 success earlier this year with fellow Melbourne Premier purchase Stepitup in the Singapore Guineas.
Prizemoney: RM660,000 + S$82,000
Breeding: Testa Rossa x Magic Sunday (by Sunday Silence)
Breeder: Southern Breeding Ventures Pty Ltd, Hybrook Pastoral Co, NSW
Vendor: Vinery Stud, Scone
Sale: $140,000 at 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale
Buyer: Dr KC Yeoh
24/11/2013 Savannah Dancer back in form
In colours that were to figure prominently at Pukekohe the next day, Savannah Dancer returns to form with a win in Friday night's main
race at Singapore's Kranji racetrack.
Longines Singapore Gold Cup winning trainer Michael
Freedman was a happy man to see Savannah Dancer
(NZ) (Savabeel) back in the winner's circle in the
S$75,000 Class 3 Stakes over 1200 metres at Singapore's Kranji
racecourse on Friday night.
The victory provided Freedman with his 66th winner of
the season, moving him to within six of premiership leader
Appreciating the 2kg claim of apprentice jockey Shafiq
Rizuan, Savannah Dancer scored by a half-length over One
Rar (Dane Shadow) with Bourbon Goldman (NZ) (Gallant
Guru) a head away third.
A winner as a two-year-old in New Zealand from the
Cambridge stables of Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue,
Savannah Dancer began her Singapore career last November
but lost her way after a good beginning which saw her land
two victories from her opening four starts before running
third in Group Three company.
Some hoof issues kept the five-year-old out of the
winner's circle until Friday night's smart ride by Shafiq– taking advantage of a rails run in the straight after trailing a
three-way speed duel – guided the mare to victory.
Freedman had stayed positive throughout Savannah
Dancer's disappointing run of form.
"The thing with this mare was that while she hadn't been
racing all that well her work all the way through had been
good," he said. "She had a few feet issues which were niggling
away at her after racing on the hard tracks earlier in the year
and now that she's got her confidence back she might be able
to go on with it.
"She's only a little thing and she had been getting some
buffeting in her previous runs.
"Full credit must go to Dato Yap. He could have sent her
back to New Zealand this year for the breeding season. She's a
good genuine mare and she'll probably head back there next
year and go off to stud."
A five-year-old from the Danasinga mare Scally Wag,
Savannah Dancer was registering her third win from thirteen
starts in Singapore and with a further five placings has now
won more than S$165,000 in prizemoney for Raffles Racing.
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Class 3 1200m
Winner Savannah Dancer (NZ) 2008
Owners Raffles Racing Stable
Trainer Michael Freedman (Kranji)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Scally Wag by
Breeder Waikato Stud 2001 Ltd
Sales 2009 National Broodmare & Mixed Sale; V:
Waikato Stud Ltd, P: New Zealand Bloodstock
24/11/2013 Close call for Lisa after good news
In a finish too close to call even for winning jockey
Lisa Allpress, Strubeli (NZ) (Elusive City) narrowly held
off Slew Of Lode (Lode) to win the S$55,000 Class 4 race
over 1200 metres in Singapore on Friday night. It was the
Stephen Gray-trained galloper's second win from four
starts, in his first run back after being freshened up by his
expat Kiwi handler.
The result was nevertheless a surprise for Allpress,
who had to look back at the giant screen for the instant
replay for confirmation – followed by delight with her
thirteenth victory of the season and sweet reward for the
work she has done with the grey.
"He's a good horse and he ran well today," said Allpress,
who had guided the four-year-old to impressive runs in
his last two barrier trials. "It was a great effort by him to keep
pushing hard right to the end," she said. "He had an off night in
his last start but he was on tonight. And luckily we had some
good fortune too."
The Kiwi rider, who arrived in September on a short-term
visiting licence, had other cause to celebrate this week after
the Singapore Turf Club granted her a seven-month extension.
"I'm really excited about getting the extension," she said. "I
want to thank the club and the trainers for all their support.
I've really enjoyed my time here and I'm looking forward to
With his victory, Strubeli has now won close to S$80,000 in
stakes earnings for owner Stephan Herzog.
22/11/2013 First Tothelign all set for return
Just hours after touching down at Changi Airport on
Thursday morning, trainer Shane Baertschiger was back
at the Singapore Turf Club to cast a watchful eye over
First Tothelign (NZ) (Align), his four-year-old rising star.
The New Zealand-bred gelding is preparing to return to
action after spending almost four months on the sidelines
and Baertschiger, binoculars hanging around his neck, was
keen to monitor his progress closely.
A crowd favourite at Kranji since making his debut
earlier in April, First Tothelign - whom Baertschiger paid
NZ$160,000 for after he won two breeze-ups in New Zealand
last November - had proved a hit after beginning his career
here with three consecutive wins. However, a fourth-placed
finish behind winner Holy Empire (Holy Empire) in the Trigger
Express 2007 Stakes Progress over 1400m on July 28 was
the signal to Baertschiger that his promising galloper was in
danger of burning out.
"He needed a spell away," he said. "But he's come back well
rested and looks fit and strong. I'm very pleased with the way
he's come along and his training so far."
There was plenty to admire about the flashy grey during
Thursday's barrier trials, his second workout in 10 days with
regular jockey John Powell aboard. He looked in impressive
shape and posted a winning time of 1min 0.67secs, a
comfortable four-and-three-quarter-length ahead of secondplaced
Iking (Holy Empire ).
"Even though it wasn't the strongest field, you expect
him to run well, and it was a good trial from him," said
Baertschiger, who plans to saddle the son of popular sire
Align in next week's races.
The Australian conditioner was also particularly pleased
with the way First Tothelign, who in just four starts has
amassed just a shade over $100,000 in stakes earnings for MA
Racing Stable, responded to using blinkers for the first time.
First Tothelign and John Powell score easily in their recent trial outing "The blinkers went
well for him," he said.
"He had a tendency of
losing his concentration
and of veering off in his
previous races so we're
trying to stop that with
had caught the red
eye flight back from
Auckland where he,
along with several other
had attended New
Ready to Run Sale of
First Tothelign and John Powell score easily in their recent trial outing
18/11/2013 Vastly improved Boundless Glory claims big scalps
The Steven Burridge-trained Boundless Glory (NZ)
(King's Chapel) franked his steady climb to the top with
a most unlikely win at the expense of some of the best
sprinters in the land on Sunday.
An honest bread-and-butter Class 4 galloper about a year
ago, the King's Chapel six-year-old has improved out of sight
with four wins this year to the point he was now facing his
biggest test against big guns such as Mr Big (Elusive Quality),
Goal Keeper (Untouchable) and Huka Falls (NZ) (Align) in the
$125,000 Goodwill Stakes (1200m).
But under a forceful ride from Brazilian jockey Vagner Leal,
Boundless Glory unleashed a blinding turn of foot inside the
last furlong to spring an upset to just nose out Huka Falls on
Burridge said he was hopeful his ward could measure up
in such lofty company, but thought a win would have been a
"He couldn't get out of Class 4 a year ago, but he's kept
improving and he really tries his heart out in every race," said
the Australian mentor.
"I knew it was a tough field with horses like Mr Big and
Huka Falls today, but I thought 'hang on, maybe we have a
chance here', when I saw him about five lengths off the lead
and travelling so well.
"When they stopped, he started to wind up and he just
got there. He really is all heart.
"He may have beaten some good horses, but I don't have
any big plans for him. Just find a similar type of race for him
and hope to get a few more wins from him."
Leal said he knew he had won even if the margin was too
close to call for some.
"I knew he won. He was finishing very well," said the
Brazilian jockey who has yet to master English very well.
"Winning on Gold Cup day is nice. It's a big day. I'm very
The angle is deceptive but Boundless Glory has got up on the outer to top a game Huka Falls on Sunday
18/11/2013 Rite of Spring shows promise with another win
Rite Of Spring and Tommy Berry in winning action
Trainer Michael Freedman looks to have unearthed a
potential star in the making after his three-year-old
gelding Rite Of Spring (NZ) (Stravinsky) recorded a
comfortable victory in the $75,000 Kindness Stakes Progress
race over 1200m on Sunday.
It was the New Zealand-bred galloper's third win in
five starts – with two other second-place finishes - and his
performance had Freedman optimistic about the future of his
"He's got lots of potential," said Freedman. "I would rank
him among the top echelon of three-year-olds here.
"This was the first opportunity for him to be ridden off the
pace and he did a good job. Even when Italian Job went to
the front he was able to keep right behind him.
"It was good for his education."
Enjoying a good trail behind leader Italian Job (Saint
Anddan) for the first two thirds of the race, jockey Berry was
always confident of his mount's ability to finish the stronger
of the two.
"He's going to be a good horse if he can relax like he did
today," said the Sydney rider, who at 22 is already Melbourne
Cup-winning trainer Gai Waterhouse's number one stable
He also expected the son of Stravinsky to mature and
progress to longer trips.
"He can be a miler," observed Berry, who is here on a
one-day visiting jockey's license after receiving a call from
Freedman to partner his Longines Singapore Gold Cup
challenger Tropaios (Excellent Art) later on.
"It's fantastic for Michael, who put a lot of faith in me," he said. "I'm delighted to get one in early for him and the
owners. It's great for the owners (China Horse Club) who are
great supporters of racing here in Singapore and all over the
world. They're the main reason why I'm here."
While Freedman had his eye on bigger prizes on Sunday,
with two runners saddled for the $1.35 million Gold Cup,
he was also busy making plans for Rite Of Spring, who has
already collected over $130,000 in stakes during his short
"The next step for him would be to move up in distance,
to 1400m and 1600m," he said. "He'll go for a spell now before
I bring him back next year and we will target the 3YO series."
18/11/2013 Santana back in the highlight
Highlight (outer) and Ivaldo Santana win narrowly at Kranji on Sunday
More than three months after a nasty fall nearly
ended his season, jockey Ivaldo Santana was back
in the winner's circle after he scored a thrilling win
aboard Highlight (NZ) (Volksraad) on Sunday.
The Brazilian jockey was indeed enjoying a good trot in
the 2013 season when it all came to a screeching halt last
August after he fractured four ribs in a spectacular fall from
Miracle Bay (Artie Schiller) 100m from home. Doctors initially
predicted at least four months before he could ride again, but
the plucky rider, who had gone back to Brazil to recover, has
healed faster than thought.
With the all-clear given from his doctor, Santana, whose
license was still valid until year-end, was back on his first
Kranji ride last Friday, nearly bouncing straight back on the
winner's list in the last race when he tried to make all aboard
favourite Astrostar (Testa Rossa) , but was claimed late by
Coronet Peak (Kahala) right at the last hop.
But there was no stopping him this time in Sunday's
$65,000 Generosity Stakes Restricted Maiden Division 1 race
over 1200m when he brought Highlight with a well-timed
run from the rear to nail the race by a neck from the luckless
favourite My Brothers Keeper (NZ) (Handsome Ransom).
"It's good to be back a winner after the injury. Hopefully,
there will be more," said Santana who now sits on 33 winners. "I came close last Friday (Astrostar), but I knew I just had to
wait a little while longer.
"Thank you to David and the owner for giving me this ride.
I was confident he could win especially with the long straight,
but I was hoping for a quicker pace early on.
"I was only hoping for a clear run and when we got it, he
finished it off very well."
With that maiden success after four starts in the bag, Hill
has already eyed bigger riches for the son of Volksraad next
"He's a nice big horse who needed a bit more time. In
one and a half year's time, he will be even better," said the
Englishman who is well known for not rushing his horses.
"He's more of a mile horse and can even go up to 1¼ miles (2000m), but I put him in this race as we had run out of
grass races. I took a chance and it's paid off.
"I will now wait for the longer races of the 3YO series next
17/11/2013 Lisa alert to the General this time
Kiwi jockey Lisa Allpress made sure she did not
overlook Southern General (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) this
week and duly got the money in a thrilling finish in
Friday's S$65,000 Restricted Maiden over 1100 metres at
Singapore's Kranji racecourse.
Though Allpress scored a barrier trial win aboard the
three-year-old some time back, she failed to spot the
Leslie Khoo-trained galloper in the handicaps when the
horse debuted three weeks ago. "I trialled him twice and
thought he was a nice horse but when the handicaps
came out I missed him," she said. "That's the thing about
those unraced horses. Sometimes you don't know their
names and they get through. But I didn't forget him this
Neither did Khoo, who made sure the former New
Zealand champion got on the TLS Stable-owned gelding.
Looking a forlorn hope at the 200 metre mark in Friday's
race, after a scrimmage at the home turn, the solidly backed
Southern General produced a withering run to pip Manoel
Nunes' mount Magic To Win (Not A Single Doubt) by a head.
"I thought we were in trouble when we got carted off
by that wayward horse but I was able to come back on the
inside," said Allpress who was registering win eleven, including
her fourth for Khoo. "He was hanging so bad in the last bit, but
it was still a nice effort to get there right on the line."
Khoo said Southern General was no world-beater, but could
shape up as a useful sort in the right class. "He's done a good
job tonight. I got him for only $20,000 at the Ready-To-Run
sale last year. And he should be able to go over a longer trip."
– Singapore Turf Club
11/11/2013 Blue Swede storms home for maiden win
Blue Swede storms to victory at Kranji on Sunday
Jockey Matthew Kellady was on cloud nine after he
snapped a long run of outs with the winning ride aboard
favourite Blue Swede (NZ) (O'Reilly) on Sunday.
The Ipoh-born rider, who had not visited the winner's
circle since May 31, certainly made the most of the
opportunity when trainer Shane Baertschiger booked him for
the ride aboard the $12 favourite in the $65,000 Super Easy
Stakes Restricted Maiden race over 1400m.
It, however, looked like his days without tasting success
would stretch further when Blue Swede was still locked away
in a pocket at the rear with only 700m to go. But Kellady's
decision to pull away from that sticky situation by switching
across heels in search of daylight literally "turned the corner" for him.
Finally freed as the field straightened up for the judge the
O'Reilly three-year-old steamed home to draw on level terms
at the 100m before pulling away for a 1 ¼-length win.
Grinning from ear to ear at the winner's enclosure,
Kellady, however, said he thought he had left it too late when
he saw Moonbeam Dazzler (Magnus) so far ahead upon
"I rode him the same way I've ridden him at his first two
starts," said Kellady. "But I was a bit worried when I was boxed
in at the rear and I could not get out.
"At the 700m, I came back one length under me and took
him to the outside as I did not want to get stuck there.
"But when I saw the runaway leader so far ahead I thought
I did not have a chance of catching him.
"He was making good ground, but it was only in the last
200m I was confident I would get him as he was finishing so
strongly. Once I knew the race was won, I eased down on him
in the last 50 and just coasted to the line.
"I think this horse has a brilliant future here. He is still
learning what racing is all about and will get better with time."
Baertschiger admitted the first time his NZ$150,000
purchase came to his yard, he was not exactly getting too
excited about his future prospects.
"He was a bit of a mental case early. I spelled him and he's
come good since," said the Australian handler who bought the
gelding at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready-To-Run Sale
11/11/2013 Distance rise suits Any Rumour
Lightly-raced three-year-old Any Rumour (NZ) (Any
Suggestion) will be given a break after scoring his
maiden victory in the $65,000 Ace Aliado 2009
Initiation Stakes over 1600m on Sunday.
Ridden by leading apprentice A'Isisuhairi 'Harry' Kasim,
Any Rumour scored a comfortable three length victory over
the dead-heating pair of Flutz (Dubawi) and Serpico (NZ)
Having just his third career start, Any Rumour appreciated
the rise in distance to 1600m and ran the journey in 1min
Trainer Cliff Brown said he would now give Any Rumour a
break to allow the New Zealand-bred galloper more time to
"He's still immature and is lightly-framed," said Brown. "I'll
give him a break now and let him develop a bit.
"He's going to keep getting further and further when he
gets a bit stronger.
"So far he's been pretty bombproof. He's done everything
we've asked of him and it's great to get a win from him early
in his career."
For A'Isisuhairi it was his 70th victory of the year and
he now holds a 47 win advantage over the second placed
apprentice – Tengku Rehaizat – in the premiership race with
10 meetings left for the season.
A'Isisuhairi said Any Rumour would continue to improve
with race experience.
"He's still a bit green but he's also got a lot of ability," said
A'Isisuhairi. "We got a nice clear run early in the race but then
he got held-up for a run early in the straight.
"A big gap appeared back on the inside and with only
50kg to carry he did quicken up nicely.
"In the end it was a nice win but he's still got some
improvement in him as well."
By Any Suggestion from Loranay, Any Rumour is raced
by the Any Rumour Stable and has accumulated just shy of
$40,000 in prizemoney from his three career starts to date.
Any Rumour and jockey Harry Kasim
10/11/2013 Got Luck a cut above his rivals
Got Luck wins untested at Kranji for rider Danny Beasley.
Got Luck (NZ) (Danroad) provided further evidence of
his potential when he scored a comfortable win in the
S$55,000 Open Benchmark 67 over 1000 metres in
Singapore on Friday night.
It was the gelding's fourth victory from five starts as he
easily beat Jeram Clipper (Flying Spur) by 1¾ lengths with
Sand Lane (Sandtrap) a nose away third.
The result was rarely in doubt once the odds-on favourite
shifted gears down the straight to pull away from his
"He ran well today. As soon as there was a clear gap that
was the signal for him to run through," said trainer Alvin Tan.
The small field of just seven runners was also helpful, said
Tan. In his previous start, against ten other horses, Got Luck
got shifted out wide and finished third.
"He was squeezed in his last race and lost a bit of
confidence," said Tan.
A good trial on Tuesday provided the necessary fillip, said
winning jockey Danny Beasley.
"He was just flowing along and so I didn't have to grip
him and hold him back," he said, acknowledging his mount's
promising future. "He's a good horse and he's done very well
in his short career.
"I think 1000 metres is no longer his trip. He's probably
more suited to 1200 or 1400. He's been running on the
Polytrack but turf is definitely an option for the future. It's
something for Alvin to decide."
Loftier plans may be afoot for the Eight Eight One
Stable-owned galloper but Tan will have a better idea which
direction to take after the horse comes back from a wellearned
"I'm going to give him a break and then we'll look at what
we want to do," the trainer said. "I want to save him for some
bigger races next year."
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Open Bmk 67 H. 1000m
Winner Got Luck (NZ) 2009
Owners Eight Eight One Stable
Trainer Alvin Tan (Kranji)
Breeding by Danroad (AUS) out of Malika by Sandtrap (USA)
Breeder Bidois Bloodstock Ltd
28/10/2013 Sterling effort sees Moreira bank group race glory
Joao Moreira opened his Group race account in Hong
Kong yesterday with a copybook ride on the John
Moore-trained Sterling City (Nadeem) that brought
victory in the HKG2 Premier Bowl (Handicap).
The Brazilian ace settled the five-year-old mid-pack in the
1200m contest as California Bounty (Bahamian Bounty) set
the tempo from fellow Tony Cruz trainee, Bullish Champion
(Exceed and Excel).
As the latter made his move on the turn into the
home straight, Moreira began winding up his mount for a
determined drive to the wire. Sterling City responded with a
game run to reel in Bullish Champion 100m out, and fought
on under strong urging to take the spoils by a neck. The
winner stopped the clock at 1m 09.11s.
"I'm at the top of the moon – that felt great. I thought
things would go good but I never dreamt it would go as
good as it is and hopefully it will keep up," said Moreira, who
partnered a double on the day to take his tally to four wins in
three meetings since arriving in Hong Kong.
"Sterling City's a small horse but he's got an engine," he
continued. "When I put him under pressure I could feel that
he was going to get there. I was just worried if something else
was coming to get there but I felt my horse was really strong
to the line. It's a pleasure to be riding a winner for John Moore
in the Cup races and hopefully there will be more."
Sterling City is by the Gr. 1 winning stallion Nadeem
(Redoute's Choice) who is currently standing his second New
Zealand season at Little Avondale Stud in the Wairarapa.
Sterling City drives hard to the line to score in the hands of Brazilian ace Joao Moreira
28/10/2013 Mastercraftsman colt powers to goup one win
success next year
after Kingston Hill
continued the young
love affair with
Doncaster by winning
the Racing Post
Trophy, Britain's final
Group One race of the
His first ever
runner, Eton Forever,
was a winner there
on April 2, 2011 after
Varian took over the
reins at Kremlin House
stables when the late
Michael Jarvis retired.
Kingston Hill only
made his debut five
weeks ago and after
winning the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Newmarket at his
second start, Varian and owner Paul Smith took the decision
to pay the late entry fee into the prestigious juvenile race.
It was a brave move by Smith, who is the son of
Coolmore's Derrick Smith, co-owner of runner-up Johann
Racing in mid-division through the early stages, Kingston
Hill was asked to quicken more than a furlong (200m) out by
Andrea Atzeni and the response was immediate.
The colt lengthened stride in the closing stages, beating
Johann Strauss by 4-1/2 lengths.
"We were looking forward to what improvement there
was to come from him and he's the first colt to win a Group
One for us. It's been with fillies before," Varian said.
"We'll have to see
how he winters and
what he's like in the
spring. People have
said he is a 10-furlong,
but he has the pace
for a mile and travels
"He has good
acceleration and will
be in everything. We'll
have a good eye on
the Guineas." Bookmakers made
Kingston Hill 8-1
for next year's 2000
completed a Grouprace
first season sire
shuttles to Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand. The leading
first-season sire had also been represented by Craftsman,
winner of the Group 3 Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown
earlier on Saturday afternoon.
Mastercraftsman has another live 2014 classic contender
in Sir Robert Ogden's home-bred Group 3 Prestige Stakes
heroine Amazing Maria, trained by Ed Dunlop.
Kingston Hill in full flight during his Group One victory
25/10/2013 Raffles Cup and Cox Plate no foreign affair to Walker
Star three-year-old War Affair is a surprise acceptor for Sunday's Gr. 1 Raffles Cup at Kranji
The inclusion of former juvenile champion and current
three-year-old star War Affair (NZ) (O'Reilly) has set
the cat among the pigeons in the $500,000 Group 1
Raffles Cup (1800m) this Sunday.
Age offers the element of surprise and intrigue as no
three-year-old has ever won the feature race since its
inception in 1991, even if it is a Weight-for-Age race open to
three-year-olds and upwards. As such, the New Zealand-bred
son of O'Reilly will carry the postage-stamp weight of 49kgs,
in receipt of as much as nine kilos from his older rivals, with
only four-year-old arch-rivals Steptitup (Hussonet) and Super
Ninetyseven (Show A Heart) conceding him eight kilos.
A few eyebrows were raised when Walker declared the
Raffles Cup as War Affair's next target shortly after he made
a clean sweep of the More Magic 3YO Championship in the
Group 3 Magic Millions 2013 More Magic 3YO Championship
(1600m) less than two weeks ago.
Walker took a leaf from the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in
his decision to go against the grain. Some three-year-olds
who dared contest the race considered as the Weight-for-Age
championship of Australasia and won, include the likes of So
You Think (NZ) (High Chaparral), Savabeel (NZ) (Zabeel) and
the mighty Octagonal (NZ) (Zabeel).
"If he was in Melbourne, it would have been a natural
step-up for him to head towards the Cox Plate," said the Kiwi
trainer, who saddled Princess Coup (Encosta de Lago) to a
ninth place in the A$3 million race in 2008.
"His lead-up races have been no different here. He is
clearly the best three-year-old here and he deserves his
The five-time New Zealand champion trainer is a multiple-
Group 1 winner back home, but a Singapore Group 1 win has
eluded him thus far, though he does have one Group 2 win
and six Group 3 wins to his credit.
"Regardless of how my horse runs, he is not going for the
Gold Cup as the 1800m is tops for him at this stage. I will then
give him a six-week break at the stables and bring him back
for the first Leg of the 3YO Challenge in March."
The Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge kicks off with the
Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) on March
30, 2014. This year's edition was captured by Stepitup on his
way to winning all three Legs, and who will now be one of
War Affair's rivals this Sunday.
21/10/2013 Verenzuela can toast to reformed "cripple"
Bourbon Goldman prevails at Kranji despite a torrid trip throughout the race
After a very green Bourbon Goldman (NZ) (Gallant
Guru) beat the ambulance home at his second start
at Kranji last March, jockey Jose Verenzuela jumped
off shaking his head as he told trainer Mok Zhan Lun to "throw away this horse".
Seven months later, Verenzuela is happy Mok did not take
his words literally, even if they were said in jest.
Jumping back on top of Bourbon Goldman since that
72-length drubbing, the Venezuelan jockey could tell straight
away he had a different proposition under him as the Gallant
Guru four-year-old overcame a tough trip three wide without
cover to account for a handy lot made up of the likes of Flash
Gift (Lawyer Ron), Hypernova (NZ) (Elusive City) and even
stablemate Black Unicorn (Dubleo) in the $75,000 Class 3 race
"The horse was a cripple when I first rode him. I told
Mok to check him and he's put him aside for a while," said
"Mok's done a really good job to bring him back to that
level. He's a totally different horse from the one I first rode."
Mok said a spot of acupuncture seems to have worked
wonders on the horse personally bought in New Zealand by
Mr Ong Boon San.
"I sent him for some acupuncture treatment on his back
and it seems to have improved him, especially as his mind
was not quite there before.
"From the wide barrier, I thought it would be hard for him
today. He was caught three wide but still won well and beat a
pretty good field.
"I'll see how he pulls up and if he goes for the Singapore
Four-Year-Old Challenge next year, I will have to step him up
in distance at some stage. But I will have to take him through
his classes first."
Bourbon Goldman has now recorded three wins from
nine starts for stakes earnings in excess of $135,000 for his
20/10/2013 Laurie uncorks another
In a manner that promises plenty more to come, Bordeaux wins easily at his first raceday appearance.
Expat Kiwi trainer Laurie Laxon looks to have another
smart horse on his hands following the debut win of
Bordeaux (NZ) (Sir Percy) in the S$65,000 Restricted
Maiden over 1000 metres on Kranji's Polytrack on Friday
Bordeaux tracked form runner Magic To Win (Not A Single
Doubt) to the home turn, where jockey Barend Vorster waited
until well into the straight for the gelding to balance up.
When asked for the supreme effort, Bordeaux lengthened
nicely to hit the lead with 200 metres to run then drew clear
to score by a widening four-length margin and stop the clock
at 58.40 seconds, just 0.66s outside the course record.
Laxon's recent trip to France with New Zealand Bloodstock
principal Peter Vela was behind the naming of Bordeaux. "He wasn't named before we went to France," said the
seven-time Singapore premiership winner, "so when we got
back we named a few after our trip.
"Peter bred this horse. He's by Sir Percy, who is starting to
get a few winners, and is a half-brother to another speedy
horse I've got in Precisely. He'd shown us a bit on the track
and had trialled quite well and we thought he had a bit of a
Vorster said Bordeaux was a promising horse who should
go on and win more than his fair share of races on what he
showed on Friday night.
"He can certainly hop along," said Vorster. "He was a bit hot
under the collar before the race but he jumped well and has a
lot of toe.
"Laurie usually has them ready for their first race start and
that was certainly the case tonight. He's a horse who is going
to get through the grades – how far I'm not too sure, but
Laurie is going to have a lot of fun with this horse for some
A three-year-old from the Catbird mare Almaviva (a
daughter of the 1998 New Zealand Oaks runner-up Pavan),
Bordeaux is raced by Laxon's Silver Fern Racing. He landed
in Singapore in June after two New Zealand trials – one
unplaced, one a third – as a juvenile from the Bruce Wallace
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Restricted Maiden S. 1000m
Winner Bordeaux (NZ) 2010
Owners Silver Fern Racing Stable
Trainer Laurie Laxon (Kranji)
Breeding by Sir Percy (GB) out of Almaviva by Catbird
Breeder P J & P M Vela Ltd
Sales 2012 Ready to Run Sale; V: Kilgravin Lodge, P:
Wallace Thoroughbreds Ltd; $32,500
14/10/2013 Double gives successful pairing a last hurrah
Up-and-coming stayer Orakei Korako (NZ) (Any
Suggestion) has emerged as a Longines Singapore
Gold Cup hope for trainer Laurie Laxon after his
slashing win in the $55,000 Class 4 race over 2000m on
The seven-time Singapore champion trainer, who has
two Gold Cups to his name, Raul (2004) and Recast (2007),
said he had long earmarked the Group 1 handicap race over
2200m on November 17 as a long-range target for the Any
Suggestion four-year-old even though his only two wins at
Kranji before Sunday were from 1200m to 1400m.
The decision to run Orakei Korako again after he finished
a closing second to Tiger Master last Sunday may have
surprised a few, but the wily Kiwi had already set the wheels
for a more gilt-edged objective in motion.
"He's a Gold Cup horse. This Class 4 race over 2000m was
the perfect race for him and I had to go for it," said Laxon.
"I've always set him for that. I just couldn't get him out of
the Class 3 races and that's also the reason why I put him in
"He will run in the El Dorado Classic Stakes (2200m) in two
weeks' time (October 27) and then hopefully it's on to the
Orakei Korako was ridden by Joao Moreira, who was at his
farewell Kranji meeting before he relocates to Hong Kong this
Moreira later combined with Laxon, one of his leading
supporters in his five years spent at Kranji, for a second win
when Euro Zone (NZ) (Iffraaj) took out the next race, the
$65,000 Novice race (1400m).
Laxon said Euro Zone, who was at his second Kranji win
from four runs, came to him with solid New Zealand 'black
type" form-line even if he has never won such races himself.
"His New Zealand form is very good. He ran second in an
open Three-Year-Old race at his first start in a race there and
both the winner and the third horse won Group races later,"
"He was drawn wide (12) today, and was a bit forgotten for
some reason, but he was just too good for them in the end."
the first of a
Laxon and the
14/10/2013 No beating around the bush third up
Corey Brown has Straighttothepoint clear and holding his rivals easily in his debut win
The much-vaunted Straighttothepoint (NZ) (Pins)
lived up to his name with a barrier-to-box win to
score his much-anticipated maiden win in the $65,000
Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on Sunday.
The Pins three-year-old out of the Iglesia dam Lasting Luck
came under early notice from the first time he came out on
the training tracks, capped by a barrier trial win two weeks
before his race debut on August 16.
He, however, had to wait for his third start to finally visit
the winner's circle, but despite the first two defeats, his
popularity never dropped as his even-money favourite tag at
all three runs clearly indicate.
Ridden by jockey Corey Brown for the second time on
Sunday, Straighttothepoint sprang out of the gates to take up
the running, before easing off a fraction as he settled into his
strides on the rails.
Rounding the home turn, Straighttothepoint was still
holding sway and soon kicked away for a comfortable win,
stopping the clock at 1min 10.02secs for the 1200m on the
Short Course, as he crossed the line first 2 ½ lengths clear of
Hofburg Palace (Snitzel) with newcomer Mister Candy (Candy
Ride) third another 1 ½ lengths away.
Winning trainer Laurie Laxon pointed out
Straightotthepoint was still green despite the apparent ease
of the maiden win, .but said the penny will drop with more
racing under his belt.
I bought him myself for NZ$90,000 as a yearling from the
Karaka Sale last year. He's a very nice horse," said the seventime
Singapore champion trainer.
"He doesn't have to lead, but there was no other horse
with speed and it worked out well. He's still a bit immature,
but he sure has good ability."
Brown echoed Laxon's sentiments about the gelding's vast
potential which was still at an untapped level.
"He's a lovely horse, but he missed the start at his first
race and was a bit racy when they drove him up," said the
"I rode him at his last barrier trial. I just let him stride him
and only controlled him in the last two furlongs.
"He was a little bit more aggressive today, but once he put
his head down, he will make it as a top class horse here."
11/10/2013 Brown takes over aboard Daniel
Jockey Corey Brown will be the new rider for Daniel (NZ)
(Guillotine) in the Group 3 $150,000 Magic Millions 2013
More Magic 3YO Championship over 1600m on Sunday.
Champion jockey Joao Moreira has been aboard the
Laurie Laxon-trained galloper at all four starts to date,
however Moreira will be riding War Affair (NZ) (O'Reilly) – a
horse that he has ridden on six occasions for five victories,
including the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over
1200m in May and the Group 3 Juvenile Championship over
1200m in July.
The Mark Walker-trained galloper has returned to racing
in great form as a three-year-old winning the first two Legs
of the More Magic 3YO Championship Series, winning over
1200m and 1400m respectively last month in readiness for
Sunday's third and final Leg.
Laxon tried his best to convince Moreira that he should
be riding his charge in Sunday's upcoming Group 3 race but
was quick to realise it was a forlorn chance of happening
after being reminded of the champion jockey's record
aboard War Affair.
Not long after Daniel's win last Sunday, the Laxon team
approached Brown to take the mount on the three-year-old.
"The 1600m is going to suit Daniel ideally," said Laxon.
"He pulled-up well from last Sunday's race and there's no
reason why he shouldn't take his place.
"He's fit and well and I think he can take it up to War Affair
While Laxon and Moreira will be pitted
against each in Sunday's feature race, the pair
will team together with Huka Falls (NZ) (Align)
in the $125,000 Open Stakes over 1100m on the
Huka Falls will be sporting blinkers for the first
time on Sunday after winning a barrier trial by 13
lengths in the quick time of 59.53 secs.
While Huka Falls may not have accounted for
strong opposition in the trial, it was the manner in
which he went about his work and the time that he
ran that was impressive.
"It's time to try something different with him
and hopefully the blinkers will switch him on," said
"Horses that wear blinkers for the first time in a
race usually run very well.
"He trialled nicely in them this morning and
hopefully they'll do the trick come raceday. He
didn't beat much in the trial but went about his
Daniel (outer) with Joao Moreira aboard
scores narrowly but well at his last start
Cash Luck completes magic weekend
Sunday, 6 October, 2013
Cash Luck has completed a weekend to remember for Australia's leading thoroughbred auctioneers Magic Millions with a career best performance to win the Group One Kranji Mile (1600m) in Singapore on Sunday evening.
On the speed throughout, Cash Luck shot to the front in the straight and found plenty under the urgings of rider Danny Beasley to win handsomely.
A $12,000 purchase from the 2010 Magic Millions QTIS Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast, Cash Luck was one of three Magic Millions graduates contesting the Singapore feature - the others ran third and fourth.
In winning Cash Luck provided trainer David Kok with his first group race success and yet another Kranji feature to Australian rider Danny Beasley.
"This is a dream come true as I don't get many chances in group races," Kok said after the win. "I'm very happy and excited I've won by first Group One race."
Kok said he would see how Cash Luck pulled up before deciding whether to head to the Group One Raffles Cup, but a start in the Group One Singapore Gold Cup was certainly on the agenda.
The win was the second on the Kranji card for a son of former Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Bradbury's Luck following the victory of Tiger Master (ex Atali), a $31,000 QTIS Yearling from Glenlogan Park.
It completed a memorable weekend for the Queensland based sire after the fantastic win of Fire Up Fifi in yesterday's Group Two Blazer Stakes at Flemington.
Cash Luck is one of three winners, from three to race, for the Geiger Counter mare Blue Celeste, a mare who hails from the family of Golden Slipper winner and champion sire Marauding.
Blue Celeste was successful in Brisbane during a four win career - two of her wins coming at two at sprinting trips up to 1200 metres.
Cash Luck's family is one well known to Magic Millions with the pedigree page including star MM graduates Sacred Choice, Latin News, Triple Asset and Malaysian champ Good Baby.
Magic Millions graduates had an incredible weekend with no fewer than 10 stakes wins including three Group One triumphs across Australia and Singapore.
Aside from Cash Luck the highlights included Boban's outstanding last stride win in the Epsom Handicap in Sydney and Happy Trails' lunging and popular victory in the Turnbull Stakes in Melbourne.
Stakes winning performances from quality gallopers including Zoustar, Fire Up Fifi, Arinosa and Anatina added to a clean sweep of the six juvenile races run on metropolitan tracks on Saturday including stakes wins for Alpha Miss, Law andRisen From Doubt.
Winner: Cash Luck
Breeding: Bradbury's Luck-Blue Celeste (Geiger Counter)
Race: Singapore TC Kranji Mile G1 (1600m)
Sold for: $12,000
Sale: 2010 Magic Millions QTIS Yearling Sale, Gold Coast
Vendor: Royston Stud (As Agent)
Buyer: Les Kelly
Owner(s): Northwest Racing Stable
Trainer: David Kok (Kranji)
Pics courtesy Singapore Turf Club.
7/10/2013 Gray and Moreira combine for an early double
Champion jockey Joao Moreira and trainer Stephen
Gray got off to the perfect start to the Sakura Raceday
The pair combined to win the opening two races – the
$35,000 Panasonic Digital Signage Kranji Stakes D over 1400m
with Ravoux (Fomalhaut) – before claiming the second event,
the $65,000 Panasonic Security Systems Panasonic Initiation
Stakes over 1400m with Bannister (NZ) (Bernardini).
Ridden behind the pace, Bannister sprinted quickly
when he saw daylight before racing clear to a three-anda-
half length victory from Marine Park (NZ) (O'Reilly) with
Washington Bay (Red Dazzler) a length-and-a-quarter away
Moreira is at his third last meeting before he leaves
Singapore to take up a stint in Hong Kong which kicks off on
Sunday was the first time Moreira had sat aboard
Bannister – he had not ridden the gelding in trackwork
previously – and relied on the instructions given to him by
"He surprised me a little," said Moreira. "I thought before
the race looking at his form that he had a chance and he
showed today he had a really good turn of foot.
"Today was the first time that I had even sat on him.
Stephen gave me some very good instructions.
"He said that the horse had been unlucky on a couple of
occasions and to try and have him midfield and save him for a
"He really did have a good turn of foot and he should go
on a win some more races."
Gray said Bannister had been a shade unlucky at his last
two starts after a promising debut in Singapore when third
over 1200m in June.
Bannister began his racing career in New Zealand and
showed some promise as a two-year-old before requiring
surgery after suffering a knee injury.
"Dad (Kevin) had him back home and he did show us a lot
as a two-year-old," said Gray.
"We thought he might have been a Karaka Millions horse
but unfortunately he had to have some bone chips taken
from a knee and spent time on the sidelines."
Bannister had six starts in New Zealand without winning
before coming to Singapore and had earned just NZ$1400m
in prizemoney from two minor placings.
In four starts in Singapore, which includes Sunday's
victory and one third placing, Bannister has collected around
$42,000 in prizemoney.
Joao Moreira completes an early double with Bannister at Kranji on Sunday
6/10/2013 Oklahoma City Claims Europe’s Most Valuable Two-Year-Old Race
OKLAHOMA CITY went one better today than his last run only six days ago for trainer Aidan O’Brien, to win the 17 runner £500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse today, the last of the 2YO races in the 2013/14 Tattersalls Millions series.
The son of Oasis Dream was bought by Demi O’Byrne from the 2012 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1 from Meon Valley Stud. OKLAHOMA CITY’S half-brother by Dansili, consigned by Meon Valley Stud, is lot 409 in this year’s Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1 and is one of 15 by Dansili in the catalogue.
Oklahoma City wins Europe's Most Valuable 2YO Race
After the race Aidan O’Brien commented, “He had a couple of good runs over six furlongs before he stepped up in trip and ran a solid race in Ireland last week. He’s a tough hardy horse who loved the ground and the trip today. He has a lot a different entries in a lot of different races so it is very possible he will run again this year but he loves fast ground so the ground would be important for him.”
POSTPONED for trainer Luca Cumani was second, with BON VOYAGE for Richard Hannon in third.
There are two more races scheduled in the 2013/14 Tattersalls Millions race series, which take place at Newmarket Rowley Mile’s Craven Meeting in 2014, with £300,000 still on offer.
Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, featuring the only yearlings eligible for next year’s series takes place from 8th – 10th October and are at Tattersalls available for inspection.
TATTERSALLS MILLIONS 2014/2015
Six races worth £1,300,000
TWO YEAR OLD RACES
£500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy
7 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, October 4th 2014
£300,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Fillies’ Trophy
7 Furlongs, fillies only, October 4th 2014
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions Median Auction Trophy
6 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, September 20th 2014
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Median Auction Stakes
6 Furlongs, fillies only, September 20th 2014
THREE YEAR OLD RACES
£200,000 Tattersalls Millions 3YO Trophy
10 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, Craven Meeting 2015
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions 3YO Sprint
6 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, Craven Meeting 2015
Entry: £2,250 – January 14th 2014
Scratching: £2,250 – May 6th 2014
6/10/2013 Kiwi and Aussie get together to land a Super-Hyper Nova double
Supernova's flying finish takes him to a clear win in Friday night's Singapore feature.
Expat Kiwi trainer Bruce Marsh and Australian jockey
Corey Brown combined for a winning double with
a couple of Elusive City 'Novas' on the Polytrack at
Singapore's Kranji racecourse on Friday night – Supernova
(NZ) taking out the main race, the S$95,000 Kranji Stakes B
over 1200 metres, a couple of races after Hypernova (NZ)
had scored over 1000 metres.
Coming from back in the field, Supernova swooped on the
leading pair a hundred metres out, his momentum taking him
a length clear in a strong win.
Marsh said he had a few concerns prior to the race but was
a relieved trainer when the five-year-old raced away.
Supernova has been a model of consistency in his brief
career with his only poor runs coming on the turf back in July
and another poor showing on the Polytrack in early August
before returning to form with a last-start victory six weeks
"I have to say these 'Nova' horses aren't bad, are they," said Marsh. "This one was up in weight, which was a bit of a
concern, but he's also getting stronger all the time.
"His run on the turf was too bad to be true, so at some
stage we'll have to give him another try on it.
"At this stage we haven't got anything picked out for him.
I'll have a look at the programme for another 1200 metre race
for him on the Polytrack."
Brown said Supernova had been "very good to me" with
the jockey having had four rides on the gelding for three
"We found out by default the best way to ride him," he
said. "He drew a wide gate one day so we elected to ride him
back. He really attacked the line that day and he's proven to
be a good tough horse.
"Tonight we had a lovely run. I had to come out four wide
in the straight but he knuckled down well to his work.
"I really loved the way he attacked the line and in the end
it was a good, strong win."
Supernova is from the unraced Carnegie mare Our Girl
Nelson. From his ten starts in Singapore he has notched
six wins and two minor placings for around S$230,000 in
prizemoney for Tudor Lodge Racing.
The combo's earlier winner, Hypernova, overcame a wide
barrier to score a gutsy neck win in a S$55,000 Class 4, his
third win from just six outings.
Though trainer Bruce Marsh is aware his charge is
obviously adept over six furlongs, the drop back to 1000
metres still had the Kiwi brimming with confidence.
"He's definitely a 1200 metre horse, but I brought him
back to 1000 metres tonight because I wanted to teach him
to settle in a speed race," he said. "The trick was also not to
hit the lead too soon. He looked like he went a bit soft in the
home straight, but he pinged in the last bit and again did a
very good job.
"I don't have any big plans for him. Just potter around with
him, maybe bring him back to a turf race over 1200 metres."
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Kranji B S. 1200m
Winner Supernova (NZ) 2008
Owners Tudor Lodge Racing Stables
Trainer Bruce Marsh (Kranji)
Breeding by Elusive City (USA) out of Our Girl Nelson
(Aus) by Carnegie (Ire)
Breeder Fulton Bloodstock Ltd
Sales 2010 National Yearling Sale, Festival Session;
V: Haunui Farm, P: D J Lowe; $20,000
Race Singapore TC Class 4 H. 1000m
Winner Hypernova (NZ) 2009
Owners Tudor Lodge Racing Stables
Trainer Bruce Marsh (Kranji)
Breeding by Elusive City (USA) out of Sevilla by Prince
Breeder C P & Mrs M J A Howells
Sales 2011 National Yearling Sale, Festival Session;
V: Ainsley Downs Stud, P: Fisher Park; $1250
4/10/2013 Oklahoma City Heads Runners For Europe’s Most Valuable Two-Year-Old Race
The 2013/14 £1.3million Tattersalls Millions race series continues this Saturday, 5th October, at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile with The £300,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Fillies’ Trophy and The £500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy, Europe’s richest two-year-old race. Both are set to feature high-class fields following today’s declaration stage.
The first of Saturday’s seven-furlong contests, the £300,000 Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Trophy, sees 14 two-year-olds declared to run. These include the first three home in the recent £100,000 Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Median Auction Stakes; WEDDING RING trained by Charlie Appleby, William Haggas’s OXSANA and FASHION FUND from Brian Meehan’s string. Other notable runners include the highly regarded John Gosden trained winner NIGHT SONG, who showed plenty of promise on her only two starts to date, also ZAWIYAH and AQLAAM VISION who were fourth and sixth respectively in the £100,000 Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Median Auction Stakes.
The first three home in the £100,000 Tattersalls Millions
Median Auction Trophy re-oppose
18 have been declared to run in The £500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy lead by the Aidan O’Brien trained OKLAHOMA CITY who was second in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes last Sunday. O’Brien commented, “OKLAHOMA CITY ran a lovely race when second in the Beresford on Sunday and he seems to have come out of it in good form so we’re hoping he’ll run well again.”
Andrew Balding’s SIGNPOSTED who won last time out at Sandown is another interesting runner. Andrew commented, “SIGNPOSTED is in good order; he was impressive last time and is effective on any ground. Hopefully he can go there and be competitive.” TOOFI, JALLOTA and MUIR LODGE, the first three home in The £100,000 Tattersalls Millions Median Auction Trophy last weekend have also be declared.
Those entered in the two contests cover a full spectrum of prices from the 360,000gns purchase POSTPONED, through to the Mark Johnston-trained MAXIE T, who was bought for 25,000gns.
There are two more races scheduled in the 2013/14 Tattersalls Millions race series, which take place at Newmarket Rowley Mile’s Craven Meeting in 2014, with £300,000 still on offer.
Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, featuring the only yearlings eligible for the 2014/15 £1.3million Tattersalls Millions, takes place from 8th – 10th October.
TATTERSALLS MILLIONS 2014/2015
Six races worth £1,300,000
TWO YEAR OLD RACES
£500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy
7 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, October 4th 2014
£300,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Fillies’ Trophy
7 Furlongs, fillies only, October 4th 2014
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions Median Auction Trophy
6 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, September 20th 2014
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Median Auction Stakes
6 Furlongs, fillies only, September 20th 2014
THREE YEAR OLD RACES
£200,000 Tattersalls Millions 3YO Trophy
10 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, Craven Meeting 2015
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions 3YO Sprint
6 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, Craven Meeting 2015
Entry: £2,250 – January 14th 2014
Scratching: £2,250 – May 6th 2014
29/9/2013 Cavallo exceeds expectations in stunning Singapore stakes win
Not many saw this coming . . . 30/1 chance Cavallo sweeps past a field containing some of Singapore's best sprinters to claim Friday night's
Kranji Stakes A.
Unfancied galloper Cavallo (NZ) (Testa Rossa) blew
punters out of the water when he came with a
barnstorming run to land the top prize in the 1200
metre Kranji Stakes A in Singapore on Friday night.
Given the select field in the seven-horse line-up, not
many could see the four-year-old claim the thick end of the
S$125,000 prizemoney, especially after he'd beaten just one
home in the 1400 metre Jumbo Jet Trophy four weeks ago.
But Cavallo, who was previously trained by Michael
Freedman and who won at his first race for trainer Sam Chua
before his dismal Jumbo Jet run, rebounded in the best
possible way under an inspired ride by jockey John Sundradas
to register his fifth win from 14 starts at Kranji.
Dropped back to last on despatch, Cavallo stealthily crept
up on the outside in the straight then unleashed a blinding
turn of foot inside the last 200 metres to finish over the top
of the rest, scoring by half-a-length from the Argentine-bred
Davide in a time of 1:10.13.
Chua admitted he did not give his ward a bright chance
in such stiff company, but did harbour a silent hope after
the track took a bit of soaking, not to mention the luxury
handicap of 52kg.
"To be honest, there was not much stable confidence in
him tonight, but I think the light weight helped him a lot,"
he said. "I told John there would be plenty of speed in the
race tonight and to just drop him and ride him where he felt
comfortable. When he switched out wide at the top of the
straight, I thought he had a chance as it was on the long
"He was the forgotten horse tonight, but he's proven he's
always been a horse with ability. I will probably look for a
Kranji Stakes A race on Polytrack for him next."
Sundradas said he went into the race with an open mind
but knew his horse had enough class to redeem himself and
spring an upset.
"There was no way I could beat the early speed and I just
rode him for luck at the back," he said. "With his light weight
and the long course, I gave him a chance as I knew he was not
"He gave me a very powerful kick in the end and I knew he
would be right up there in the end. He's a very nice horse."
Cavallo has now amassed prizemoney in excess of
S$280,000, the bulk of which was earned by his previous
connections, the Mummify Stable, when prepared by
Freedman, before he was acquired by his new owners.
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Kranji A S. 1200m
Winner Cavallo (NZ) 2009
Owners Beverly Hill Stable
Trainer Sam Chua (Kranji)
Breeding by Testa Rossa (Aus) out of Indovina (Aus) by
Elusive Quality (USA)
Breeder J N & Mrs M A Wallace & Est late I M Harris
Sales 2010 National Yearling Sale, Festival Session;
V: Poseidon Bloodstock, P: Cavallo Agistment
29/9/2013 Empire Bay paying his way
Honest campaigner Empire Bay (NZ) (Iffraaj) made a
welcome return to the winner's circle when successful
in the S$75,000 Class 3 Stakes over 1400 metres at
Singapore's Kranji racetrack on Friday night, winning
his first race since being successful in Class 4 grade over
1400 metres last November.
"He's a good, genuine horse," said trainer Michael
Freedman. "He's not going to be matching it with the
Class 1 horses but he tries his heart out. He's won four of
his fifteen starts now and has three placings as well and
is now up around S$200,000 in prizemoney.
"It's not bad for horse that cost $65,000 as a yearling.
He's more than paid his way and is the type of horse you
wish you had a stable full of."
Freedman said he would now look for a 1600 metre race
with Empire Bay after jockey Corey Brown said the gelding
would have no trouble handling the extra journey.
"He relaxed so well tonight. The leader got out with a
good lead, but he was happy to do his own thing. As a
younger horse he could get wound up, but I was really
happy with the way he relaxed tonight and with the way he
fought the race out."
A four-year-old from the Honour And Glory mare Lekker
Ding, a winner at Otaki for Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta in the
2006/07 season, Empire Bay is raced by Horizon Stable and
has recorded his four wins on the turf surface.
– Singapore Turf Club
25/9/2013 Healthy Panther bouncing back
Brown Panther returns to the scene of his finest hour overnight on Wednesday as former England soccer star Michael Owen’s entire bids to get his Emirates Melbourne Cup dreams back on track in the Green King Foundation Stakes.
Trainer Tom Dascombe’s carefully laid plan for Brown Panther had been wonderfully orchestrated until the five-year-old spiked a temperature which ruled him out of a repeat bid on the Irish St Leger on September 15.
That setback left a trip to the Spring Carnival in the balance too, but so great and swift was Brown Panther’s recovery that he lines up in a nine-strong field at 12.40am (AET) on Thursday morning to stretch his unbeaten run this season to three.
Dascombe commented: “He's much better and we are back on course for the Melbourne Cup.”
The son of Shirocco, out of Owen’s race mare Treble Heights, has been a model of consistency this season and, after being fully wound-up at Owen’s privately-owned yard in the northern of England, he struck at the first time of asking at Pontefract.
That 2400-metre success was then followed by his biggest achievement of all as connections upped him to 3200 metres for the Goodwood Cup.
Brown Panther rose to the occasion and got the better of subsequent Lonsdale Cup winner and Irish St Leger runner-up Ahzeemah by nearly four lengths, with Ahzeemah another Flemington possible for the Godolphin team.
The Irish Leger was due to be the next port of call but instead Brown Panther drops down to just shy of 2000 metres for his final UK outing before boarding the plane for Australia.
Dascombe added: “We wanted to get another run in to him before going in to quarantine so it is all very positive.”
Leigh Jordon, international recruitment officer for Racing Victoria, added: “There is a shipment of horses due to arrive on October 19th, so the horses will now need to enter quarantine by October 3rd which has given Tom more time to give Brown Panther another run.”
Saeed bin Suroor has won this Listed event in six of the last 10 years and the Godolphin trainer saddles Quick Wit in a bid to extend his good run.
Brown Panther faces two notable opponents on his drop back in trip with Jeremy Noseda fielding American Grade 2 winner Grandeur, while Sandown Classic Trial winner Sugar Boy makes his debut for Mike De Kock having been off the track since finishing last in the Irish Derby almost three months ago.
By Martin Kelly
24/9/2013 Going for a life-changing win
Some people don’t enjoy the day to day of small bets. They’d rather bet on something that could lead them to a life-changing amount of money than bother earning small profits steadily. If that sounds like you, one of the first things you need to do is understand that the huge win of a lifetime probably will never come. It’s the most realistic scenario to accept that it won’t happen, and if you can then only place bets you can afford to lose, then the big gamble can be treated as it should be – a bit of fun.
So, what’s the most common way to go for a life-changing win for a horse racing fan. The ‘acca’ or all-win accumulator is the most popular choice. If you want to try this, bear these tips in mind:
It’s not always necessary to pick an all-win accumulator or an each-way accumulator. Instead, try the each way, all each way, acca. In this kind of bet, the initial bet you place is put on the first horse each-way. Any returns are then split into two and placed on the next horse, each-way. The best continues in this way and can be a better choice than an each-way accumulator or a win accumulator as it will turn out better if you have a few seconds and thirds as you go. The danger – albeit an unrealistic one – is that you end up only having winners.
Secondly, before you start an accumulator, find out what the maximum pay-out is with the bookie you choose is. If the maximum payout is only half a million, then there’s no use in getting your win to above that. It may seem like obvious advice to check the maximum payout, but imagine how sick you’d feel if you won more than the payout and then couldn’t claim it.
Of course, there are other ways you can play life-changing bets – and some that don’t take much effort to place. The UK Lottery is a great example and now you can buy lotto tickets online for this and all the other UK lotto products, it’s so easy to play and check your results. October sees a price increase in the UK Lottery for the first time since it began – almost 20 years ago. While the 100% price hike has had a mixed reception, on the plus side it means that there’s going to be more prize money up for grabs and even more people will be made millionaires.
New price Lottery tickets will be available from 3rd October and on 5th and 12th October draws there will be a guaranteed prize fund of £10,000,000.
23/9/2013 War Affair makes it two from two in new 3yo series
War Affair is clear and doing it easily in the hands of Joao Moreira.
Smart three-year-old War Affair (NZ) (O'Reilly) is
two-thirds of the way to a perfect clean sweep in the
inaugural More Magic 3YO Championship series after
he crushed his peers in another dominant victory in the
second Leg, the $100,000 Newgate Farm Stakes (1400m) on
Already the winner of the first leg, the Premier Racing
Partnerships Stakes (1200m) three weeks ago, the son of
O'Reilly took to the extra 200m like a duck to water with
a last-to-first win that left his five rivals scrambling for the
minors at the back.
War Affair, who has tasted defeat only once in six starts
when fourth on debut, is now well on course for the third Leg
of the new series, the Group 2 More Magic Ready To Run Sales
2013 Championship (1600m) on October 13, with trainer
Mark Walker eagerly looking forward to the step-up to the
"We'll see how he pulls up and his next race is now the
Three-Year-Old mile race in three weeks' time," said the New
"This horse will keep improving with more distance. It
will be his first time over the mile, but the way he is going, it
should not be a problem for him at all.
"From the draw today, I told Joao (Moreira) to go back and
ride him like he was the best horse in the race.
"Even though he tailed off early, I was always confident he
was the best horse and would finish the strongest.
"There was a bit of buffeting in the home straight, but
that's him. He just runs about a bit."
After smoking his pipe at the back on the rails, Moreira
waited for the run to the line on the Long Course to pop the
question to War Affair.
Once eased out to the middle, the brown gelding
unleashed his trademark turn of foot to hit the front in one
fell swoop, though he was inclined to roll in under pressure,
causing a slight bunching up on his inside.
Moreira, who was finding the end of an unusually long
winless meeting (two seconds and three thirds in nine
previous rides), was again struggling to find epithets to
describe the Warplan Racing Stable-owned gelding.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again, he was the best
2YO and he's clearly the best 3YO now," said Moreira who will
be missing the next two meetings at Kranji as he goes to his
native Brazil for a short break.
"He's a dream horse to have for anybody and I'm just the
blessed boy to be sitting on top of him."
23/9/2013 Allpress's Kranji stint gains momentum
Lisa Allpress gets the best out of Billy Britain (inner) for a narrow victory
After a fairly slow start, New Zealand jockey Lisa
Allpress's new stay at Kranji is gathering more steam
following her early double from the first two races on
the 12-card programme on Sunday.
Riding German Roulette (NZ) (Castledale) for trainer
Leslie Khoo in the opening event, a $35,000 Class 5 Division
2 race over 1400m on turf, Allpress got the ball rolling with a
perfect sit-and-wait ride before electing for the same tactics
to the same fruitful results aboard the Stephen Gray-trained
Billy Britain (NZ) (One Cool Cat) in the next race, the $65,000
Initiation Division 2 race over 1400m.
While she was delighted with the double, especially
as she had already ridden a winner for Khoo last Sunday
(Big Money), the second win on Billy Britain bore a special
meaning to her, as the son of One Cool Cat hails from a yard
that basically made her.
"It's a big thrill to ride a winner for Steve as I was
Lisa Allpress gets the best out of Billy Britain (inner) for a narrow victory
apprenticed to his dad and him back home," said Allpress,
who rode for most of her career, including a previous stint in
Singapore, under her maiden name of Mumby.
"Steve has been hounding me in the last three years to get
over to Singapore. At the time, I just loved being home as I
was just too comfortable there, but now that the kids are a bit
older, I thought it was a good time to come over.
"From Day one, Steve has put me on his horses and has
been really helpful to me. I'm so happy I've finally ridden a
winner for him.
"Things are picking up for me now. It's all about getting
the right rides and show what you can do.
"I've been getting on the ones the top five jockeys don't
want here, but you've got to start from the bottom up.
"I ride a lot of those unraced horses in trials, hoping you
stick with the good ones who come through."
18/9/2013 A life-changing punt
If you want to try out a real life-changing punt, then you might want to consider the mother of all accumulators (checking out the maximum pay-out available first of course) on Melbourne Cup day perhaps? This can be a great fun bet for race fans, particularly if you can get the first two or more away. One other way of playing the same bet more cautiously, though, is to go for the each way, all each way accumulator. With the latter bets, all stake money is rolled over onto the next race and goes on each way – split down the middle. Of course, with these bets, the total pay-out is hugely reduced if you get all winners – but how often is that likely to happen in reality? So this can be a more sensible bet and has more chance of keeping you interested in proceedings.
On the other hand, you might want to consider a lottery ticket. But if you do that – where do you buy and does it really matter? Well maybe it doesn’t matter too much as you’re generally likely to lose and most state lotteries only return around 50% in prize money with the rest going mainly to good causes – with some going as admin fees etc. So this is hardly ever a bet you’d make as a sensible gambler. But there are a few rare occasions when this isn’t true – particularly when there’s a lottery rollover.
In these cases, the tickets can sometimes make statistical sense to purchase – so they’re worth keeping an eye on. One that’s most definitely worth a punt now and again with money you can afford to throw away is the Euro Millions lotto online. This is the most popular lottery in Europe with a jackpot of up to €190 million. This makes it the largest lottery outside North America, but when you take into account that most European countries don’t tax your Euro Millions lottery win – this makes it more attractive than the American versions whereby winners are forced to collect their winnings little by little over 20 or more years, or pay a lot in tax.
Buying your Euromillion tickets online is straightforward and well worth a potentially life-changing punt given the size of the jackpots.
17/9/2013 First Of The Tattersalls Millions 2013/14 Race Series This Saturday
Two big prize pots are on offer at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile this Saturday, 21st September, with the £100,000 Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Median Auction Stakes and the £100,000 Tattersalls Millions Median Auction Trophy scheduled to take place. The two races signal the start of the 2013/14 £1.3million Tattersalls Millions race series and they are set to feature high-class fields following today’s five-day confirmation stage.
The first of Saturday’s six-furlong contests, the £100,000 Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Median Auction Stakes, sees 20 two-year-olds still with entries at this stage. These include the Charlie Appleby trained WEDDING RING, who was third in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket in August. Another notable entry is the highly regarded John Gosden trained winner NIGHT SONG, who showed plenty of promise on her only two starts to date.
Owner Julie Woods with previous Tattersalls Millions winner Rougemont
Richard Hannon, who has had much success in the Tattersalls Millions races, has three entries in the race; ORIEL for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Petrushka Syndicate, SIGHORA for Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum and MANDERLEY for owner Julie Wood, who won the race last year with VICTRIX LUDORUM.
Richard Hannon Jnr commented, “ORIEL is obviously a sharp filly, she is better than what she’s achieved all year and this is a big chance for her to win some proper money. SIGHORA is nice filly; she has shown a good deal of ability at home and should run well. MANDERLEY is a very well bred filly; she’s a full sister to GREGORIAN, has had good form this year and owner Julie Wood is very lucky in these races.”
The £100,000 Tattersalls Millions Median Auction Trophy has 36 entries at this five-day confirmation stage. Of those 36 entries, trainer Mark Johnson has eight including dual winner LANARK, who was a 70,000gns purchase, and Richard Hannon holds 10 entries including SHAFRAH, BON VOYAGE and SPEED THE PLOUGH. The Clive Brittain trained DANCEALOT, who was purchased for 40,000 by Rabbah Bloodstock for owner Saeed Manana and was third in a Listed contest at Salisbury last time out, holds entries in both Tattersalls Millions races on Saturday.
Those entered in the two contests cover a full spectrum of prices from the 310,000gns purchase WEDDING RING, through to the Chris Wall-trained JOHARA, who was bought for 22,000gns.
There are two more races scheduled this year in the Tattersalls Millions 2YO race series, which take place at Newmarket Rowley Mile on Saturday 5th October, with £800,000 still on offer.
Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, featuring the only yearlings eligible for next year’s series takes place from 8th – 10th October.
TATTERSALLS MILLIONS 2014/2015
Six races worth £1,300,000
TWO YEAR OLD RACES
£500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy
7 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, October 4th 2014
£300,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Fillies’ Trophy
7 Furlongs, fillies only, October 4th 2014
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions Median Auction Trophy
6 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, September 20th 2014
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions Fillies’ Median Auction Stakes
6 Furlongs, fillies only, September 20th 2014
THREE YEAR OLD RACES
£200,000 Tattersalls Millions 3YO Trophy
10 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, Craven Meeting 2015
£100,000 Tattersalls Millions 3YO Sprint
6 Furlongs, colts, geldings and fillies, Craven Meeting 2015
Entry: £2,250 – January 14th 2014
Scratching: £2,250 – May 6th 2014
Click here to download the October 1 Catalogue (PDF)
Click here to go to the Tattersalls website
Click here to go to the Tattersalls Millions website
16/9/2013 Cheetak King gives Khoo an early double
After a winning double on Friday night, trainer Leslie
Khoo got off to a perfect start to Sunday's program
with a double in the opening two races.
New Zealand jockey Lisa Allpress guided Big Money
(NZ) (Fast 'n' Famous) to victory in the opening race, the
$35,000 Singapore Botanic Garden Stakes over 1200m on the
Polytrack before champion jockey Joao Moreira continued his
winning run with victory aboard Cheetah King (NZ) (Towkay)
in the $65,000 Auckland Racing Club Restricted Maiden over
Well supported in returning a $15 win dividend, Cheetah
King scored by two-and-a-half lengths over the fast finishing
Highlight (NZ) (Volksraad) with Mayweather (NZ) (Darci
Brahma) a nose back in third place.
The victory of Cheetah King was Moreira's fifth of the
weekend following a winning quartet on Friday night.
Following Sunday's victory Khoo said the gelding wasn't
at home on the Polytrack last time and was much better off
on the turf on Sunday and that he also appreciated the rise in
"His first two runs were good on the turf but he didn't like
the Polytrack last time," said Khoo.
"He also appreciated the step up in distance as well and I
think he will continue getting better with a bit more ground.
"What I would like to see is him with a bit more condition
on him. He's a bit light at this stage but he's still only a young
three-year-old and still has more time to grow."
Moreira believes Cheetah King has the ability to win
better races and like Khoo would like to see him with a bit
more strength about him.
"He really liked the trip today and showed his true ability," said Moreira. "Today was his day and I think he's got more
wins in store for him."
By Towkay from Jabeske, Cheetah King is raced by the
Neo Stable and has accumulated a little over $50,000 in
prizemoney from his four career starts.
Cheetah King and the white-hot Joao Moreira score at Kranji on Sunday
16/9/2013 Strong Euro shows true value at second round
A well-beaten favourite at his debut, Euro Zone (NZ)
(Iffraaj) silenced any doubters out there with a
slashing win at his next start to live up to the lofty
hopes his connections have entertained for him.
The Iffraaj four-year-old was ridden forward at his first
Kranji start, but was given no peace in front, causing him to
weaken badly and beat one home for a most disappointing
Trainer Laurie Laxon and his staff went back to the
drawing board, and with the benefit of hindsight as well as a
winning barrier trial (August 10), the turnaround was radical.
Ridden more quietly in fourth spot in a one-out one back
position, Euro Zone took a backseat behind the fast clip set
by the eyeballing pair of outsiders Jet Set (Old Deuteronomy)
and Triple A Plus (Antonius Pius) before springing into
contention at the top of the straight.
Once Moreira produced him to the outside, the race was
over in a matter of strides. Euro Zone easily shot past the
weakening pair with an electric turn of foot to open up for
a commanding break. The well-tried Washington Bay (Red
Dazzler), who ran second at debut, did cut him back towards
the end, but Euro Zone was already out of reach, crossing the
line first with just under two lengths clear of Washington Bay.
Upon dismounting, Moreira, who was the pilot at the
Silver Fern Racing Stable-owned gelding's debut, ominously
said there was more improvement to come from Euro Zone.
"At his last race, another horse kept pressuring him and it
was not surprising he weakened badly in the end, but the fast
pace suited him perfectly today," said the Brazilian hoop.
"When one horse came around him, he switched off and
came off the bit. In the home straight, there was no horse
attacking him on the outside and the horse on the inside was
"He attacked the line like the good horse we always knew
he was. Today, he really showed his true potential.
"Mind you, even if physically he is 100% fit, mentally, he
is still not 100% there. If he keeps improving along the same
line, he will be a much better horse in six months' time."
It's that man Joao Moreira again as he pilots Euro Zone to an easy victory on Sunday
16/9/2013 Rite of Spring looks the goods
It was billed as a match race but the result wasn't the one
the punters were counting on when Rite Of Spring (NZ)
(Stravinsky) took out the $65,000 New Zealand Racing
Board Trophy Graduation Stakes over 1200m on Sunday.
Rite Of Spring and Daniel (NZ) (Guillotine) were backed to
the exclusion of their five rivals and the two smart three-yearolds
didn't let their supporters down.
Ridden by Manoel Nunes, Rite Of Spring led throughout
in defeating Daniel by two lengths with War Lord (King Of
Happiness) five-and-a-half lengths away in third spot.
Both Rite Of Spring and Daniel went into the race
undefeated and the expectations were before the race
the two talented gallopers would single out from their
Rite Of Spring began smartly and Nunes was happy to roll
forward on the gelding to assume control from War Lord with
Daniel camped on the leaders back.
There was no change in the order to the home turn. On
balancing for the run home War Lord rolled away towards the
centre of the track allowing Daniel a good run through.
Nunes clicked Rite Of Spring into another gear at the
300m mark with Daniel in hot pursuit, but it was evident a
long way out that Rite Of Spring was going to prove a difficult
proposition to run down.
And that's the way it proved with Rite Of Spring not
weakening at all in the run to the line and denying Daniel a
third straight success.
Trainer Michael Freedman said Rite Of Spring had the
potential to develop into one of the best gallopers in his yard
following Sunday's success.
"He a very promising horse," said Freedman. "He's right up
there with what we've got in the stable and he's got a great
temperament to go with it as well.
"He should be suited also with a step up in journey. He
relaxes so well in his races and that helped him today."
Rite Of Spring, by Stravinsky from Magique Sky, is owned
by the China Horse Club and Sunday's success took his
prizemoney to almost $70,000 from his two victories to date.
Rite of Spring remains undefeated as he cruises home for rider Manoel Nunes
15/9/2013 Joao sees bright future for Man after easy win
Champion jockey Joao Moreira predicts Easy Man (NZ)
(Ishiguru), the record breaking winner of the S$75,000
Kranji Stakes C over 1100 metres on the Polytrack in
Singapore on Friday night, is destined for bigger and better
Well supported at two-to-one odds, Easy Man scored a
2½-length victory when stopping the clock at 1:04.27, taking
0.04 seconds off the previous 1100 metre record.
Moreira, landing his fourth straight winner for the evening,
said the gelding flew the gates and was a length and a half in
front in the first fifty metres of the race and was able to find
the front easily. Easy Man was then able to dictate the terms
before skipping clear soon after straightening to race away
for an easy win.
"I was impressed with him, just like everyone else," said
Moreira. "I wasn't going to lead on him but he was like a bullet
out of the barriers and put himself into the race. He travelled
so well underneath me and I knew he would speed up when I
asked him in the straight. He changed his lead leg and I knew
then that they wouldn't catch him.
"He could have gone faster if I had asked him because I
eased him down over the final fifty metres.
"We know the problems that he has had and he had a very
long break but he's come back in good order and is a hundred
percent sound. He's a good horse and we haven't yet seen the
best of him and I think one day he could win a good race."
Easy Man hadn't raced in fourteen months following time
spent on the sidelines through injury and trainer Leslie Khoo
took his time getting the gelding back to the races for a firstup
win three weeks ago.
"I have known for some time
that he was a good horse but I also
wanted to be patient with him," said
Khoo. "We gave him a bit of a rest
after his first run back and I'll give
him a bit of a rest again to get over
"I haven't got anything picked
out for him, so we'll take our time
and find a suitable race."
Now a four-year-old, Easy
Man has had just the four starts
for three wins and a second with
Friday night's victory taking his
prizemoney past the S$150,000
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Kranji C S. 1100m
Winner Easy Man (NZ) 2009
Owners Ninetyseven Stable
Trainer Leslie Khoo (Kranji)
Breeding by Ishiguru (USA) out of Limelight by Deputy
Breeder Chequers NZ Ltd
Sales 2011 Ready to Run Sale; V: Chequers Stud, P:
Mr L Khoo; $60,000
Easy Man puts a smile on Joao
Moreira's face as they pass the post at
15/9/2013 Allpress opens her current account
New Zealand jockey Lisa Allpress finally got on
the Singapore winner's board when longshot Sir
Fleetwood (NZ) (Riviera) took out the S$55,000 Class
4 Stakes over 1200 metres on the Polytrack on Friday
night. Sir Fleetwood was the 27th ride in her current
stay in Singapore, which kicked off on September 1
and finishes at the end of November.
Allpress rode under her maiden name of Mumby
on a previous stint in Singapore back in 2001 and was
over the moon with Friday night's success. "It's taken a
few weeks, a bit of patience and plenty of hard work,
but I got there in the end," she said. "I must say that
the trainers have been very good to me and supported
me with plenty of rides, but I guess you have to start from
the bottom up. It's even tougher when week in week out
you are riding against very competitive jockeys like Joao
Moreira, Corey Brown and Alan Munro. They certainly don't
make it easy for me, but that's the challenge I came here
A six-year-old by Riviera from Comb The Seas, Sir
Fleetwood has been a good money-spinner for trainer
Laurie Laxon and part-owner Phillip Crossley, winning
seven of his 58 starts and accumulating around S$275,000
– Singapore Turf Club
14/9/2013 Cup entries on show in Ireland
There may be no more informative guide to the level of European challenge for this year's Emirates Melbourne Cup than the GAIN Irish St Leger at the Curragh.
Final declarations have not yet been named for the 2800-metre Group 1 (0.50am Monday, local), but at this stage there could be as many as half a dozen Flemington prospects on show.
Leading the way are Royal Diamond and Red Cadeaux, a couple of gallopers who have made a late detour to County Kildare rather than contesting the BMW Caulfield Cup
The former, trained and ridden by Johnny Murtagh, is defending his crown here and has excelled during the Irish summer, most recently winning last month's trial over course and distance.
Both Murtagh and Red Cadeaux's trainer Ed Dunlop have advised Racing Victoria that they will not be travelling to Caulfield and will instead finish their preparations for the Cup itself at the Werribee quarantine centre.
Rain at the Curragh has eased ground to around officially good, which has encouraged Dunlop.
Red Cadeaux, so close to glory when second in 2011 and eighth in the Spring Racing Carnival highlight, has only just started to show some signs of life after a handful of dismal efforts.
The veteran chestnut looked to be turning a corner when second to live Melbourne chance Royal Empire in the Geoffrey Freer (2600m) at Newbury.
"His last run was much better and we just thought that he would get more suitable ground at the Curragh," said Dunlop.
"The danger is it would be faster at Caulfield, and that would mean he would be having two runs quite close together on quick ground. We'll look to Australia after this."
Far higher in the Melbourne Cup betting with British bookmakers is last year's Irish Leger third Brown Panther, but his participation has suddenly been thrown into doubt.
Trained by Tom Dascombe and Bred and part-owned by retired star footballer Michael Owen, Brown Panther produced a career-best in a competitive Goodwood Cup (3200m).
However, Owen tweeted on Thursday: "Desperate news. Just got off the phone to @TomDascombe who informs me that Brown Panther has a temperature and hasn't eaten anything today.
"Tom and our vets will monitor him in the next few hours but his participation in Sunday's Irish St Leger looks in doubt."
Cup legend Dermot Weld has two possible travellers in Voleuse De Coeurs and Pale Mimosa but the dual winner's lips were sealed as to their chances of making the journey as he wants to see how they fare here.
The same comment applies to Aidan O'Brien over his likely Curragh starter Ernest Hemingway.
Godolphin are set to run Ahzeemah, the ultra-consistent stayer who was runner-up to Brown Panther at Goodwood and then bested Simenon in a terrific finish to the Lonsdale Cup (3200m) at York.
Their racing manager Simon Crisford said: "The plan is to run him in Ireland and he is in good form.
"He has been really progressive for us but we will see how he gets on this weekend before making plans.
"He is a possible for the Melbourne Cup but we have a few in the mix and Royal Empire would appear to be the main candidate for Australia at this stage."
By Tom Peacock
Dunaden's participation in a third consecutive Emirates Melbourne Cup could hang upon the outcome of the Qatar Prix Foy (0.10am, Monday) at Longchamp.
A high finishing position in the principal trial of older horses for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe may mean trainer Mikel Delzangles and owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani point him towards the European finale itself rather than heading back to Flemington once again.
Dunaden made his name in Australia with that memorable defeat of Red Cadeaux back in 2011
Subsequently a Group 1 winner in the Hong Kong Vase, Dunaden was a model of consistency as he was prepared towards retaining his crown last year and demonstrated his class with victory in the BMW Caulfield Cup.
However, he failed to land a blow in the Cup when only 14th and the slump continued as his old foe Red Cadeaux turned the tables at Sha Tin.
His horse might now be seven, and seeking his first win in nearly a year, but the laid-back Delzangles is anything but concerned.
Dunaden has been second in two consecutive Group 1s, to the now-retired St Nicholas Abbey in the Coronation Cup at Epsom (2400m) and to Novellist over the same trip in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
That form has been unequivocally franked after Novellist, a leading Arc contender from Germany, went on to a commanding victory in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Delzangles has given Dunaden a spell since late June, and he said: "It was a good run last time, especially with the way Novellist won at Ascot, and I'm hoping he can run well on Sunday.
"After that, we will know which way we go next, if we go to the Arc or if we go back to Australia."
It will take an outstanding effort to lift this 2400-metre Group 2, as Dunaden is to face last year's winner Orfevre, brought back from Japan to avenge his heartbreaking defeat in the Arc.
Adding strength-in-depth to the field are Mandour, an initial Sportingbet Cox Plate prospect for Alain de Royer-Dupre but stepping up in trip, as well as Now We Can, who had been considered for the Cup by Nicolas Clement before his prolific winning streak was ended in last month's Grand Prix de Deauville (2500m).
Aidan O'Brien's Camelot, who has not yet lived up to expectations as a four-year-old, remains another live danger.
Another of Godolphin’s Emirates Melbourne Cup entries takes to the track at Doncaster on Friday evening as former Royal Ascot winner Colour Vision heads an eight-strong field for the Doncaster Cup (11.40pm).
Last year’s Gold Cup hero may be a little way down the Godolphin pecking order in terms of a Flemington trip, but the five-year-old is another possible traveller as Sheikh Mohammed’s operation shuffle their Australian pack.
Their number-one contender and Geoffrey Freer winner Royal Empire was a close second in a tactical race at Kempton last Saturday and, in a busy week for the Newmarket team, another Cup possible in Ahzeemah will start at the Curragh on Sunday evening.
Colour Vision enjoyed a stellar campaign last year with his Royal Ascot triumph sitting alongside his defeat of Red Cadeaux in the Sagaro Stakes and a three-length near miss in the 3200-metre Doncaster Cup.
However, his form has dipped though 2013 and Silvestre de Sousa’s mount heads to Doncaster after finishing sixth of seven runners behind Ahzeemah in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3300m).
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: “The horse seems to be in good shape after disappointing last time at York where he appeared to lose interest.
“I hope we can keep him interested this time but I am not pleased to see it is raining at Doncaster. The race could turn in to a slog - and it could be one slog too many for him at this stage of his career. He has had plenty of hard races over the years.
“He has been training well and is the sweetest horse at home but we would have liked to have seen the ground quicker as it will turn in to a real test.”
Colour Vision sported a visor when a reinvigorated fourth in this year’s Gold Cup, and Crisford added: “The visor did sharpen him up at Ascot but unfortunately he has not been able to produce that form since.
“He is in the Melbourne Cup but I think horses like Royal Empire would be more likely to run at this stage.”
Times Up, now in the care of Ed Dunlop after the retirement of his father John, bids to win the Doncaster Cup for the second year running and again takes on High Jinx after the pair were separated by just a neck 12 months ago.
By Martin Kelly
9/9/2013 Kasim notches fifty on Mac Volks
Mac Volks registers his first win in Singapore in the hands of Harry Kasim
Leading apprentice A'Isisuhairi 'Harry' Kasim notched
a milestone when Mac Volks (NZ) (Volksraad) took
out the $65,000 Initiation Stakes over 1100m on the
Polytrack on Sunday.
The victory was A'Isisuhairi's 50th victory in Singapore for
the 2013 season and sees him in fourth place on the Jockey's
Premiership Table behind Joao Moreira, Manoel Nunes and
Alan Munro while at the same time holding a comfortable
lead in the Apprentice's Premiership race.
Guiding the former New Zealander Mac Volks, A'Isisuhairi
had the race in his keeping a long way from home. Mac Volks
scored by four-and-three-quarter lengths over Q Nine Star
(More Than Ready) with Gangnam Style (NZ) (Rusty Spur) a
nose away in third place.
Trainer David Kok said Mac Volks had done his early
racing in New Zealand for Dean Wiles before making his way
to Singapore. Kok said the gelding had been purchased by
clients of his stable as a yearling and left to do his early racing
"We bought him as a yearling in New Zealand and left him
down there to do his early racing," said Kok.
"We had hoped he might make it to a race like the Karaka
Millions but he didn't quite measure up down there so we got
him up here instead.
"He's a horse that showed a lot of speed in his races down
in New Zealand, so we trained him as a sprinter and to try and
get him to win first-up.
"He outsped them today and kept running all the way to
the line and went about his work in good style."
A three-year-old New Zealand-bred by Volksraad from
Miz Monroe, Mac Volks is raced by Elaine Chen and on top of
his NZ$1100 has accumulated around $35,000 in Singapore
following Sunday's success.
9/9/2013 Room for Excuse leaves no margin for error
After taking a shine to Room For Excuse (NZ) mainly
for his sheer professionalism in trackwork, trainer
Hideyuki Takaoka was even more delighted when
the debutant by No Excuse Needed got up in a thrilling finish
to the $65,000 Restricted Maiden race (1200m) at Kranji on
Second to Barnburgh Lad (Churchill Downs) at his barrier
trial on August 13, the latest acquisition of the Big Valley
Stable, better known for its association with triple Singapore
Gold Cup winner El Dorado (Stay Gold), franked that form
with a solid turn of foot to deny short-priced favourite
Straightothepoint (NZ) (Pins) of what looked like a certain
"I like this horse very much. He's been very steady in his
trackwork and has done everything we've asked of him," said
"He's been in work for a long time and even though
he is a colt, he is well-behaved, is well-educated and very
Room For Excuse maintains a strong gallop to win well in his raceday debut
"His trial was also very good. But I was not sure whether
he would be comfortable on the 1200m, more so when it was
the Short Course.
"I was even more worried when the horse threw his head
up at the start and was dropped to the rear. I was not sure
what Alan was doing as I told him he has to be second or
third in the running.
"But he let down very well in the end. The favourite looked
home but he's done a good job to catch him right on the line."
Rider Alan Munro said he was not overly concerned by
the less than perfect start as the New Zealand-bred colt had
shown him enough ability in his work to overcome that early
"We liked him from a long way this horse. He's obviously
still very young, but he trialled well enough the other day,"
said Munro who rides the bulk of Takaoka's horses.
"It's different in a race and he came good in the end. He
was just very green, especially at the start, but he's done
everything right really."
Room For Excuse maintains a strong gallop to win well in his raceday debut
8/9/2013 Laurie gets a double as Joao lands a perfecta
On a night dominated by champion jockey Joao
Moreira, Kiwi expat Laurie Laxon was front and centre,
with two of the champion trainer's New Zealand-breds
included in the Brazilian hoop's perfect eight-from-eight
on Kranji's Friday card.
Laxon's first winner was Hanks (NZ) (Falkirk), who
posted a relatively soft win when debuting in the
S$65,000 Initiation race over 1100 metres on Polytrack– effortlessly landing in front then establishing a moderate
tempo before striding away to an easy 2¼-length win in
a smart 1:05.61.
Now a four-year-old, Hanks is from the Desert Sun
mare Thee Old Dragon – winner of the Desert Gold
Stakes and placed in both the One Thousand and Two
Thousand Guineas of 1999 – and was bought by Laxon
at the 2011 National Yearling Sales for $120,000 from the
Windsor Park draft.
"He is a well-bred individual and, from his barrier trials,
I thought he would do well first-up," said Laxon. "He
comes from a prolific family and on that run he should
go over more distance one day.
"We will take it easy with him and probably look for a Novice
race for him next. They tried to make him run midrace, but
he is a very relaxed type and just kept on without too much
Alan (NZ) (Darci Brahma) provided Laxon's second win and
was arguably the most spectacular of Moreira's eight.
The three-year-old, who had won on debut in July then
missed a place when second-up a fortnight ago, looked to
be heading for defeat when he was buried on the fence 700
metres from home in the S$55,000 Class 4 Turf. But by the
400 metre mark, Moreira had weaved his way through traffic
and set sail for the line on the extreme outside, punching his
mount right at the last hop to gain the verdict by a head.
Moreira said he knew the pacesetters would eventually
come back to him. "The intention was to race handy, but they
went too fast early and things did not pan out the way we
wanted," he said. "But I was still happy with the way he was
travelling so relaxed at the rear. Once he saw daylight, he just
started to put in the big bounds, and I was lucky he got there
right on time."
"This will be a top horse in six months' time."
– Singapore Turf Club
2/9/2013 War Affair stamps his class again
While a great amount of hard work had gone into
War Affair (NZ) (O'Reilly) to bring him back to
race-fitness, trainer Mark Walker actually put
the resounding success of the former champion juvenile in
Sunday's inaugural $100,000 Premier Racing Partnerships
Stakes (1200m) down to an extra week of holiday.
Unsighted since his last win in the Group 3 Magic Millions
Juvenile Championship (1200m) on July 28, the son of
O'Reilly was resuming and tackling his first start as a threeyear-
old, aptly in the first Leg of the new More Magic 3YO
The striking dark brown gelding owned by Warplan
Racing Stable, who also claimed the other 2YO feature, the
Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) among his two
other wins, was given some time out at the resting stables,
but Walker decided to leave him there for another week after
he ran his eyes over him.
"He was always vulnerable at his last start when he nearly
got beaten. In hindsight, I think he was a little underdone on
that day," said Walker.
"I sent him up to the resting stables and when I had a look
at him, I thought he just needed that extra week up there.
"I think that has given him the chance to furnish up even
further and probably made the difference today. His turn of
foot today was a lot better and I think he still has more scope
"David Ellis bought him for NZ$70,000 from Karaka. He's a
typical New Zealand-bred who will keep improving and will
be even better over 1400m and 1600m, and probably even
2000m next year."
Moreira, who has been War Affair's partner from Day 1,
tasting defeat only once at debut (fourth to Peace No War in
one of the six Singapore Golden Horseshoe series races), was
simply awed by the way his horse put his rivals to the sword.
"Credit must go to Mark. I think this horse has improved
by three lengths from his last start," said the Brazilian ace.
"I've always considered him as the best 2YO before he
turned three, that is, but even though he scored at his last
start, he was probably not at his best, but today, he's shown
his true potential."
War Affair has now scored four wins from five starts
with his stakes earnings having now swollen to the tune of
$390,000 for the Warplan Racing Stable.
War Affair makes
a brilliant return
to the track to
score first up as a
2/9/2013 Listen finds winning form again
Honest campaigner Listen (NZ) (Iffraaj) returned to
the winning list when taking out the $65,000 Happy
Valley Graduation Stakes over 1400m on Sunday.
Ridden by leading apprentice A'Isisuhairi 'Harry' Kasim,
Listen led throughout in scoring by a head over Bogart (NZ)
(Darci Brahma) with Alpha Centauri (NZ) (Keeper) four-andthree-
quarter lengths back in third place.
Jumping smartly from his outside draw, Listen crossed to
find the front from Bogart with Galaxy Express (Roses In May)
and Spring Thunder (Spring At Last) not too far away.
Turning for home Listen kicked which allowed Bogart
to get a run through and into clear galloping room. Alpha
Centauri, which had been back towards the rear in the small
field improved out wide on the track while Splice (Dubawi)
followed Bogart through.
Listen had kicked clear passing the 300m mark with
Bogart in hot pursuit. Bogart kept chasing Listen to the line
over the final 200m but was unable to bridge the gap over
the final few strides.
Trainer David Kok described Listen as "honest" with the
gelding having now had six starts, registering three wins and
three third placings.
"He is so honest," said Kok. "It is a case of maintaining his
fitness and getting him to the races.
"He's also quite versatile, but at this stage we will keep
him to 1400m races and shorter and let him build up his
strength. I think eventually he will have no trouble handling
"I think he's also got a nice future. He's run a nice time
today and he should have no trouble winning some more
A four-year-old New Zealand-bred, Listen is by Iffraaj from
Daydream and with Sunday's victory he took his prizemoney
past the $100,000 mark for the QI Sports Stable.
Listen (inner) hangs on after a heady ride from Harry Kasim
2/9/2013 A day to remember for the Crispes as Mal's Dad wins
Mal's Dad scores an emotional win under the urgings of Joao Moreira
Champion jockey Joao Moreira did not feel any more
pressure than he normally does when he climbed
aboard Mal's Dad (NZ) (Savabeel) on Sunday, but
deep down, he just had a little more desire to guide the
maiden to his first win.
The Brazilian, who was at his first assignment aboard the
Savabeel four-year-old - partnered at his four Kranji starts by
jockey Danny Beasley - was approached for the ride by the
owner Wayne Crispe at the barrier trials on Tuesday.
Nothing surprising given the three-time Singapore
champion jockey 's service are highly sought after, but when
Moreira found out Crispe's wife Judy has not been in the best
of health and would be at the races on Sunday, he made a
silent pledge to himself he would make Mal's Dad rise to the
As it turned out, Moreira proved to be the right choice
after he gave Mal's Dad a peach of a ride from the start,
timing his run to perfection when he set him alight at the
300m to go and defeat the improving Northern Gold (Green
Desert) by half-a-length. Mal's Dad's stablemate Lucky Lion
(Lion Heart) who had New Zealand jockey Lisa Allpress up for
her first Kranji start at her new three-month licence, ran on for
third another length away.
Emotions ran high at the winner's enclosure as Mal's
Dad was led back in triumph by the jubilant Crispe couple
accompanied by trainer Stephen Gray and his wife Bridget.
With the joy of having helped the Crispe couple seize that
unique moment clearly transcending the feeling of booting
home yet another of his weekly fair dose of winners, Moreira
could not resist giving Judy Crispe a warm hug after he
"This is one of the special moments in racing I always look
forward to. They don't happen very often, but when they do,
they mean so much to me and I'm feeling very emotional
about it," said Moreira who was at a race-to-race double after
winning with Aratiatia (NZ) (Pins) in the first race to bring his
2013 score to 139 wins.
"Judy is one amazing lady and to win that race for her is
something I so dearly wanted to do today. I'm so glad I've
pulled it off."
2/9/2013 Ruakaka winner off to Hong Kong
An all-the-way victory over 1200 metres at Ruakaka on
Saturday earned the Shaune Ritchie trained Human
Torch (Danzero) a ticket to Hong Kong for his future
The free-striding son of Danzero had indicated a win was
just around the corner after runner-up finishes at his first two
runs in this campaign and he delivered on that promise in
"He deserved that win as he had run into a couple of
very nice types and hadn't been disgraced so we thought he
would be hard to beat on the weekend," noted Ritchie.
"I've had three horses in the stable for his owner Raymond
Chow, but I'm left with only one now as Human Torch and
O'Mighty Thor will both be heading to Hong Kong.
"Not that I'm complaining though as the Sakhee's Secret
gelding we have left is a real cracker and might turn out to be
the best of the three."
Ritchie was disappointed his former New Zealand Cup
winner My Scotsgrey (NZ) (Golan) was a scratching on
the weekend but is delighted the issue wasn't with his
"He had a stone bruise that burst open on Sunday
morning so it wasn't a big issue but he wasn't right to run so
we scratched him," he explained.
"He will now go around in a similar race there in a
fortnight as he needs the racing if we are going to get him
ready for his main assignment which will be another crack at
the New Zealand Cup."
Ritchie also reported that classy mare Zurella (NZ) was
coming along nicely in her preparation for a return to racing
which will be in Melbourne where she will target a fillies and
mares event on Turnbull Stakes day at Flemington.
The daughter of Zabeel has the Gr. 1 Myer Classic on
Derby Day at Flemington on the 2nd of November as her
major target in this campaign.
Shaune Ritchie trains impressive maiden winner Human Torch
31/8/2013 Big finish snatches victory for late-maturing Boundless Glory
With an irresistible late surge, Boundless Glory (#7) claims a nose win in Friday night's Singapore feature.
Much improved galloper Boundless Glory (NZ)
(King's Chapel) took another step forward when
he snatched a last stride victory in the 1200
metre Austcham Cup, the S$95,000 feature event on Kranji's
Polytrack course on Friday night.
Coming to the turn, Boundless Glory was still back in the
second half of the field and didn't become a factor until the
final 200 metres, his huge strides in the final stages landing a
nose victory from Let's See Action (Flying Spur) with Sichuan
Ruler (Jet Spur) 1¾ lengths away third.
Trainer Steven Burridge said Boundless Glory had a "big
heart" and loved the Polytrack, but also was a much improved
galloper, especially over the last twelve months.
"He was struggling in Class 4 company eighteen months
ago then all of sudden he found some form," said Burridge.
"Then he got stuck at the top of Class 4 and wasn't going
anywhere, but again he picked his form up and here we are
winning an Open Benchmark 89 race.
"It's been the last twelve months that he's come of age.
He's a real trier – you love to have those sorts of horses in the
stable and he's done a huge job tonight to get up on the line."
When asked what had turned Boundless Glory's form
around, Burridge added: "He's probably a bit like me, just
maturity kicking in."
Jockey Manoel Nunes said Boundless Glory was a big
horse who required plenty of galloping room.
"He travelled very well during the race and I kept him
balanced into the straight," he said. "I got him to switch his lead legs and then he really got down to the job and finished
off very strongly.
"He's a very honest horse and a real pleasure to ride – you
just love riding horses who put everything into their races."
A six-year-old out of the Stravinsky mare Stage Fright,
Boundless Glory has won eight of his 35 starts in Singapore
with a further ten minor placings. Friday night's success took
his prizemoney past the S$400,000 mark.
– Singapore Turf Club
31/8/2013 Got Luck now three-from-three
The winner of his first two starts back in June and
July, Got Luck (NZ) (Danroad) maintained his unbeaten
record with an all-the-way victory in the 1000 metre
S$55,000 William Angliss Cup in Singapore on Friday
"He dropped in weight after his last start and I had to
ease up on him," trainer Alvin Tan said, explaining the
short break. "I was a little concerned with him tonight as
he was still down 14kg on his last start.
"I told Danny to be careful on him because of that but he is
a horse who is still learning as well. He has still to show me his
Jockey Danny Beasley was impressed. "He travelled
beautifully in the run but coming to the turn he just wanted to
hang a bit," he said. "I just let him have his head a bit coming
into the turn and he tracked a lot better. I wanted to lead on
him tonight as I wanted to take a bit of that greenness out of
him and it worked.
"He's a good little horse and I'm sure he's not done with
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Austcham Cup 1200m
Winner Boundless Glory (NZ) 2007
Owners Omni Stable
Trainer Steven Burridge (Kranji)
Breeding by King's Chapel (Aus) out of Stage Fright by
Breeder C C E & J W Thompson
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Festival
Session; V: Rich Hill Stud, P: Mr A Scott;
30/8/2013 Allpress back in action on Sunday
A new-old name will make an appearance in the jockey
ranks at Kranji on Sunday afternoon.
New Zealand jockey Lisa Allpress has nine rides
on Sunday, her first day of riding on a three month licence in
The 38 year-old is on her second stint in Singapore
having previously ridden at Kranji in 2001 and 2002 under
her maiden name of Mumby when having just completed her
apprenticeship with Kevin and Stephen Gray.
Gray was instrumental in getting the mother of two to
Singapore for this three-month stint and she has four rides for
the New Zealand trainer.
She has also picked up rides for fellow Kiwi trainers Bruce
Marsh (two), Laurie Laxon (one) while Steven Burridge and
Leslie Khoo have also provided rides on Sunday.
With husband Karl and children Josh and Angus in toe,
Allpress said the three month licence, which expires on
November 30, was the next stage of her career and which she
hopes to extend upon next year.
A winner of the New Zealand Jockey's Premiership with
159 winners in 2011/12, Allpress finished third last season
with 130 winners and has become a perennial top five finisher
over the years.
She also clocked up her 1000th winner when successful
aboard Kekova at Tauherenikau on February 6 this year and
has more than 60 "Black Type" winners to her credit with her
biggest success coming aboard 2012 Cox Plate winner Ocean
Park in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes in New Zealand
The natural lightweight, who can ride comfortably at "49kg with breakfast in the morning" said she was coming to
Singapore with the family to "work hard" and see if the Asian
lifestyle was suitable for the next stage of her career.
"I'm here to work hard and see how the family copes with
being away from home," said Allpress.
"Coming here will give us more quality time together
as well. We'll see how the first three months goes and then
hopefully I'll be able to get an extension to my licence.
Besides New Zealand and Singapore, Allpress has ridden
in Australia, Malaysia, Macau, Japan and most recently
England where she was a part of the "all girls" team at the
Shergar Cup, the International Jockey's Challenge, at Ascot
earlier in the month.
Lisa Allpress gears up for Sunday with a ride at the trials last Tuesday for Mark Walker
27/8/2013 Very Nice Cups trial
Very Nice Name, pictured here winning in Qatar, could head to Melbourne
Varying fortunes for potential spring visitors in French staying feature overnight
He may not have figured in the finish but globetrotting stayer Very Nice Name did his Spring Racing Carnival hopes little harm with a solid performance in last night’s Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville (2500m).
The Alban De Mieule-trained galloper was an obvious eye-catcher when closing well for fourth in the French feature, within two lengths of winner Tres Blue, while fellow BMW Caulfield Cup entrant Now We Can finished ninth on the unsuitably soft ground.
Progressive three-year-old Tres Blue, who earned himself a shot at the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc Triomphe (2400m) at Longchamp on 6 October with his win, overcame Andre Fabre’s Godolphin-owned youngster Penglai Pavilion and Freddie Head’s Slow Pace to land the narrow victory.
Very Nice Name and Now We Can raced together at the rear of the field and while both improved their position in the straight, the three-time Qatar Group 1 winner Very Nice Name showed the better turn-of-foot on the ‘good to soft’ rated Deauville track.
Ridden by Pierantonio Convertino, Very Nice Name picked up star Cirrus Des Aigles and consistent Group 1 performer Haya Landa in the final furlong and the manner in which he hit the line suggests the 3200m of the Emirates Melbourne Cup would suit the four-year-old.
It was Now We Can’s first run since his win in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly (2400m) in June and his first defeat since his unplaced debut in May last year.
The race was used by Luca Cumani last year as a stepping stone to Melbourne for Centrebet Geelong Cup winner Gatewood (2012) and Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon is hoping it can again prove a solid spring guide.
“Very Nice Name was a great run and he was doing his best work late in the race,” Jordon said.
“Now We Can was back after a little bit of a break and I don’t think he appreciated the soft ground so I think the run still had merit.
“I’ll be in touch with connections of both horses in the next couple of days to gauge their thoughts on which way they’re likely to head.”
By James Tzaferis
Mount Athos is unlikely to have another run before departing for Melbourne
A narrow runner-up at Goodwood overnight, connections of Melbourne-bound stayer Mount Athos turn attention towards Cup
Luca Cumani’s great Emirates Melbourne Cup hope Mount Athos suffered his third straight defeat as he just failed to catch front-running Harris Tweed in the Listed March Stakes (2800m) at Goodwood overnight.
Cumani, who has twice gone close at Flemington with Bauer and Purple Moon, had said this week that Mount Athos represents his best chance of plundering the world-famous handicap, and the Italian-born trainer would be able to take encouragement from the six-year-old’s agonisingly narrow defeat early on Sunday morning.
Tactics and pace have played a huge part in Mount Athos’s two disappointing runs in the Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) at Royal Ascot and the Goodwood Cup (3200m), and he showed a little more on this occasion when beaten just a head under first-time pilot Richard Hughes.
George Baker employed the same catch-me-if-you-can tactics aboard Harris Tweed that worked so successfully for them at the Glorious meeting, and the pair were once again the target as the seven-strong field raced down inside the closing stages of the 2800-metre event.
Hughes had Mount Athos no worse than third throughout and although his Marwan Koukash-owned partner took time to hit top gear, the son of Montjeu ate into Harris Tweed’s margin only to lose out by a diminishing margin.
Harris Tweed and Mount Athos pulled six lengths clear of third-placed Tac De Boistron, who was making his debut for Marco Botti having been last seen finishing 23rd behind Green Moon in the Cup last November.
Cumani had taken the March Stakes in two of the last three years with My Quest For Peace winning 12 months ago before running tenth in the Cup. Drunken Sailor was beaten at odds-on the previous year after winning in 2010 prior to his Spring Carnival trip.
The trainer watched the race from his Newmarket base, but his wife Sara confirmed the Melbourne Cup would be Mount Athos’s next outing in a bid to improve on last year’s fast-finishing fifth-placed effort.
She said: “I still don't think this is his track and the ground wasn't ideal but he has run better than he did the last two times.
“Depending on the owner, I think the plan's still to go to Melbourne. I don't think he'll run again as he likes his races spaced out.
“He'll fly out in the second wave of horses and I believe he'll enter quarantine on September 26th.”
By Martin Kelly
25/8/2013 Good night for Laxon stable as Huka Falls caps a double strike
Trainer Laurie Laxon, away on a working holiday in
France, has left his stable in good hands with Aussie
assistant trainer Shane Ellis landing a winning double
from just two runners for his Kiwi boss in Singapore on Friday
Daniel opened proceedings with his win in the S$65,000
Novice Stakes over 1100 metres and Huka Falls (NZ) (Align)
brought up the double when taking out the S$125,000 Open
Stakes over the same distance, scoring a three-quarter length
victory in a smart 1:04.39, just outside the Polytrack record.
Jumping straight to the front, jockey Joao Moreira was
able to dictate the pace aboard the long-odds-on favourite
and was content to bide his time before upping the ante just
prior to turning for home. When Huka Falls quickly put a two
length gap on his rivals the race looked as good as over.
However, passing the 200 metres it looked as though the
chestnut was beginning to shorten stride and Moreira was
forced to go for the whip to keep his mind on the job. Huka
Falls responded to Moreira's urgings to bring up a double for
the Laxon/Moreira combination and put Laxon to the top of
the trainer's premiership with 49 winners for the year.
Ellis said he had his heart in his mouth over the final
stages as he believes the gelding "half switches off" but then
he noticed the time and said it added merit to the win.
"He gets you a little worried but then you see the time
he's run," said Ellis. "He's only 0.08 seconds outside the course
record and he's done it second-up and
carrying a bit of weight. We knew he was
underdone first-up and he trimmed up
a bit for tonight's race with a couple of
gallops and he'll trim up again after that.
"As to where we go with him from
here I'm not too sure just yet. Laurie's not
home for another week or so, so we'll sit
down and have a look at a programme
after that. I know Laurie's talking about
Hong Kong with him and he'll need to
keep winning to warrant taking him
there, so we'll plan something around
Moreira has a good opinion of Huka
Falls and believes the gelding will be
better off when he's got something to
take a sit off and then chase down.
"A good quality race where they go
fast is something that would really suit
him. Tonight he jumped so fast that I
just let him go to the front and do his
own thing. He was happy in front and
switched off, but when I asked him to
quicken he put the race away quickly but
then he thought his work was done.
"He wanted to switch off over the last furlong and that is
when I had to pick up the whip to him. I do think he is a good
horse but is still getting there."
Huka Falls has now won nine of his thirteen starts and
amassed around S$490,000 in prizemoney for Laxon's Silver
Fern Racing and fellow New Zealander Brent Gillovic.
– Singapore Turf Club
Race Singapore TC Open H. 1100m
Winner Huka Falls (NZ) 2009
Owners Silver Fern Racing & Brent Gillovic Stable
Trainer Laurie Laxon (Kranji)
Breeding by Align (Aus) out of Diamond Lady by Senor
Breeder Megastar Thoroughbreds Ltd
Huka Falls notches up his ninth win from thirteen starts at Kranji on Friday night.
25/8/2013 Daniel continues to impress
Exciting prospect Daniel (NZ) (Guillotine) reproduced
the smashing form shown at his runaway debut win
a month ago to post another impressive win in the
S$65,000 Novice over 1100 metres on Polytrack at
Singapore's Kranji racetrack on Friday night, exploding
away inside the last furlong to a 4½-length win in the
smart time of 1:4.9.
Assistant trainer Shane Ellis labelled Daniel as "very
smart", but would still not get too carried away. "He had
no weight on his back tonight, just like at his debut, and
he again showed a brilliant acceleration to win very well," he said. "He's obviously a pretty smart horse, but we'll
take it slowly with him. He's still growing and it's no use
pushing him too hard at this stage."
Jockey Joao Moreira was just as blown away by
Daniel's run as he was at his debut, but kept the race in
perspective. "He's still the same horse as he was at his
debut – still looking around and very green throughout
the race," he said. "He probably needs another run under
his belt to show even more potential. He's not quite
there yet but in three to four months he will be able to
mix it with the better-class horses.
"I was a bit concerned when he was fifteen kilos
overweight tonight but I could feel he was slightly
stronger. As he is still young, I had to hunt him a bit to
get to the front. Into the straight, I didn't have to touch
the whip at all and only rode him hands and heels.
"He was looking around a lot but he's got the engine
and was very strong to the line. He's a very exciting horse
and I'm just the lucky boy sitting on him."
– Singapore Turf Club
25/8/2013 Easy Man eases back into it
After making Singapore racegoers sit up and take notice at
his first two starts, the precocious Easy Man (NZ) (Ishiguru)
disappeared for a year only to pop up in the opening race
on today's card. The now four-year-old launched his career
in promising fashion in May of last year with a narrow debut
second in the Sgp-2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe for two-yearolds
then a month later followed up with a dominant win at
very short odds in a Restricted Maiden.
The well put-together individual looked destined to a
steady climb through the ranks, but things went awry after a
blinkers trial test when he returned with a swollen near fore
leg, which upon scanning revealed a fractured cannon bone.
It was a major blow to trainer Leslie Khoo as the injury needed
surgery to fix a steel plate onto the bone then a lengthy time
on the sidelines.
Though Easy Man healed quite quickly, a decision was
made, given his untapped potential, to give him more time
to mature. A winning barrier trial in a smart time last month
certainly came as a well-deserved reward for the connections'
On that sparkling run, Khoo had every reason to be bullish
about a victorious comeback today, but still exercised caution.
"It's always hard to tell how a horse will run after a long
absence, especially after a leg injury, but he is a very good
horse and his barrier trial win tells me he is close to his best."
In his six years of training in Singapore, Khoo has enjoyed
plenty of luck with the progeny of now-deceased stallion
Ishiguru, mainly through the likes of Super Guru (NZ), Niceone
(NZ) and Popi Popi (NZ), and would love nothing less than
Easy Man to continue the legacy.
– Singapore Turf Club
24/8/2013 Cumani can continue Spring March
Cumani is hoping Mount Athos can return to the winners' stall
Luca Cumani hoping Mount Athos can continue his March Stakes streak and build confidence ahead of spring
Mount Athos will have his final start before the Emirates Melbourne Cup when bidding to erase the memory of two forgettable runs this season in the March Stakes at Goodwood in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Dr Marwan Koukash’s grey silks thundered down the Flemington straight last November, only for the line to appear too soon and the Luca Cumani-trained six-year-old finished just fifth under Ryan Moore.
Matters have not been entirely straightforward on home soil this year either with his silky-smooth debut Chester win followed by a fifth-place finish in the stop-start Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) and a mid-field effort from the rear in the Goodwood Cup (3200m).
But connections are hoping for better in the 2816-metre Listed event, due off at 1.40am (AET) Sunday, in which Mount Athos will face six rivals and be ridden for the first time by Richard Hughes.
Cumani said: “Last season really was a good one for him with three wins on the bounce before his effort in the Melbourne Cup.
“We decided to run in the Goodwood Cup this time rather than the Geoffrey Freer, which he won last year, and he will now start in the March Stakes before going back to Melbourne.
“We will start planning his trip after the weekend and we are hoping he runs well.”
Cumani has taken the March Stakes in two of the last three years with My Quest For Peace winning last year before running tenth in the Cup. Drunken Sailor was beaten at odds-on the previous year after winning in 2010 prior to his Spring Carnival trip.
Mount Athos is joint top-rated in the race alongside Harris Tweed who scored on the Sussex Downs when last seen with William Haggas’s galloper inflicting a six-length defeat on seasonal debutant Camborne, who reopposes for the John Gosden yard.
Godolphin, fresh from last weekend’s success with Cup hope Royal Empire, are represented by Songcraft with Charlie Hills saddling Model Pupil after his down-the-field effort behind Royal Empire at Newbury.
Last year’s Cup form is also represented by Tac De Boistron as the six-year-old makes his debut for Marco Botti having been off the track since finishing 23rd behind Green Moon last November, while Jehannedarc has her fifth start for Red Cadeaux’s handler Ed Dunlop having formerly been trained inFrance by Alain De Royer-Dupre.
By Martin Kelly
Opinion, pictured here at Royal Ascot, needs a win to boost his chances of making the Melbourne Cup field
Melbourne on the cards for Highclere regardless of this weekend's Ebor performance of Cups hope Opinion
Australian racegoers are likely to become familiar with Opinion regardless of whether he can secure himself a place in the Emirates Melbourne Cup by winning at York this weekend.
The Betfred Ebor (0.50am Sunday local) over 2800 metres is Europe's most valuable handicap and has regularly provided future Spring Racing Carnival runners.
Opinion is one of two BMW Caulfield Cup entries in the field along with William Haggas' top-weight Sun Central but even Harry Herbert, the optimistic managing director of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, is realistic about his chances of making the cut for the first Tuesday in November.
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Opinion won the Duke Of Edinburgh (2400m) at Royal Ascot and looked very unlucky when only fifth in an attempt to back up in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock (2200m).
Herbert has attended the Spring Carnival as frequently as possible since falling in love with Australian racing during the Cup exploits of Highclere's Distinction in 2004 and 2005.
They have Rule Book with Gai Waterhouse and recently launched syndicates in Australia involving horses which start their racing lives in Britain with a view to being shipped down to the southern hemisphere later in their careers if capable.
"I think we'll be giving very serious consideration to going down to Australia as there's a good middle and longer-distance programme with very good prize money," Herbert said.
"All the members of the syndicate are open to doing it. I think he'd have to win the Ebor impressively to give himself a hope of getting into the Melbourne Cup but there are plenty of other good races there at around the same time anyway.
"We might well leave him in Australia afterwards and whether he makes this year's Cup, we would certainly hope he could make it next year."
Referring to the Ebor, Herbert said: "It was a shame he couldn't follow up from Royal Ascot at Haydock but Kieren Fallon said he would have won if he hadn't had so many problems during the race.
"He has a good draw and we can be optimistic about his chances."
Highclere have another runner, coincidentally trained by Haggas, in the shape of Guarantee, but he will have it all to do against his stablemate Sun Central, who has a course and distance success under his belt after claiming June's John Smith's Silver Cup.
Tony Martin could yet pitch in Ted Veale, successful over hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival in March, after he picked up a minor race at Bellewstown on Wednesday night but the shrewd Irish trainer will make a late decision.
Caravan Rolls On, touted as an early Cup prospect for Dunaden's owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, is in the 22-strong line-up but he has not shown enough this season.
Godolphin chase back-to-back Ebors with Handsome Man after Willing Foe a year ago, while another former Australian challenger has sneaked into the line-up
Saptapadi finished fifth in the race two years ago behind former Brian Ellison stablemate Moyenne Corniche.
Leased to owners by the Koo's Racing Club, Saptapadi failed to settle in the southern hemisphere and has scarcely offered encouragement on his return to Ellison.
Simenon (outside) was narrowly defeated by Estimate in the Ascot Gold Cup
Gold Cup runner-up Simenon heads potential Spring Racing Carnival visitors tackling Friday's Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York
Willie Mullins already has half an eye on the Emirates Melbourne Cup as Simenon makes his racecourse return in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup at York on Friday (11.30pm local).
Just as soon as the six-year-old had run the race of his life to finish just a quarter of a length adrift of The Queen's Estimate in the Gold Cup, his trainer nominated the Spring Racing Carnival to be on his agenda.
Absent since that famous June afternoon at Royal Ascot, Simenon will not have Estimate among his six rivals in this 3200-metre Group 2 as Sir Michael Stoute is not totally happy with his filly at present.
Mullins has established an unprecedented dominance of jumps racing in Ireland with a final prize-money total last season of very nearly four times that of his nearest rival, and he saddled Hurricane Fly to win his second Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Simenon has dipped his toe into the winter game himself but ran moderately on a couple of outings last November and December and appears a different proposition on the flat.
Mullins hopes the gelding will have a high enough rating for Flemington, and said: "We're planning it as if we are going to get in the Melbourne Cup and we've entered him up in all the prep races out there.
"It does depend on how he gets on at York, though.
"He has had a break as we were looking towards the end of the year but I'm very pleased with him and everything seems to be going well."
Last year's Gold Cup hero Colour Vision has been struggling despite running fourth in the defence of his crown and he put in a curious showing from well off the pace in the Goodwood Cup before staying on for seventh.
Of more interest for Flemington could be his younger Godolphin stablemate Ahzeemah, who was beaten only by Brown Panther at Goodwood and had earlier filled the same position behind Universal in the Princess Of Wales's Stakes (2400m) at Newmarket.
In a nine-race streak stretching back over a year, Ahzeemah has never finished outside the first two and would be among the royal blue team's candidates to join last weekend's Newbury winner Royal Empire on the plane.
Richard Fahey has always had the Cup at the back of his mind for Glen's Diamond, one of six rivals for Simenon, but has been frustrated by his gelding's inconsistency.
So assured when landing the Yorkshire Cup (2800m) on this course back in May, the Jekyll and Hyde character has shown his worst side on his two most recent appearances by barely featuring either at the Curragh or in the Goodwood Cup, but a better performance here could yet change the prolific trainer's mind.
Caucus chased home Estimate when the pair appeared for the season over this trip at Ascot and went on to notch a Listed victory at Sandown, but he too was ordinary in the Goodwood Cup.
Standing in all of their way will be last year's winner Times Up, the hardy seven-year-old who found a new lease of life in the closing stages of the career of his veteran trainer John Dunlop.
Now in the care of Dunlop's son, Ed, Times Up was tailed-off in the Gold Cup and needs yet another resurgence to feature, as will Askar Tau.
23/8/2013 Doumen favouring Longchamp ahead of Flemington for Top Trip
Veteran French trainer, Francois Doumen, seems to be edging towards staying on home soil in the autumn campaign with his smart stayer, Top Trip, instead of heading to Australia to contest the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.
A decent stayer last term, Top Trip has improved significantly during the 2013 campaign, failing by just a nose to catch Glen’s Diamond in the Group 2 Qipco Yorkshire Cup at York in May over a mile-and-three-quarters.
He then surprised the racing live betting on his subsequent outing, at Royal Ascot, in finishing just a length-and-a-quarter behind The Queen’s filly, Estimate, when coming home third in a memorable renewal of the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup.
After a two-month break, the four-year-old returned to the fray at Deauville recently in the Group 2 Darley Prix Kergorlay, a 15-furlong event that was run at a crawl for most of the contest – as is often the case in France – before developing into a three furlong sprint. In the end, Top Trip was beaten just three-parts-of-a-length, but came in fifth in a blanket finish won by the Christophe Lemaire-ridden Verema.
Doumen is certain that his son of Dubai Destination will come on for the outing but the latest racing betting suggest that he could be staying on home soil for a crack at the Group 1 Prix du Cadran on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day at Longchamp in October, instead of travelling halfway across the globe to bid for two of Australia’s highest profile staying events.
Over the years, Doumen has enjoyed plenty of success around the world on the Flat and over jumps, and stated that he reserves the right to change his mind about the Australian bid. He’ll have to make a final decision quickly though as strict quarantine rules mean that Top Trip would have to depart France soon if he is to chance his arm ‘Down Under’.
19/8/2013 Hypernova finally lives up to trial wraps
A copybook ride from apprentice jockey Zuriman
Zulkilfi saw the Bruce Marsh-trained sprinter
Hypernova (NZ) (Elusive City) finally break through
for his first win on Sunday.
The four-year-old gelding did show glimpses of potential
at his three previous runs, but if his two barrier trial wins,
especially his second one when he drubbed the field by
more than six lengths, were taken into account, then his
performances under racing conditions had been a touch
But his solid last-start second to Faaltless (NZ) (Faltaat) a
fortnight ago when the blinkers were dropped and replaced
with just pacifiers did suggest such untapped potential was
about to rise to the top – and it sure did in no uncertain terms
in Sunday's $65,000 Initiation Division 1 race over 1200m.
Sent out as the second favourite ($13) after trainer Laurie
Laxon's much-vaunted newcomer Euro Zone (NZ) (Iffraaj)
- who also had the Joao Moreira factor to explain his oddson
price of $8 - Hypernova was cuddled along by Zuriman
as he tucked into the perfect trail in third spot, while quick
beginners Euro Zone and Flutz (Dubawi) traded the lead
As expected, the two warring pacemakers could not
sustain their runs once they straightened up. Zuriman
cleverly waited for that moment to angle Hypernova into the
clear, and the end-result was a blinding acceleration from the
son of Elusive City, which extended into a facile four-length
victory in 1min 11.93secs.
Marsh was clearly rapt he had been able to get a win out
of Hypernova, especially after the promise the Tudor Lodge
Racing Stable-owned galloper showed at his pre-debut trials.
"We probably got a bit carried away at the way he trialled,
but then, he was too keen for his own good in his races," said
the Kiwi mentor.
"That was why we dropped the blinkers as he was
overracing with them on, and replaced them with pacifiers.
That seems to have worked out.
"I don't have any ambitious plans for him at this stage
– just take him through his grades and we'll see how he
Hypernova finally delivers for the Bruce Marsh stable at Kranji
19/8/2013 Strubeli strolls home an impressive winner
Strubeli scoring his maiden victory with ease on Sunday
Trainer Stephen Gray returned from holidays to witness
an impressive maiden victory of Strubeli (NZ) (Elusive
City) in the $65,000 Initiation Stakes Div. 2 over 1200m
on the Polytrack on Sunday.
Ridden by Joao Moreira, Strubeli scored a six-and-a-halflength
victory over Gold Dancer (Oasis Dream) with Q Nine
Star (More Than Ready) a neck away third.
Gray had given the New Zealand-bred gelding plenty of
time to mature after being purchased as yearling and left to
develop in New Zealand.
Strubeli is owned by Stephan Herzog who raced
Goldschatz (NZ) (Pins) with Gray and is the first galloper he
has raced since that gelding's retirement.
"After Goldschatz was retired Stephan brought a couple of
yearlings and this is the first one to make it to the races," said
Gray. "Stephan's only had the two horses to race in Singapore
and both have been winners.
"This horse had trialled up in New Zealand and had shown
promise but we kept him in New Zealand on the spring grass
and let him develop.
"Stephan is good like that. He's very patient and wants to
do what's best for the horse.
"He eventually came up here at Christmas time but had
a few issues which delayed him making his debut. He had
a virus that he just couldn't shake for a while and then he
ripped off a shoe and stood on a nail and got an infected foot.
"It just took a bit of time to get him right and he was
probably a bit underdone when he had his first run and he
did have to give the winner which is a pretty handy horse
quite a bit of weight.
"I've got a pretty good opinion of this horse but we won't
be rushing him as I think he will go on and win a few races for
A four-year-old by Elusive City from Impulse, Strubeli was
a NZ$90,000 yearling purchase and has returned Herzog
around $47,000 in prizemoney from his two races starts to
Gray completed a double for the afternoon when Bay
Of Island (NZ) (Painted Black), ridden by Noh Senari, led
throughout in taking out the fifth race on the program,
the $35,000 Class 5 Stakes Division 1 over 1600m on the
18/8/2013 Impressive debut in Singapore
Singapore trainer Michael Freedman looks to have
another promising three-year-old on his books following
the debut win of Rite Of Spring (NZ) (Stravinsky) in
the S$65,000 Restricted Maiden on Kranji's Polytrack
on Friday night. Leading from the outset, the Manoel
Nunes ridden three-year-old scored by 3¾ lengths in a
respectable 1:11.49 for the 1200 metres.
"We've always liked him right from the time he arrived
here," said assistant trainer James Peters. "For a Stravinsky
he's been a very straight forward sort of horse. It looked
a hard race on paper but he did everything right tonight
and showed himself to be a real professional. What I
really liked was the way he quickened up when Manoel
Nunes said it was his plan to try and take the sit on Rite Of
Spring but after he jumped so well he decided to take full
advantage of the inside barrier and lead at his own tempo.
"He's a very nice horse and has a future," said Nunes. "The plan
was to box-seat on him, but he jumped so well from barrier
one and we were in front so I just let him do it all himself. He
held it together really well into the straight and when I asked
him to quicken up he just exploded away."
Rite Of Spring, a three-year-old from the Hurricane Sky mare
Magique Sky, was an $80,000 purchase at last year's Ready
to Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds at Karaka, from the Kilgravin
Lodge draft. He has returned his owners, the China Horse Club
Stable, around S$35,000 in prizemoney from his debut win.
16/8/2013 Donna farewells Derby winner
Habibi (NZ) (Ekraar) arrived in the United States this
week, but not before former co-trainer Donna Logan
took the opportunity to catch up with her New
Zealand Derby winner.
"She arrived in New York on Monday and from all
reports she travelled like a real lady," Logan said. "She'll be in
quarantine until Thursday and then on a flight to California
where she'll spell on a magnificent farm for at least two more
months, possibly three.
"I went over to Sydney last Thursday to see her before
she left and she was very affectionate, as always, and it was a
pleasure to catch up with her.
"I owed it to her to say goodbye and there were lots of
cuddles and she left in magnificent order. She's strengthened
up no end through the shoulder and across the rump – she
Donna and Dean Logan prepared Habibi to win six of her
nine starts and she also finished fourth in the Gr.1 Australian
Oaks, during which she suffered a fractured pastern. The
injury did not affect her sale to high-profile American owner
The daughter of Ekraar had been recovering at Emeran
Park Thoroughbreds, near Wyong, prior to her flight.
"There's minimal swelling in the leg now and she left
in magnificent order," Donna Logan said. "To hear that she
arrived up there without any problems is quite a relief.
"She'll acclimatise and when she's ready she'll go back into
work with the long-term goal the Breeders' Cup Turf of next
Taranaki breeder-owners Peter and Heather Crofskey have
retained a minor ownership interest in Habibi's American
racing career – "we'll be going up there to watch her race in
the Breeders' Cup so we're saving the pennies!" Logan said.
Habibi will be prepared in the United States by Graham
Motion, who trained Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup
winner Animal Kingdom.
Her arrival in the United States has completed a
memorable week for owner Strawbridge, whose brilliant mare
Moonlight Cloud won Sunday's Gr.1 Prix Jacques le Marois a
week after claiming the Gr.1 Prix Maurice de Gheest.
NZ Racing Desk
NZ Derby winner Habibi (NZ) (Ekraar) who has arrived safely in New York
Sportingbet Cox Plate invitee tunes up in Chicago over weekend ahead of Spring campaign
Mull Of Killough will have to see off two other Sportingbet Cox Plate entries if he is to secure his first globally important prize in this weekend's Arlington Million (8.44am, Sunday) in Chicago, USA.
This looks a decent gathering for the 2000-metre Grade 1, one of the premier American turf events in the calendar, but European raiders have enjoyed regular success throughout its 30-year history and a hatful have made the voyage across the Atlantic once again.
Mull Of Killough only joined Newmarket-based Jane Chapple-Hyam in early 2012 and has become a specialist at his local course, winning four times there for his new trainer at up to Group 3 level.
The MVRC this month extended a Cox Plate invitation to the seven-year-old gelding and it offers a chance for Chapple-Hyam to return to her homeland, as she is the daughter of politician Andrew Peacock and Lady Susan Renouf.
A solid fifth in May's Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m), the experienced galloper returned to Britain for one start last month, finishing just a length behind the Group 1-placed Aljamaaheer in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot.
Chapple-Hyam has booked Irish talent Joseph O'Brien to take the ride from a reasonable stall eight draw in what could conceivably be Mull of Killough's final appearance before the Spring Racing Carnival.
"He has been out of quarantine for a couple of days," she said.
"The first day he had a steady canter on the side training track and on Wednesday morning went to the main track and had a six-furlong canter with (top Irish filly and Beverly D Stakes runner) Duntle on the Polytrack. Everything is good.
"He'll definitely go to the Cox Plate, with or without a prep-run. I'd like to see how the travelling affects him before thinking about another race. Otherwise I'll give him a racecourse gallop."
Other Cox Plate candidates in the Million line-up are Side Glance, a regular placer in Group company who is being aimed at Australia by trainer Andrew Balding, and Marco Botti's lightly-raced Guest of Honour, who was half a length behind Mull Of Killough in the Summer Mile.
But there is plenty of strong opposition lurking among the 13 starters including defending champion and Breeders' Cup Turf (2400m) title holder Little Mike, South African star The Apache, who should be sharper for his recent reappearance at York, and Jeremy Noseda's Grandeur.
Another British representative, the grey already has experience Stateside, picking up Graded races over 1800m and 2400m Stateside at the end of last year. He is the 'morning line' favourite in America but has been drawn 13.
Botti has a runner in one of the other feature events on the card, the American St Leger (2700m), with Dandino attempting to emulate stablemate and 2012 winner Jakkalberry before heading towards the BMW Caulfield Cup and the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Alain de Royer-Dupre sends up-and-coming three-year-old Visiyani for the Secretariat Stakes (2000m) while Sir Michael Stoute's Dank is also among a strong European entry for the Beverly D Stakes over the same trip.
16/8/2013 QEII remains target for sick Dawn Approach
Jim Bolger has indicated that his star miler Dawn Approach will be given a break to recover from his five Group 1 races in the space of just 99 days and his comprehensive defeat in France recently when only fifth behind Moonlight Cloud in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.
Many questioned the wisdom of running the son of New Approach so soon after his titanic tussle with Toronado in the 1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood less than two weeks earlier – a race he lost by half a length – but it appears Bolger may well have been persuaded by the colt’s owner Sheikh Mohammed to take his chance in the showcase French contest.
As it transpired, the Irish star was under pressure two furlongs from home and was soon beaten, returning back to Bolger’s yard with mucus in his lungs and is now on a course of antibiotics, so it would be unfair to judge him on his performance while clearly a sick horse.
Dawn Approach holds a 2-1 advantage over arch-rival, Toronado, in their three head-to-head clashes this season, and the prospect of a fourth meeting at Ascot on October 19 in the feature Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is already exciting racing pundits on betfair.com.
Bolger expects his home bred star to be better for a break in his schedule and has every intention of preparing the Qipco 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes winner for another battle with Richard Hannon’s star, who is now rated 1lb his superior on official BHA figures.
Toronado is currently priced up at around 11/4 in the ante-post market for the QEII alongside stable companion, Olympic Glory, who failed by a whisker to beat Moonlight Cloud at Deauville. Dawn Approach is available at 7/2.
Dandino tunes up for the Spring with a run in the United States over the weekend
Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock (ATB) managing owner Darren Dance might have lost last year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup placegetter Jakkalberry to injury over the weekend, but his Spring Racing Carnival hopes remain high thanks to exciting international Dandino.
Set to line up in the American St Leger (2700m) at Arlington Park in the United States on Saturday, Dance told RSN he expects the Marco Botti-trained six-year-old to prove hard to beat on the back of his last-start runner-up finish in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) at Royal Ascot (UK).
“He travelled well and he’s eaten up. It’s a field that, with all due respect, is not as strong as what the Hardwicke Stakes was, when he ran a really good second,” Dance said.
“He’s probably going to be one of the favourites in that race, but at the end of the day, you’ve still got to compete and be good to win.
“We go there excited and confident and hopeful.”
After his run in the St Leger on Saturday, Dandino returns to the UK where he will go into quarantine before arriving on September 28 among the first batch of international raiders to hit the Australian shores this year.
Among the first nominations last week for the BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), Dance said he believes the distance of the Caulfield feature may prove more suitable for Dandino than that of the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“He’s going to be a chance in the Caulfield Cup I think,” he said. “There’s a question about the two miles, it’s still to be determined, this weekend over 2700 will give us some guide.”
“At this stage I’ll be thinking he’s a strong Caulfield Cup horse more than Melbourne Cup horse just on what he’s done in the past.”
With leading UK rider Ryan Moore set to take the ride on the weekend, Dance said he is yet to make a decision as to who will partner the son of Dansili during his Melbourne Spring campaign.
Though disappointed to lose Jakkalberry for the Spring Racing Carnival, Dance said injury wasn’t career threatening with the seven-year-old to be aimed at the Dubai World Cup meeting in March 2014.
“The injury had been coming along really good while he was on the treadmill but once we started riding him out over the last three or four weeks there was just a slight deterioration that was saying he’s just not coping with that work at the minute.
“It was just decided in the best interests of everyone we’d be better off to back off him and get him ready for Dubai in March next year.”
By Ben Asgari
12/8/2013 A fall and four winners for Nunes
Plucky jockey Manoel Nunes could not have bounced
back from a race fall in Friday's last race at Kranji in
more emphatic fashion when he rode the winners
from the first four events of Sunday's meeting – three of
which were New Zealand bred mounts.
After landing the first Leg of the double aboard favourite
American Vision (Yes It's True) in a grinding blanket finish
in the $35,000 Class 5 Division 1 race (1200m), Nunes again
had to dig deep into his bag of tricks to steer Inspire (NZ)
(Keeper) to a half-length victory from favourite Verglatica
(Verglas) in the $65,000 Initiation race over 1700m.
He then had an easier time aboard his third Leg winner,
the favourite Bourbon Goldman (NZ) (Gallant Guru) in the
$55,000 Class 4 Division 2 race (1200m) who split the pack
apart like a hot knife through butter to score by two lengths
from the fast-finishing Green Tracer (Dane Shadow). Far from
being done for the day, the hungry jockey won his fourth race
aboard another favourite Dr Octopus (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) in
the $65,000 Initiation race over 1000m.
Savouring his impressive haul, Nunes was, however, quick
to acknowledge the fine line between tragedy and success
in that peculiar job full of occupational hazards that a jockey
"I'm very lucky I did not get hurt last Friday. It was a very
bad fall and unfortunately Santana broke three ribs," said
"Things happened so quickly. I just saw Santana's horse
fall over and mine could not avoid him and fell as well.
"I hit the ground pretty hard but got up okay. But the next
day, I felt sore and I was not sure if I could ride on Sunday.
"Luckily, I am okay today and well, nothing like four
winners to get me back in business!"
Inspire (inner) and Manoel Nunes capture the second at Kranji on Sunday
12/8/2013 Al Strada Hong Kong Bound
Promising three-year-old Al Strada (NZ) (Perfectly Ready)
has been sold and will do his future racing from the Casper
Fownes stable in Hong Kong.
Owned by trainer Jason Price and his wife, the son of
Perfectly Ready won two of his five starts as a two-yearold
while also securing Group One placings in both the
Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie and The Oaks Stud
Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes at Awapuni in March.
Sold to Hong Kong interests shortly after his Awapuni run
Al Strada has been back in work for around six weeks and will
head to his new home in early September.
11/8/2013 Cavallo's consistency continues with strong win from new stable
Consistent galloper Cavallo adds another win to his record, this time for new trainer Sam Chua and apprentice jockey Pregasam Dellorto.
Singaporean trainer Sam Chua enjoyed a red-letter
National Day when he brought home a hat-trick of
wins on Friday, sealed by new stable transfer Cavallo
(NZ) (Testa Rossa) in the 1000 metre S$75,000 Kranji Stakes C.
Previously trained by Michael Freedman, Cavallo arrived in
Chua's yard on the back of two consecutive seconds in April
and June and duly obliged at his very first outing for his new
Ridden by Chua's apprentice jockey Pregasam Dellorto,
the four-year-old did not begin all that smartly from his inside
gate, but quickly mustered speed to settle into a midfield
spot on the fence, brushed off a slight check at the top of the
straight before being peeled off across heels to set sail for the
Well ridden by Dellorto, Cavallo pulled away for a
1¼-length win in a useful Polytrack time of 59.01 seconds.
Chua said Cavallo was acquired by the Beverly Hill Stable
from the Freedman yard through a private deal. "Some of the
owners in Beverly Hill also have shares in Nandowra. The deal
was to leave Nandowra with Michael and I got Cavallo," said
Chua. "He came to us in good form and all I did was to just take
over and maintain his form. Today, I told Dellorto to just take
a sit if they go crazy in front and he listened to instructions.
"I'm still learning about the horse myself, but he's
obviously got ability and I hope we can have more fun with
Dellorto said Cavallo was always travelling on the bit and
when asked the question answered with a decisive turn of
"He's definitely one of the better horses I've ridden here," said the Kuala Lumpur-born apprentice jockey. "Coming to
the corner, he was checked, but luckily he recovered and
once I pulled him out for a clear run he quickened very well.
I rode him hands and heels in the last bit as he was hanging
in a little towards the end, but he did a good job to win the
A model of consistency, Cavallo has now brought his
overall statistics to four wins and six placings from twelve
runs for prizemoney edging close to the S$220,000 mark.
Race Singapore TC Kranji C S. 1000m
Winner Cavallo (NZ) 2009
Owners Beverly Hill Stable
Trainer Sam Chua (Kranji)
Breeding by Testa Rossa (Aus) out of Indovina (Aus) by
Elusive Quality (USA)
Breeder G Harvey
Sales 2011 Ready to Run Sale; V: Lyndhurst Farm, P:
Mr M Freedman & Mr M Wallace; $130,000
9/8/2013 Nunes to ride Speedy Cat
Speedy Cat will be ridden by Manoel Nunes in the Sgp3 S$200,000 Woodlands Handicap (1200m) at Kranji tonight
Manoel Nunes will ride the Alvin Tan-trained
Speedy Cat (NZ) (Scaredee Cat) in the Sgp3
S$200,000 Woodlands Handicap (1200m) at Kranji
There had been some confusion regarding the ride as it
was originally reported that Nunes would ride Huka Falls
(NZ) (Align) for Laurie Laxon, however Danny Beasley will ride
Speedy Cat is the topweight in this evening's feature race
and will carry 59kg, giving a minimum of 6.5kg away to his
rivals. He comes into this race off a last start third placing
behind Makkura (NZ) (Falkirk) in the Sgp3 Paititi Gold Trophy
(1200m) on July 14.
"He is giving away quite a bit of weight to horses like Huka
Falls, Valevole and Rapido Star and it's a concern to me that
the other horses have such lightweights," said Tan.
"It is also tough carrying 59kg to win on the Polytrack and
because of that I will be asking Nunes to try and ride him a bit
closer to the speed with that weight as it will take away his
speed at the finish."
Following Friday evening's race, Tan said he would look
to the Sgp3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) on September 1 and
further down the track aim at the Sgp1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on
"After Friday I think I will have to start looking for the setweights
races for him," said Tan.
"The Jumbo Jet over 1400m could be a good option and I
think the Kranji Mile could also be a good option.
By Scaredee Cat from Lane Cove, Speedy Cat has proven a
good money spinner for Tan, returning more than $800,000 in
prizemoney from his 21 starts.
Singapore Turf Club
5/8/2013 Force could still be Spring bound
Lethal Force (pictured winning the Darley July Cup)
Despite his defeat in France overnight, Melbourne trip still on the agenda for Lethal Force
Patinack Farm Classic possible Lethal Force was foiled in his bid for a third European Group 1 success as Moonlight Cloud landed a hat-trick of wins in the Prix Maurice de Gheest (1300m) atDeauvillein France on Sunday evening.
Trainer Clive Cox is still mulling over a trip to Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival with his speedy grey, who recently added to his Diamond Jubilee Stakes victory when making all in the Darley July Cup (1200m).
The four-year-old headed off to picturesque northernFrancein search of another top-flight success but his winning run came to an end at the hands of an outstanding mare.
Adam Kirby soon had Lethal Force bowling along in front in the 1300-metre event and slowly but surely the majority of those in behind started to crack.
However, Thierry Jarnet was always travelling comfortably on the victorious Freddy Head-trained five-year-old and she surged past Lethal Force in the closing stages for an impressive one-and-three-quarter-length victory.
Lethal Force was bidding to become the first British-trained sprinter since Dayjur in 1990 to win three successive Group 1 races, but that recent busy campaign may have taken its toll and even accounted for him uncharacteristically lugging to his right through the final 400 metres.
Cox said: “All credit to the winner. I am still very pleased with the performance of my horse and I was happy to bring him here after his July Cup win.
“He was in good form after that race but maybe he peaked that day and Adam felt he was flat compared to that day.
"It was run in a course record time and the ground was only just good so he's run a very brave race.
"At the end he was just beaten by a very good filly who was winning the race for the third time.
“As I have always said, we are taking it one race at a time and we will continue to do so. It is an honour to have been invited toAustraliabut it is an enormous ask for the horse and we will wait and see how he comes out of this before making plans.”
Moonlight Cloud, who famously got closer to Black Caviar than any other horse in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot, claimed the De Gheest for the third time, collecting a fourth Group 1 win having also landed the Prix du Moulin last September when she beat Godolphin’s Farahh.
And she may try for anther win at that level next weekend with Head, who described Moonlight Cloud as ‘the best mare in Europe’, considering turning her out for the Prix Jacques le Marios when the likes of Intello and even Dawn Approach could be in opposition.
He commented: “She's a very special filly and that was one of her best performances. Hopefully this will leave her in the right place for next Sunday and the plan remains the same – to run the Marios.”
Moonlight Cloud and Lethal Force pulled three-quarters-of-a-length clear of the staying-on Gordon Lord Byron and trainer Tom Hogan is eyeing a return toFranceon Arc weekend for a repeat win in the Prix de la Foret.
By Martin Kelly
5/8/2013 Orakei Korako scores on debut
Orakei Korako (outer) holds on to score a winning debut
Punters had their hearts in their mouth in the final
stages of the $65,000 Initiation Stakes (Div. 1) over
1200m on the Polytrack on Sunday.
The favourite Orakei Korako (NZ) (Any Suggestion),
ridden by Joao Moreira, had looked all set for a comfortable
victory after heading the leader and rank outsider Black Bean
(With Distinction) early in the straight.
After gaining a comfortable margin with 200m to run,
Black Bean rallied and with every stride began to cut into
Orakei Korako's lead and even just shy of the winning post
looked to get his nose in front.
But Orakei Korako then rallied himself and on the line
held a head margin over Black Bean. Silver Fly (Al Samer) was
a further two-and-a-quarter lengths back in third place in a
time of 1 min 12.74 secs.
Having his first start, Orakei Korako was purchased out
of New Zealand by trainer Laurie Laxon for NZ$110,000 on
the recommendation of Phil Cataldo who has been a regular
contact for Laxon over his years as one of Singapore's best
"Phil Cataldo spotted him in New Zealand and suggested he might be a good horse for up here," said Laxon.
"I got him for $110,000 and have kept him for myself.
"I've had a lot of success with Phil over the years and
hopefully this horse will be another one that will keep going
"He's a big strong horse that will continue to improve as it
was only his first race start today, although the time was a bit
"I think what happened was when he got to the front he
thought his work was done and he switched off, but he got
there in the end and that's all that matters."
A four-year-old New Zealand-bred by Any Suggestion
from Breaker Dawn, Orakei Korako picked-up almost $35,000
in prizemoney for Laxon's Silver Fern Racing Stables with his
debut win on Sunday.
4/8/2013 Charger's record still perfect on the Polytrack at Kranji
Classy galloper Perfect Charger (NZ) (One Cool Cat)
maintained a perfect record on the Polytrack when
taking out the S$65,000 Graduation Stakes over 1100
metres at Singapore's Kranji racetrack on Friday night.
Sent out an odds-on favourite, Perfect Charger scored by
2¼ lengths from Captain Kirk (Falkirk) with Listen (Iffraaj) 1¼ lengths away third in an all Kiwi-bred finish.
Trainer Alvin Tan said he would keep Perfect Charger to
the Polytrack for the time being after Friday night's victory
made it three wins from as many starts on the surface.
"He's very much an up-and-coming horse and hopefully
he will keep on improving and become a Group horse for my
stable one day. I was quite impressed with the time he ran."
Jockey Oscar Chavez had been content to follow Captain
Kirk into the straight before unleashing the four-year-old
with his run and the gelding quickly put paid to the others.
With victory secured, Chavez allowed Perfect Charger to
cruise over the final 50 metres, running a smart 1:04.64 for the
"He jumped well but when Captain Kirk came across I was
happy to let him cross me and to take the sit," said Chavez.
"He travelled so well throughout the race and pulled me
into the race. When I asked him to sprint at the top of the
straight he just took off. We went at a very easy gallop but he
just made it look easy and I must say that he was much fitter
for this race."
With this win, Perfect Charger has now topped the
S$100,000 in prizemoney for connections Perfect Racing
Oscar Chavez has Perfect Charger under a tight hold as they pass the post clear winners
Race Singapore TC Graduation S. 1100m
Winner Perfect Charger (NZ) 2009
Owners Perfect Racing Stable
Trainer Alvin Tan (Kranji)
Breeding by One Cool Cat (USA) out of Dawninsky by
Breeder Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan
Sales 2011 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Cambridge Stud, P: Asian World Racing Ltd;
3/8/2013 Panther strikes at Goodwood
Brown Panther races away to win the Goodwood Cup
English soccer star turns attention to the Melbourne Cup after Goodwood Cup glory
One horse considerably enhanced his Spring Carnival prospects at Glorious Goodwood - but it was not the one many expected.
While last year's Emirates Melbourne Cup fifth placegetter Mount Athos could only finish eighth of the 14 starters in the Group 2 Artemis Goodwood Cup (3200m), the Tom Dascombe-trained Brown Panther can now be aimed for Australia after a clear-cut success.
Brown Panther was bred, as well as part-owned, by legendary footballer Michael Owen and the England star was quick to map out future plans.
Based at Owen's Cheshire stable, Brown Panther has always been the apple of his eye, winning a handicap at Royal Ascot in 2011 and later running second in the St Leger.
There have been disappointments along the way, but the galloper had started this season on a winning note at Pontefract and was trying 3200 metres for just the second time in his life.
He was kept close to the speed by Richard Kingscote and made a telling move at the 200 to clear three and a half lengths away from Ahzeemah and Altano.
"It's a real honour to win this. To breed the winner and, with the heritage of the race, it's fabulous," said Owen, who retired after the end of the last season after spells with the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
"He's such a consistent horse and Richard has given him a great ride. We kept him near the lead just in case there was no pace and because he's packed with stamina.
"The plan was to come here, and as long as he didn't bomb out today, then go for the Irish St Leger and the Melbourne Cup.
"We thought about the Melbourne Cup last year and we were thinking about it again this year and there's no change this time around, we plan to do it.
"He's a relatively young horse who hasn't been over-raced so we are thinking about it."
While Saeed Bin Suroor's former Ascot Gold Cup winner Colour Vision was disappointing in seventh, he can look ahead towards the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury ((2,671m) with Ahzeemah.
German raider Altano came from a long way back for third, and Christa Germann, representing trainer Andreas Wohler, said: "We could go for the Prix du Cadran and the German St Leger four weeks later."
Undoubtedly the frustrating performance came from Luca Cumani's Mount Athos, who has the Melbourne Cup as his top priority.
He went off the 3-1 favourite but had a huge amount of ground to make up at on the final bend and there was not enough of a response even when Jamie Spencer angled him for a challenge. The jockey could not offer an excuse afterwards.
Seasoned Australian visitor heads proven Spring Racing Carnival pointer
There may not be any of Luca Cumani's Emirates Melbourne Cup prospects in the Coutts Glorious Stakes (2400m) this time around but at least one recognised Spring Carnival performer is in the line-up at Goodwood on Friday.
Cumani has collected the 2400-metre Group 3 three times in the past six years, including the last two with Drunken Sailor and My Quest For Peace, but his most notable winner was Purple Moon in 2007, who rolled on to a heart-breaking defeat by Efficient at Flemington that November.
The seasoned Australian visitor this time is Saeed Bin Suroor's Lost In the Moment, who was beaten just three lengths when sixth to Dunaden in the 2011 Cup.
He tried again last year but missed the cut and contested the Flemington consolation prize of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, finishing fifth.
Encouragingly for the now six-year-old entire is that he returned to British racing with a victory in the Listed Fred Archer Stakes (2400m) in late June, where he beat three rivals including this week's impressive Goodwood handicapper Harris Tweed.
Bin Suroor's Godolphin colleague, the recently promoted Charlie Appleby, is represented by the fascinating Masterstroke.
With Andre Fabre in France through last season, where he beat the subsequent Geelong Cup hero Gatewood with a three-year-old allowance at Deauville, Masterstroke's final outing was by some way his best as he took third in the European showpiece, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
"He picked up an injury after he had an accident in the stalls in Dubai," said Appleby. "It was a small setback but he's ready for a run now and we're looking at an autumn campaign for him."
Gatewood's former trainer John Gosden provides another of his notable owner-breeder George Strawbridge's gallopers, the sparingly-raced Aiken.
The son of Selkirk rose right through the ranks to a 2400-metre Group 2 at Chantilly last summer and stepped up to 3200m on his concluding outing when running European staying champion Rite Of Passage to a neck on British Champions Day at Ascot.
Forgotten Voice, who had been trained over hurdles by Nicky Henderson, made a stunning comeback on the level by taking the Wolferton Handicap (2000m) at Royal Ascot, where he beat one of David Simcock's two runners Sheikhzayedroad.
The Newmarket trainer has also declared Dr Marwan Koukash's Montaser, who could not back up his earlier York victory when fifth in the valuable John Smith's Silver Cup (2800m).
"I took Montaser out earlier in the week because of the ground and he'll need it to dry up," said Simcock.
"I'm not sure he truly stays a mile and three-quarters, so this trip should suit him better. He's in the Ebor, but I'm preferring Sheikhzayedroad for that, and this is his Ebor trial. He's in good form."
The talented but sometimes unruly Mijhaar represents his near-neighbour Roger Varian.
The Glorious Stakes will be shown live on Sky Racing World at 10.55pm Friday.
Group 2 event provides contest for Spring Racing Carnival hopefuls
Competition for Spring Racing Carnival places steps up a gear this week with the likes of Mount Athos, Brown Panther and Glen's Diamond lining up for the Artemis Goodwood Cup (0.15am, Friday).
Luca Cumani may rely on only Mount Athos in an attempt to break his Emirates Melbourne Cup drought and this Group 2 event represents the first time Dr Marwan Koukash's galloper has stepped up to 3200 metres since his running-on fifth at Flemington last November.
An impressive winner on comeback at Chester, he filled that same position last time at Royal Ascot in the Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) and will face a stern examination of his stamina here.
Trainer Tom Dascombe and owner and retired superstar footballer Michael Owen touted the Cup for Brown Panther last month and while the five-year-old is not the most consistent, he produced a pleasing performance on his seasonal return by defending a 2400-metre Listed race title at Pontefract Racecourse in Yorkshire.
The Clayton family and trainer Richard Fahey mentioned Australia after the gutsy victory of Glen's Diamond in the Yorkshire Cup (2800m), although the gelding could not back up over the same trip in the Curragh Cup, when hammered by Aidan O'Brien's Ernest Hemingway.
"I've had Melbourne in the back of my mind, but he'll need to bounce back from the Curragh," said Fahey.
"He has two ways of running, unfortunately. We saw the good Glen's Diamond at York, and the bad one at the Curragh."
A number of Europe's premier stayers are among the surprisingly large field of 14, including last year's winner Saddler's Rock.
The John Oxx representative was a distant eighth in the Ascot Gold Cup and will need to turn around form from the Royal meeting with Colour Vision (fourth) and Altano (fifth).
"The race was run to suit him in the Gold Cup but he ran a bit flat," said Oxx.
"He has had a good break so hopefully he can get back to his best at a track he likes."
Caucus was second to Estimate on his first start of the year at Ascot before Sir Michael Stoute's filly progressed to Gold Cup glory, and he gained his own victory in the Coral Marathon (3200m) at Sandown.
Along with last year's Gold Cup winner Colour Vision, Godolphin and Saeed Bin Suroor have a further two runners.
One will be familiar to Australian viewers in the veteran Cavalryman, who was 12th behind Green Moon.
A horse with one of the most well-used passports in racing, Cavalryman has performed respectably in several outings since returning from the Dubai Carnival.
Godolphin's third runner is Ahzeemah, beaten at far more favourable weights by Cavalryman back at Meydan, but well ahead of him at levels on his British return in the Princess Of Wales's Stakes (2400m) at Newmarket.
Marcus Tregoning has welcomed the rain falling at Goodwood at the start of the Glorious meeting for his old stager Askar Tau, last year's runner-up.
"It's going to be a right slog out there, but my horse seems to prefer softer ground as he gets older," he said.
The Goodwood Cup dates back to the early 1800s, and since the internationalisation of the Melbourne Cup, a handful of the best known northern hemisphere stayers have competed in both, such as Double Trigger, Yeats and Persian Punch.
Sky Racing is bringing all the racing action from arguably the world’s most picturesque racecourse to Australian viewers this week with extensive Glorious Goodwood coverage.
Day 1 kicks off with live racing coverage on Tuesday 30 July on Sky Racing 1 and Sky Racing World from 10pm through to 3am. Coverage will then resume for days 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the carnival on Sky Racing 2 and Sky Racing World from 10pm – 3am each evening.
International racing expert Andrew Le Jeune will front the studio coverage. Martin Kelly will be trackside, bringing viewers mounting yard information and pre and post-race interviews.
Viewers can catch a review of the previous day’s racing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8.30am, Saturday at 7.30am and Sunday at 11.30am on Sky Racing World.
Sky Racing’s Chief Operating Officer, Brendan Parnell said Australia’s interest international racing continues to grow and is pleased to bring viewers the most extensive Goodwood coverage.
“The Australian racing industry continues to take great interest in English racing and our coverage from Glorious Goodwood is set to deliver great racing from one of the most picturesque racetracks in the world,” Mr Parnell said.
Racing Round the World will also feature a special on Glorious Goodwood on Sky Racing World on Tuesday 6 August at 6.30pm.
31/7/2013 Grandeur heading for Arlington Million after big York run
The classy Grandeur, a battling runner-up to the smart Mukhadram at York in the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes, looks all set to return to a former happy hunting ground and head Stateside for a crack at the Arlington Million on August 17, writes Elliot Slater.
Jeremy Noseda’s charge had been nicely backed in the racing live betting prior to the York contest and was sent off a 6/1 chance to lower the colours of the hot favourite. For a few moments inside the final quarter mile he looked as though he might well pull off a surprise, creeping into contention under the stands rail under Frankie Dettori while the main action was taking place in the centre of the course.
A fine piece of riding from Paul Hanagan though saw the Liverpudlian move Mukhadram across to eyeball Grandeur on the nearside, and once his mount realised he still had some running to do he stayed on well to get the better of the four-year-old by just three-quarters-of-a-length.
For Grandeur, on only his second spell back in action in Britain having been campaigned last term in the US under the guidance of Patrick Gallaher – for whom he landed the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup and the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita, sent off at the rewarding price of 53/10 in the horse racing betting on the latter outing – this was a big effort, and Noseda clearly feels he now has a sporting chance of landing the Arlington Million.
Explaining that he had chosen the two races in England specifically as warm-up for the feature US contest, Noseda added that in his opinion Grandeur had run the race of his life to be a close second at York to a very smart horse and he couldn’t have been happier with the performance of the Yvonne Jacques-owned gelding.
29/7/2013 War Affair scores in juvenile feature
War Affair (rail) holds on to win the Sg3 Juvenile Championship
War Affair (NZ) (O'Reilly) cemented his status as
Singapore's undisputed two-year-old champion
after he landed Sunday's Group 3 Juvenile
Championship (1200m) two months after he won the only
other juvenile feature at Kranji, the Group 2 Aushorse Golden
Despite resuming from a 72-day break after his
resounding win in the last Leg of the Singapore Golden
Horseshoe series on May 17 and running up against some
of the finest two-year-olds (five last-start winners from the
other seven), the New Zealand-bred by O'Reilly had garnered
plenty of confidence in the market, being backed down to
the very short odds of $7, especially with regular partner Joao
Though the result went to script, a weakening War Affair
nearly saw his colours lowered by second favourite Desert Fox
(Not A Single Doubt) who flew home late on the outside to,
however, fall short by a head.
Probably a little on the underdone side after such a long
spell, War Affair noticeably shortened strides in the final 100m
after coming off a cosy trail in third on the fence to hit the
front at the 400m.
Trainer Mark Walker was breathing a huge sigh of relief
after the photo finish swung in his favour by a slender margin.
"After his last win, we have kept him fresh and he even
trialled nicely two weeks ago," said the Kiwi mentor. "He might have switched off in the last bit. The second
horse was coming pretty quickly, but luckily he held on.
"He's a typical New Zealand Horse who came to us from
Karaka and it's David Ellis (Te Akau Racing supremo) who
"Whatever he did today, he will just keep improving as a
racehorse. He's probably looking for 1400m or 1600m now."
War Affair has now recorded three wins from four starts for
stakes earnings in excess of $330,000 for the Warplan Racing
29/7/2013 Gray has high hopes for Kate's Keeper
Kate's Keeper breaks maiden status at Kranji on Sunday
After finishing in the money at his first three placings,
Kate's Keeper (NZ) (Keeper) broke his maiden status
in the $65,000 Any Humour Restricted Maiden over
1200m on Sunday.
Ridden by Ivaldo Santana, Kate's Keeper scored by twoand-
three-quarter lengths from Brahms And Liszt (NZ) (Coat's
Choice) with Rock Show (Fastnet Rock) the same margin back
in third place.
Trainer Stephen Gray has been having a quiet 2013 season
and Kate's Keeper was his 17th winner of the season and just
his third since April.
"The horses have been racing well but unfortunately there
have been a lot of second placings along the way," said Gray.
"It's certainly good to get another winner on the board."
Gray believes Kate's Keeper will continue to develop and
will appreciate getting out to a longer journey in time. "He's a pretty good horse," said Gray. "He'd drawn wide at
his previous two starts and just had to work a bit early to get
across. "We wanted to ride him a bit quieter today, but when we
looked at the speed there didn't look to be any and that's
when we decided to go forward.
"I think he'll be a better horse ridden behind the speed
and allowed to finish off and he should develop into a lovely
miler (1600m) to 2000m horse.
"It wasn't the strongest field today but it's certainly nice
not to run second for a change."
Gray said Kate's Keeper was purchased out of New
Zealand as a trial winner for St George Stable owner Paul
Hickman who landed his second winner in a week following
the victory of Kallisan (NZ) (Stratum) the previous Sunday.
"Paul's been a long time supporter of my stable," said
Gray. "We bought this horse out of New Zealand as a trial
winner and it's great to get another winner for him."
A three-year-old by Keeper from Stage Fright, Kate's
Keeper took his prizemoney to around the $65,000 mark with
his victory on Sunday from just four career starts.
29/7/2013 Just a natural born fighter
Natural Nice (middle) scores another game win by a narrow margin
Gutsy galloper Natural Nice (NZ) (Towkay) bounced
back from his last-start defeat in the Group 3 Yew Tee
Classic Stakes (1800m) to score in his usual last-stride
fashion on Sunday.
The Towkay four-year-old looked tight for room at the
200m but under a persuasive ride by Joao Moreira, kept on
between two runners to put his nose in front on the line and
deny race-leader Petrenui (Bletchley Park)) a three-in-a-row
in the $95,000 Top Spin 2008 Stakes Open Benchmark 83 race
The V-Day Stable-owned gelding was tested over more
ground in the Yew Tee three weeks ago, but failed to stay to
run sixth to Nandowra (NZ) (Savabeel), more than six lengths
With the benefit of hindsight, trainer Laurie Laxon decided
to drop him back to something easier and shorter, and was
spot-on in his judgment.
"It was probably a mistake to have raced him over 1800m,"
said the 1,003-time winning trainer, who is always first to
point the finger at himself if he has erred.
"But you never know (how they will go) until you try. His
pedigree suggests he is a sprinter anyway, and I will now keep
him to sprints, not over 1400m.
"He sure knows where the winning post is. He never wins
by a lot and he's done it again this afternoon."
Natural Nice has now registered seven wins from 26
starts, with the last four wins (including Sunday's) scored
by combined margins not exceeding one length. His stakes
earnings have now edged close to the $360,000 mark.
28/7/2013 Laurie labels Daniel's debut as the best since Better Than Ever
Having discarded his goggles "to see how good he was", Joao Moreira coasts home on the low-flying Daniel.
Newcomer Daniel (NZ) (Guillotine) turned in the run
of the night when he carved up the field to romp
in by more than seven lengths in the S$65,000
Initiation over 1100 metres at Singapore's Kranji racetrack on
Though the two-year-old had won one barrier trial, there
was no real inkling in the pre-race talks he would be so
dominant at his racing debut, though trainer Laurie Laxon
was probably a bit more bullish than most.
"He won a nice barrier trial two weeks ago. I expected him
to race well tonight," said the Kiwi handler.
"I did tell CK (owner Phua Chian Kin) he would run well
and I hope he had a good bet. The last time I saw a first-timer
win so easily was probably Better Than Ever," Laxon added,
referencing one of his all-time greats.
Daniel was bred by Oscar Racing Stable supremo Phua,
out of his Danasinga broodmare Tina. Phua and Laxon
go back a long way – since Laxon's first Singapore winner
Streisand in 2000 – and recently sealed their enduring
partnership with Laxon's historical thousandth Singapore
winner last Friday.
"I name my horses after famous actors and actresses and
Daniel was named after Daniel Day-Lewis, who has won three
Oscars for best actor," Phua said. "I hope the horse keeps on
winning as well."
The way Daniel obliterated his rivals on Friday night can
give owner and trainer reasons to hope there will be more to
Breaking from an outside gate, Daniel was sooled forward
by Joao Moreira to take up a prominent spot early and it was
mission accomplished fairly easily as the grey gelding found
the rails after less than 200 metres to dictate the terms.
Moreira set a steady tempo before really upping the ante
at the point of turn, where he lowered his goggles and let rip.
In the blink of an eye, Daniel cleared out to a big break before
easing down to a 7¼-length win in a very smart 1:4.58, only
0.27 seconds outside the course record.
"I had eased down on him a hundred metres from the
winning post and he still clocked a very good time," a clearly
excited Moreira said. "This horse will definitely win more
"Laurie's Plan A was to sit third or fourth, because of his
wide gate, but he got to the front so easily. I didn't want to
get caught wide but even if he had not gone forward he
would still have won.
"He was just enjoying himself being up there and was
doing it ever so easily. When we got to the home turn, I
pulled down my goggles as they got foggy and I wanted to
see how good he was.
"He just changed strides by himself and was off and gone.
He's a very good horse and I sure would love to ride him
28/7/2013 Sand Lane flying in Singapore
Trainer Cliff Brown still pigeonholed progressive sort
Sand Lane (NZ) (Sandtrap) as a "typical 1000 metre
speed type" even after he raced away to score by a
widening margin in the S$75,000 Kranji Stakes C over
1000 metres in Singapore on Friday. The four-year-old
had the race all sewn up a long way out after he landed
in front soon after the start to dictate his own terms to
the race. He did waver a little in the home straight, but
jockey Joao Moreira kept punching him out to the line
for an easy 3¼-length victory.
"He's just a 1000m horse. I won't push my luck at this
stage," said Brown. "In saying this, I have to say he won
very well tonight and I was pretty impressed with the way he
hit the line. He seems to have really come together now and I
think we'll have some more fun with this horse."
Moreira said his original intention was to take a sit but Sand
Lane showed such blistering speed that he did not want to
impede him. "He was so quick out of the gates, I had to let him
go," said the Brazilian jockey. "This is a horse who will win more
Out of the Lowell mare Tivoli Lane and a $20,000 buy at the
Festival Session of the 2010 National Yearling Sale at Karaka,
Sand Lane has now brought up his second win from seven
starts for stakes earnings in excess of S$110,000 for owners,
the Sand Lane Stable.
Race Singapore TC Initiation P. 1100m
Winner Daniel (NZ) 2010
Owners Oscar Racing Stable
Trainer Laurie Laxon (Kranji)
Breeding by Guillotine out of Tina by Danasinga (Aus)
Breeder C K Phua
27/7/2013 Spring Racing Carnival contenders in action abroad
The countdown to the Spring Racing Carnival continues both locally and abroad, with two UK races this weekend that could have a significant bearing on who arrives in Melbourne later this year.
The highlight of the international action is the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2400m) at Ascot on Saturday night (AET).
Headed by French hero Cirrus Des Aigles, the race features the reappearance of Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux who is being prepared for his third straight Spring Racing Carnival appearance.
The Group 2 York Stakes (2000m) is the other must watch race with Cox Plate invitee The Apache, clashing with rising star Mukahadram who has shot into Cox Plate calculations this season.
Following are the Australian broadcast times for the two races, together with comments from Racing Victoria’s International Recruitment Officer, Leigh Jordon, on who to watch from a Spring Carnival viewpoint;
- York (UK) – G2 York Stakes (2080m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 12.30am (AET) Sunday morning
Leigh Jordon’s Comment – Afsare ran second in this race last year and then made the trip to Australia for the Cox Plate but was unfortunately injured and unable to take his place in the field. This year’s running is a strong edition of the race. The Mike de Kock-trained The Apache is a Cox Plate invitee and hasn’t started since the Dubai Duty Free in March so it will be interesting to see how he has progressed. Mukhadram is Group 1 placed at his last two, has a high cruising speed and can kick strongly off a turn. For mine he would be an ideal Cox Plate horse so we’re watching him closely.
- Ascot (UK) – G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2400m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 12.50am (AET) Sunday morning
Leigh Jordon’s Comment - This is a top quality Group 1 event as evidenced by last year’s win of Prix de l’Arc de Triopmhe champion Danedream. Cirrus des Aigles is the favourite, but I’ll be watching Red Cadeaux, who is the outsider of the field, ahead of his return to Melbourne, possibly for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. Another interesting runner is Sheema Classic placegetter Very Nice Name as his connections have shown some interest in coming to Melbourne. Princess of Wales Stakes winner Universal could be a Spring contender and is another to watch closely.
26/7/2013 Two-Year-Old honours on the line
The Mark Walker-trained War Affair (NZ) (O'Reilly)
can assure himself of Champion Two-Year-Old
honours with victory in the Sgp3 S$200,000 Juvenile
Championship (1200m) on Sunday.
War Affair showed his class when successful in the Sgp2
Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) on May 17 before going
for a break.
The son of O'Reilly has had just three starts, winning his
last two in impressive fashion.
He will have the services of champion jockey Joao Moreira
War Affair showed continued improvement at his initial
campaign. After a debut fourth – where he made a stack of
ground to finish fourth behind Peace No War (War Pass) over
1200m on April 21 – he came out and won over 1200m on
May 3 from Bringithome (Lucky Owners).
It was then on to the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe where
he toyed with his rivals, scoring a two length victory on May
17 and in the process broke the 1 min 10 sec barrier for the
Walker gave the two-year-old a freshen up following that
win and the gelding was seen on the track when finishing
third behind Yin Jie (NZ) (Gold Centre) in a 1000m barrier trial
on July 16.
"We sent him up the hill to the resting stables for three
weeks after his win in the Golden Horseshoe," said Walker.
"He had a nice quiet trial last week with Joao on him. He's
not a horse that you have to do a lot with as he's a cleanwinded
sort of horse.
"The small field (there are just nine nominations) will also
suit him. There was a full field of 16 in the Golden Horseshoe
and he was good winning that.
"This is better for him with the small field and he seems
very well within himself."
The New Zealand-bred two-year-old has already topped
the S$226,000 mark in prizemoney from his three race starts
for Warplan Racing Stable with the promise of more to come.
Singapore Turf Club
War Affair could seal Champion Two-Year-Old honours this Sunday in Singapore
26/7/2013 Better Than Ever Retired
High-class galloper Better Than Ever (French Deputy) has been retired
Te Akau principal David Ellis has announced the
retirement of top-class international performer Better
Than Ever (French Deputy).
A star in Singapore, the son of French Deputy was
awarded both the Champion Three and Four-Year-Old titles
after winning his first 12 races when prepared by Laurie
Transferred to the care of Jason Bridgman following a
bleeding attack in May last year, Better Than Ever was placed
at Group One level on two occasions and went out on a
winning note with a resounding victory in the Gr.2 Awapuni
Gold Cup (2000m).
Bred by the Bax family's Blandford Lodge, Better Than
Ever established a record of 17 wins from 31 starts for stakes
earnings of NZ$3.1 million. In Singapore, he recorded four
Group One wins: Kranji Mile (1600m) twice, Raffles Cup
(1800m), and Patron's Bowl (2200m), one Group Two, and
seven Group Three.
Returned to work with a spring preparation in mind,
a decision was made to retire the horse sound following
"The wear and tear of racing at the elite level has seen
him at a point now where there is a high risk of injury and
given the risk factor it was decided, in the best interests of the
horse, to retire him," Bridgman said.
"He is happy and sound, but it is saddening that we see
the end to the career of this terrific horse."
Arc on the radar after Chicquita wins classic
London. Talented but wayward filly Chicquita has given her Australian owner Paul Makin victory in the Irish Oaks despite a dramatic sideways shift inside the final stages of the classic.
A maiden before Saturday, the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Chicquita would have been an easy winner at Saint-Cloud in May but for hanging badly before colliding with a hedge and falling.
She was also awkward when second in the Prix de Diane at her last start and gave Johnny Murtagh plenty to think about at The Curragh, finishing virtually on the stands side.
Her drift started at the 200m mark but such was her turn of foot she was still able to prevail in a blanket finish from Venus De Milo, despite crossing in front of her close to home.
A stewards' inquiry was called after the half-length success but the placings remained unaltered.
''It is quite different to my last winner of this race, Shawanda, because she was unbeaten and this one, she had never won before,'' said de Royer-Dupre, the French trainer who prepared Americain to win the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
''Her temperament is very interesting because she is very quiet in training, she never does anything wrong and in the afternoon sometimes she goes to the left and she wants to come back too early, she is quite tricky to ride in a race.
''Johnny Murtagh did well as she is not easy to ride. He got her relaxed and I told him when he asked her, to do it gently and not to surprise her. She's a great filly, she is the best filly I have in my yard. That's why I decided after she fell back in Saint-Cloud to go straight away to the Prix de Diane because I know she has talent.
''I'll never know why she flew into the hedge at Saint-Cloud that day, I think she wanted to come home too early. She will probably go now for the Prix Vermeille and then maybe the Arc.''
Makin has enjoyed European group 1 success in the past with 2004 Australian Derby winner Starcraft, which won the 2005 Prix Du Moulon at Longchamp before beating Dubawi in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Newmarket.
Starcraft now stands at Scone's Arrowfield Stud.
22/7/2013 Rusty keeps the Brown colours flying
Rusty Brown is home for his group of dedicated owners
The Men in Brown were out cheering at the winner's
circle again on Sunday, except it was not Ronnie Brown
who had saluted, but a second purchase of theirs,
Rusty Brown (NZ) (Darci Brahma), who scored second-up in
the $65,000 Open race for Two-Year-Olds over 1200m.
Racing under the Mummify Stable, the group of expatriate
racing enthusiasts turned heads with their brown jackets
complete with hats whenever Ronnie Brown (NZ) (Darci
Brahma) ran, win or lose. The same dress code was of course
in order on Sunday as Rusty Brown, who ran third at his debut
in a 1100m race two weeks ago, came off a one-out one-back
position to score by half-a-length from Rikioh (Due Sasso)
with Fantastic News (Publishing) third another 1 ½ lengths
Besides both having Michael Freedman as their trainer,
Rusty Brown shared another similarity with Ronnie Brown on
the breeding side, but Freedman pointed out it was more of a
coincidence that both "Browns" are by popular New Zealand
stallion Darci Brahma.
"It was more of a coincidence he was by Darci Brahma as
well," said Freedman. "It's actually the dam side that drew my
attention as the mare Lacango was trained by my brother Lee
"I saw him at the breeze-ups in New Zealand and he really
caught my eye. He had a very nice action.
"The boys told me to just buy a second horse for them
without specifying the sire. But obviously, they must be
pleased having another Darci Brahma after the success they
enjoyed with Ronnie Brown."
From 12 starts, Ronnie Brown, who is a three-year-old, has
won five races and has been placed three times for a handy
prizemoney record in excess of $240,000.
Their new ward is only at his first win paycheque, but from
the way he hit the line strongly, Freedman was confident the
owners would have a lot of fun with him as well.
"Ronnie Brown was a speed type, but I think this one can
be stretched over further as Lacango was a city performer
over 1400m (one win) and 1600m from memory," said
"He got a little held up at the top of the straight, but
he then let down really well in the home straight. There is
definitely plenty of scope about him."
Freedman said that first run under the belt had done a
power of good to Rusty Brown, his 39th winner for the year.
22/7/2013 Te Akau's Mark Walker hits 1000 career wins
Te Akau Singapore trainer Mark Walker celebrated a
career milestone on Sunday at Kranji when his 1000th
winner saluted the judge.
It was appropriate too that the milestone was set through
the win by a One Cool Cat gelding named My Tricia (NZ),
who was bought for a Singapore client from the Karaka Sale
by Te Akau Principal David Ellis
Ridden by Shafiq Rizuan, My Tricia scored by a neck from
Lucky Lion (Lion Heart) with Sacred General (General Nediym)
a length-and-three-quarters back in third place.
My Tricia was having only his seventh start on Sunday and
Walker said maturity was what had been holding the gelding
back in the early stage of his career.
"This horse is getting stronger now," said Walker. "I know
this horses family well and a lot of them don't come good
until they are four, five or six-year-olds.
"This horse will keep improving with age and maturity
and he's also just starting to come right."
Walker had considerable success in New Zealand and
Australia before moving to Singapore at the end of 2010 and
that success has continued as he currently heads the Trainers
Premiership Table with 43 winners so far in 2013.
"It's been a long time coming," said Walker of his career
milestone. "It's a certainly a great thrill to get that number of
wins under the belt."
Named New Zealand Trainer of the Year on four occasions,
and winning five New Zealand Trainers' Premierships, Walker
recorded a number of elite level successes in during his time
with Te Akau in New Zealand. This included breaking the long
standing record of training wins in a season held by Dave and
Paul O'Sullivan amongst the numerous records he set during
his New Zealand training career.
Walker relocated to Singapore in 2010 to establish Te Akau
Singapore together with David Ellis – and hasn't looked back.
He burst out of the blocks in the early stages of the 2013
season before the winners have slowed up in recent weeks.
"A lot of the horses are probably half-a-grade too
high," said Walker. "They are slowly coming back to be at a
competitive stage and hopefully there might be a few more
winners coming up."
My Tricia provided Mark Walker with his 1000th training success
Good Baby romps home in Malaysian Group One
Tuesday, 16 July, 2013
Star Malaysian galloper Good Baby added another feature race win to his outstanding record on Sunday when he demoralised his rivals in the Group One Sprint Trophy (1400m).
Wide and midfield during the early and middle stages of the race, Good Baby unleashed a powerful sustained burst from the 400 metre mark to race away and beat his rivals by four length.
The win was the fourth at black type level among 10 victories from 24 starts and earnings of over Rgt1.8 millon (approx. A$570,000).
Prepared by Kevin Coetzee, Good Baby was full of running to the line and when he flashed past the post he held a four length margin over King Empire, while stablemate Good Sight was doing his best work late under Noel Callow to grab third, a further half length back.
A son of Cornerstone Stud based sire success Hussonet, Good Baby is raced by Richard Beh's Golden Knight Stable.
He is one of the nation's best horses with big race wins already in the Selangor Gold Cup, Malaysian Magic Millions Classic and Sultan Gold Vase.
"Mr Beh has been a long time client of ours and we're delighted that Good Baby has won another Group One for him," Magic Millions Sales Director David Chester said.
"It is great to see that Good Baby has continued the great record of Malaysian Magic Millions Classic winners by racing on with great distinction at the highest level."
"It was also great to see that King Empire, a son of Minardi, ran second. He was purchased for just $6,000 from our National Horses in Training Sale on the Gold Coast," Chester added.
A graduate of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale where offered by Robyn Wise, Good Baby was originally purchased by Blue Sky Thoroughbreds for $110,000 at the National Weanling Sale.
He is one of four winners produced by the five time winning Danehill mare Secret Haze - a mare whose five wins all came on metropolitan tracks in either Melbourne or Adelaide for Swettenham Stud.
Secret Haze, a winner at distances up to 1500 metres, is a three quarter sister to stakes winning sire Springsteen and the stakes producer Email Me (dam of Latin News).
She is also a half sister to the Group Three winner Voodoo Beat and hails from the family of Golden Slipper winner Marauding and Tasmanian Magic Millions Classic winner Triple Asset.
Photos courtesy of Penang Turf Club.
15/7/2013 Better Life claims Singapore Derby on her way back to Australia
Australian bred and Inglis sold galloper Better Life capped off a tremendous racing career on Sunday when claiming the S$1.15 million Group 1 Singapore Derby over 2000m.
Better Life ($150,000 2010 Easter, 4m Smarty Jones-Quiet Life) was a clear favourite with punters and the racing public to claim Singapore’s most prestigious domestic event and she did not disappoint, racing away to a strong victory at Kranji over Wild Geese and Tropaios.
Replay of Better Life’s Singapore Derby win can be viewed online HERE
The victory was a tremendous training effort by Hideyuki Takaoka which had his mighty mare first up since the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup in May.
“I wasn’t too concerned about her going into the Derby without any prep runs since the SIA Cup. We’ve done everything there was to do with her, bearing in mind she is a filly, and to me, she had enough work and I was confident she would be fit for the Derby,” said Takaoka.
Immediately after the race connections confirmed that the triple Group 1 winner would be retired back to the country she was born, raised and sold.
Bred by Jananth Pty Ltd, Better Life was sold to her owners the Suzuka Racing Stable for $150,000 from the draft of Torryburn Stud at the 2010 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Better Life retires with S$2,061,650 in earnings thanks to eight wins and 3 placings from 14 starts.
In addition to the Derby the topline middle-distance performer claimed the first and third legs of last year’s Singapore Triple Crown, the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) and the Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) on her way to being crowned Singapore’s Champion Miler and Champion Stayer. The Derby and Gold Cup are Singapore’s two richest domestic events.
Better Life is booked to be covered this coming spring by Widden Stud’s resident stallion Sebring, which has made a strong start to his stud career siring 15 first crop winners of A$1.3 million including Group 2 winner Criterion.
Sunday’s win was Hideyuki Takaoka’s second victory in the Singapore Derby having claimed the race in 2009 with Jolie’s Shinju, which was also retired to stud to Australia at the end of her racing career.
“The first time is always exciting, but winning a second Derby is also a great source of happiness. Both are champion mares, though they are so different in their styles,” Takaoka said.
“Jolie’s Shinju went at the same speed and had so much stamina. This one (Better Life) sits off the pace and has a finishing burst,” explained the winning trainer.
Breeders are reminded that entries are now being taken for the 2014 Inglis Select Yearling Sales Series , including the prestigious Australian Easter Yearling Sale which will be conducted at Newmarket on 8, 9 & 10 April 2014 during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
For more information visit www.inglis.com.au or speak to Inglis’ bloodstock team in Sydney on +61 2 9399 7999 or Melbourne +61 3 9333 1422.
15/7/2013 Weight edge pays off for Makkura
Makkura takes out the Paititi Gold Trophy in brilliant style
A big pull in the weights paved the way to victory for
Makkura (NZ) (Falkirk) in the Gr. 3 $200,000 Paititi
Gold Trophy over 1200m on Sunday.
Ridden by Saifudin Ismail, Makkura scored by a lengthand-
three-quarters from Mr Big (Elusive Quality) with Speedy
Cat (NZ) (Scaredee Cat) a neck away third.
Weighted at just 50kg, Makkura was in receipt of 9kg from
the gallant runner-up who tried his heart out after racing on a
The 1200m journey was run in 1 min 08.85 secs.
The victory was a welcome change of luck for Saifudin
who had been sidelined through the 2013 season with a
series of suspensions and injuries.
He said he got a big surprise when he received a phone
call from Laurie Laxon's assistant-trainer Shane Ellis on
Monday afternoon offering him the ride.
"I've only ridden for about four months this year," said
Saifudin. "I've had time out with suspensions and injuries so
this win is a big thrill.
"It was a big surprise to get the call on Monday after the
handicaps came out to see if I wanted to take the ride.
"I have to thank Laurie for giving me the opportunity to
ride this mare. I rode her on Tuesday morning and she gave
me a really good feel and I was confident in the race where
Laxon said Makkura was a versatile mare that handles
both the turf and the Polytrack and is also at home over a
mixture of distances.
"She broke very well today and was always travelling,
much better than what she was last time," said Laxon.
"She had the lightweight today and Saifudin gave her the
"She's also very versatile, having proven herself on the turf
and the Polytrack but she's also very moody. She has to go
out onto the track first as she plays up in the parade ring and
might hurt herself one-day, but once she gets to the tunnel
"We'll probably look at running her over 1400m in a
fortnight's time. Barend Vorster who has ridden her of late
thinks the 1400m trip will suit her."
After winning her first start in New Zealand, Makkura, a
five-year-old by Falkirk from Electric Dream, has won eight of
her 18 starts in Singapore with a further eight minor placings
and has accumulated around $500,000 in prizemoney for her
owners, Toast Trust No 27 and Stephen Crutchley Stable.
15/7/2013 Just For J causes a boilover on debut
Just For J caused a massive boilover on debut
Debutant galloper Just For J (NZ) (Falkirk) caused a
boilover when he took out the $65,000 Hello Poland
Stakes, a restricted maiden over 1200m on Sunday.
Ridden by Alan Ng, Just For J returned a win dividend
of $618 in scoring a two-and-a-quarter length victory from
another debutant Bangladesh Tiger (Sebring) with Blossoms
Sequel (Royal Academy), another first starter, a length-andthree-
quarters away in third place.
Jumping smartly from barrier four, Ng took Just For J to
the head of affairs where he stacked the field up until the
hometurn. After balancing for home Ng asked Just For J
to quicken and that he did in the fashion of a smart horse,
making a lie of his starting price.
Trainer David Kok revealed the New Zealand-bred gelding
had spent the best part of 12 months standing in his box at
the stable overcoming a nagging foot problem.
Just For J trialed in preparation for a racecourse debut in
June 2012 but didn't reappear at the trials until June 26 this
year, finishing in third position over 1000m.
Kok was surprised with the victory of Just For J but also
added the gelding had a lot of potential.
"He's stayed in his box for around 12 months," said Kok."He had a hoof problem, a soft foot, and we couldn't do
anything with him.
"He had always shown us plenty of ability and that is why I
have been so patient with him.
"When he finally got over his problem we started work on
him slowly. We started him walking then eventually got him
to track, to the trials and now to the races.
"It is a lucky win and a big surprise but it is good for the
owner who has been very patient with this horse."
A rising four-year-old, Just For J is by Falkirk from Dubai
Century and is raced by the Spade Stable.
Shamexpress's July Cup bid fails
- Date July 14, 2013 - 7:45AM
Australian sprinter Shamexpress's bid to become the first southern hemisphere trained sprinter to win Europe's top short course race, the July Cup, foundered in sweltering conditions at Newmarket when Danny O'Brien's colt finished seventh of 11 behind all the way winner Lethal Force.
Shamexpress, ridden by Derby winning French jockey Mickael Barzelona, raced in mid division but found little when asked for his effort on the undulating 1200 metre course with a stiff uphill finish.
He eventually came home five lengths adrift of the winner, who set a new track record on ground officially described as good to firm.
The Australian sprinters, often so dominant in their northern hemisphere raids, have thus drawn a blank this year.
Shamexpress also finished out of the frame in the Kings Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot in June, while the John O'Shea trained mare Sea Siren was unplaced in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting, a race also won, co-incidentally, by Lethal Force.
O'Brien is due back in Australia early Monday morning, but despite his lack of success with a horse who is still a three year old to southern hemisphere time the Flemington based handler has not been deterred from trying again.
''The jockey felt on a flat track he probably finishes the race off and puts himself right in the finish, but just that rise over the last 100 is obviously pretty tough.
''We always knew to come here as a three year old with the jump in weights he was going to have step up a bit. They are very hard races to win. You have got to go somewhere with them, and it was either this or Queensland and I have certainly got no real dramas about coming here.
''He will have a break here, go back into work at Newmarket, then travel out with the Cups horses and be ready for Melbourne Cup week for the sprints there. I am more than happy to have come here.''
Dandino was impressive at Royal Ascot when runner-up behind Thomas Chippendale in the Hardwicke Stakes
Australian-owned stayer Dandino opts for American St Leger over Newmarket feature as Spring Carnival warm-up
Newmarket's Princess Of Wales's Stakes was robbed of some of its Australian interest with the defection of Melbourne-bound Dandino but a tight field of seven now face the starter for the 2400-metre Group 2 prize.
Broadcast live on Sky Racing at 11.40pm (AET), the race was won last year by Fiorente, who went to finish an excellent runner-up in the Emirates Melbourne Cup on debut for Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Dandino, who is owned by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, was second to the ill-fated Thomas Chippendale in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) at last month's Royal Ascot Carnival and trainer Marco Botti is aiming him for the American St Leger (2700m) at Arlington on 17 August.
It's the same path previously taken by another of Botti's ATB-owned stayers, Jakkalberry, who posted an impressive win in last year's St Leger en route to his third placing behind Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup.
"He's still bouncing after Ascot but the Arlington race is worth a lot of money and we'll keep him for that," Botti said.
"The Melbourne Cup has always been the big aim and Arlington fits well into his schedule."
This is the opening day's feature of the Piper-Heidsieck July Festival, a more relaxed, garden-party affair than most of the major summer meetings. Bookmakers are finding it hard to work out, though, with four of the field close to sharing favouritism.
Mark Johnston's Universal, who has proved himself a tough character in a busy campaign, heads some markets.
A winner of several 2400m Group races already this season, he took third in the Hardwicke and Johnston says "he has never been in better form".
Danadana, who represents regular Melbourne visitor Luca Cumani, has been competing over 2000 metres this season.
While he won the Group 3 Huxley Stakes at Chester, he appeared to suffer on softer ground when trying to back up at Sandown.
Cumani said: "Fast ground will be in his favour and while he's stepping up to a mile and a half, he seems like he'll get the trip."
Lady Cecil's Wild Coco looked a staying filly with a very bright future last season, particularly in the Park Hill Stakes (3000m) at Doncaster last September but she has already been ruled out of engagements this summer due to quick tracks and it may be the case again here.
Godolphin run both 2012 Spring Carnival raider Cavalryman and the progressive Ahzeemah, first and second in the Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) back at Meydan in March while the seasoned traveller Wigmore Hall, who is likely to head back to America and Canada over the next couple of months, reappears after a break with a rare British start.
He was third to Universal in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes (2400m) but jockey Jamie Spencer pointed out: "He'll have his race here, he hasn't got a Group One penalty, so that makes it a good bit easier.
"It doesn't look the strongest race so he has a chance as long as he's fit enough to do himself justice."
Grandeur, who rose through the ranks for Jeremy Noseda last year and had a successful spell in America culminating in success in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup in December, has returned to his former trainer and makes his comeback here.
12/7/2013 McDonald to ride in Singapore
Globetrotting kiwi jockey James McDonald will ride on Singapore
Derby day at Kranji this Sunday.
McDonald has been engaged for nine of the eleven races on the
card and will ride Feisty Leo (Blackfriars) for trainer Mark Walker in
the Sgp1 Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m).
Elusive City gelding City Lad (NZ), trained by Desmond Koh, looks
to be the best NZ-bred chance in the Derby this year with Singapore
Gold Cup winning mare Better Life (Smaty Jones) considered the
horse to beat.
McDonald will be visiting Kranji for a sixth time, having flown in
mostly as a guest rider on short-term stays, with his latest invitation
coming as recently as May on Singapore Airlines International Cup
10/7/2013 Shamexpress seat filled
New rider found – again – for Australia’s July Cup hope
Mickael Barzalona will ride Australian sprinter Shamexpress in Saturday’s Darley July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket.
The classy colt’s trainer Danny O’Brien confirmed this morning that the Godolphin stable jockey had been secured for the ride and the Frenchman would acquaint himself with the three-year-old tomorrow morning UK time.
“Mickael Barzalona will ride Shamexpress in a gallop on the July course on Tuesday morning and take the ride on Saturday in the July Cup,” O’Brien tweeted.
O’Brien was forced to look for a new rider for the Newmarket Handicap winner after Craig Newitt, who partnered the son of O’Reilly into ninth place behind Sole Power in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, advised he would be staying in Australia this weekend.
O’Brien thought he had found his man when Richard Hughes was booked for the ride, but the star local then jumped off to take the ride on the Clive Cox-trained Reckless Abandon.
The July Cup, which was won by Starspangledbanner in 2010, is the final British leg of this year’s Global Sprint Challenge and will be run in the early hours of Sunday morning Melbourne time.
By Brad Bishop
8/7/2013 Red Beard keeps growing back in strength
Smart galloper Red Beard (NZ) (Zenno Rob Roy)
confirmed his recent revival with an impressive
winning display in the $125,000 Open race over 1400m
A progressive sort whose form went on the wane after
running last in the Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) last
year, he suddenly got a new spark for racing since moving to
trainer Shane Baertschiger last April.
After running a first-up fourth to Masthead over a trip not
made to suit on Singapore Airlines International Cup night on
May 19, Red Beard did not take long to frank that rejuvenated
form with a win as the $14 favourite in a Kranji Stakes.
Again ridden by Corey Brown in Sunday's event, the
five-year-old son of Zenno Rob Roy started as the top elect,
but was this time more overwhelmingly backed down to the
short odds of $8 in the small six-horse field, and duly lived up
to the tag.
Baertschiger said he went into the race with a very flexible
plan given the small size of the field.
"With the small field, we knew it would be very tactical.
I wasn't sure who would lead, but if nobody was keen, we
would have been happy to lead," said Baertschiger.
"But as it turned out, we were quite happy to sit on the
leader Rapido Star. I would have probably preferred to sit a
bit more quiet at the back as is his normal pattern, but he was
travelling relaxed for Corey.
"He probably hit the front early, but he hit the line good
and won a nice race.
"I haven't picked out any specific race. I'll just take it as
they come, more so when it will be all Polytrack races in
August. I'll probably wait for September to bring him back."
Owned by the Auric Stable, Red Beard has now amassed
stakes money in excess of $420,000 from his record of eight
wins and two placings from 16 runs. Prior to his two wins
under Baertschiger, his six previous wins were recorded when
he was under the care of trainer Bruce Marsh.
Red Beard scores his eighth career win in the hands of Corey Brown
8/7/2013 Got Luck does it tougher this time
Got Luck makes it two from two at Kranji
It was a lot tougher second time around but Got Luck
(NZ) (Danroad) recorded back-to-back victories when
successful in the $55,000 Class 4 Div. 1 Stakes over 1000m
on the Polytrack at Kranji on Sunday.
Ridden by Oscar Chavez, Got Luck scored by a length
from Smart Samurai (Haradasun) with Volkov (Bletchley Park)
a length-and-three-quarters back in third place.
Got Luck had made a huge impression with his debut
victory on June 16 when successful in an 1100m Initiation
Stakes when he was throttled down to win by three lengths
after leading throughout.
Trainer Alvin Tan said he felt there was extra pressure
leading into Sunday's race as the contest was a tougher test
than his debut victory.
"He was eased down in his last 200m last time but he had
to do it a lot tougher today," said Tan.
"There was extra pressure today. This was certainly a
tougher race than what he raced in last time and I said to the
owners before the race that I thought he was well up to it.
"I think in time that this horse is capable of winning
a Group race. I think he's a similar sort of horse as Perfect
Charger (NZ) (One Cool Cat) but still needs to learn how to
"I will keep him over the shorter distances at the moment
as he is very fast and can sprint, but he's also still green as he
Purchased out of New Zealand as a trial winner, Tan said
he had trouble selling Got Luck when he arrived in Singapore.
"It took me about a month to sell him," said Tan. "Luckily
for the owner he has won his two starts and hopefully there
are more to come."
A New Zealand-bred three-year-old by Danroad from
Malika, Got Luck has won around $65,000 for connections– Eight Eight One Stable.
8/7/2013 Perfect Plan victorious at second outing
Perfect Plan (NZ) (Captain Rio) made light of his wide
draw, greenness and a history of shin soreness to score
his maiden win at his second start on Sunday.
Well ridden by jockey Corey Brown, the New Zealand-bred
gelding by Captain Rio jumped smartly from his outermost
alley in the 10-horse field of the $65,000 Initiation race over
1100m on Polytrack before taking a sit outside Gangnam
Style (NZ) (Rusty Spur) with the rest of the field fairly well
Though still very gangly in his action, Perfect Plan kept up
a solid gallop before hitting the front upon straightening up,
but started to drift out wide under pressure. Better-fancied
stablemate Dr Octopus (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) looked like he
could capitalise on that waywardness as he ran on strongly
through the wide-open passage on the inside, but Perfect
Plan had saved enough petrol in the reserve tank to hold on
by one length.
Winning trainer Mark Walker was certainly encouraged by
the way the Warplan Racing (who also races his top juvenile
War Affair) owned gelding has opened his account after being
beset by his leg issues.
"He's been shin-sore a few times and that's why we've just
been hanging out a bit with him," said the Kiwi handler.
"He's still green but he certainly has got some potential.
He still needs more time as he's a big strong sort of a horse,
which can be a problem with his shin soreness.
"He was drawn on the outside and still did a bit wrong, but
he's got potential and won well in the end."
Brown agreed that Perfect Plan has plenty of upside going
"I was told he was heavy on his shins. The more I tried
to steer him in a straight line, the more he rolled out," said
"In the home straight, he just kept drifting out wide. My
arms were dead, I couldn't keep him straight anymore.
"But he's got lots of upside to him. He's only lightly-raced
and once he puts it together, he'll be a much better horse."
Prior to his maiden success, Perfect Plan had only one start
under the belt, in a 1000m Initiation race last April when he
ran fifth to Smart Samurai.
Perfect Plan is out wide but home for his maiden victory
7/7/2013 Nandowra slams jockey, blows start - but still gets stakes win
After a length of the home straight battle, Nandowra (nearest camera) gets the better of fellow Kiwi-bred Ready To Strike in Singapore's Yew
Tee Classic Stakes on Friday night.
Consistent galloper Nandowra (NZ) (Savabeel)
overcame a less than perfect start to go on and score
a narrow win in Friday night's S$150,000 Sgp-Group
Three Yew Tee Classic Stakes at Singapore's Kranji racetrack
to give trainer Michael Freedman something to cheer about
following the untimely loss to injury of his stable star Super
Easy this week.
But from the way the race got underway, it looked as if
Freedman would have to wait for another occasion to get his
yard back on track.
A very honest sort with a solid record of eight wins
from 27 runs, second favourite Nandowra seemed to have
blown his chances when he shanghaied out of the gates,
unbalancing his rider Manoel Nunes for a number of strides.
Fortunately, Nunes quickly regained control to sit outside the
Laurie Laxon-trained, Alan Munro-ridden favourite Ready To
Strike (NZ) (Colombia), who had used the inside gate to take
the early lead in the 1800 metre event.
The pair remained in that order till the top of the straight
where both Munro and Nunes gave their mounts their heads.
With both horses well renowned for their tough-as-nails
tenacity, they unsurprisingly did not give each other an
inch inside the final furlong as they waged a titanic battle,
Nandowra eventually finding more to earn the verdict by a
Freedman described Nandowra as a bulldog who never
shirks a fight, and said he was glad he had secured another
feature race after landing the Polytrack Mile Championship
in March, especially at a time when the stable needed it the
"The stable was dejected after losing our number one
horse last Sunday, but this win will be a nice tonic," said
"The thing about this horse is he never wins by big
margins and he's done it again. He always waits for the other
horses and seems to like getting down to a bit of a scrap.
"He's very competitive in this type of race. I'll probably
give him a freshen and look for a similar weight-for-age race
over 1600 or 1800 metres later in the year."
Nunes thought he was in deep trouble when his shoulder
was slammed against the barrier gate during the awkward
"For some reason, he jumped straight to the outside and
my right shoulder hit the side of the gates," he said. "I almost
lost my foot from the stirrups and I was also grabbing his neck
to not fall over.
"Alan's horse was the one to beat and I was happy to stay
close to him. In the home straight, I went with him when he
quickened and it was just a matter of wearing him down right
on the line."
Nandowra has now chalked up nine wins from 28 starts
to bring up his stakes earnings past the S$620,000 mark for
the Results Stable, better known for winning the Longines
Singapore Gold Cup with Risky Business in 2010.
Race Singapore TC Yew Tee Classic Sgp-3 1800m
Winner Nandowra (NZ) 2007
Owners Results Stable
Trainer Michael Freedman (Kranji)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Fabaz by O'Reilly
Breeder G J Chittick
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Premier
Session; V: Waikato Stud Ltd, P: Mr P Moody;
7/7/2013 Mulan home in tight finish
A fast pace and a drop in distance saw five-year-old mare Mulan (NZ) (Savabeel) back in the winner's circle in the S$75,000
Open Benchmark 74 Stakes at Kranji on Friday night, scoring a short-head victory from Savannah Dancer (NZ) (Savabeel) in a
smart 1:09.71 for the 1200 metre journey.
"She's getting a bit older now and back to the 1200 metres helps her," said winning trainer Hideyuki Takaoka. "She had a good
draw and was able to save ground on the rails. She can be very moody but tonight she was switched on and concentrated."
Jockey Alan Munro said Mulan was a determined mare who digs deep in her races and often wins in tight finishes. "She travelled
really well and finished the race off good," he said. "The fast pace tonight really suited her. She has a bit of a habit of winning
tight finishes and she proved that again tonight."
Mulan has won six of her 33 starts and with eight minor placings has edged her way close to S$300,000 in earnings.
5/7/2013 Shamexpress pleases in gallop
The Danny O'Brien-trained New Zealand-bred colt
Shamexpress (NZ) (O'Reilly) has had a work-out at
Newmarket ahead of his tilt at the Gr.1 Darley July
Cup on Saturday week.
The son of O'Reilly was ridden by regular rider Paul
Koumis, who reported that the horse had handled the
undulating course well.
"He worked terrific and I'm very pleased with him. He
handled the track really well and had no problem with
the undulations," Koumis said.
"He has come on from Royal Ascot. We missed four or five
days with him when he first came over and he ran a bit like
that in the King's Stand Stakes.
"I'm not saying he would have won but he would have
been third or fourth.
"I think the 1000 metre (five furlongs) trip takes him out of
the comfort zone and six furlongs will suit him better.
"He'll work again on Tuesday and we'll see if we can get
Richard Hughes to have a sit on him."
Champion British Jockey Richard Hughes will ride the
entire in the Group One sprinting feature.
5/7/2013 Laxon not nervous as milestone looms
Kiwi Laurie Laxon is set to crack the 1000 winner
mark in Singapore soon.
In cricketing circles trainer Laurie Laxon is in the 'nervous
For a batsman in cricket a century (100 runs) is a big
feat, but batting their way through the 90's can be a nerve
racking experience for some.
Laxon is close to achieving a remarkable milestone
himself – training 1000 winners at Kranji – a feat he didn't
think would be manageable when he kicked off training in
Singapore back in 1999.
The seven time premiership winning trainer doesn't
subscribe to the 'nervous nineties' theory, instead preferring
to focus on when his 1000th winner will be achieved.
"It will be an achievement when the 1000th winner at
Kranji is posted but I'm not really even thinking about it," said
"I'm not in the nervous nineties. I'll get that 1000th winner
at some stage. It may not be this weekend, although I've got
some nice chances, but it will happen.
"There's nothing to be nervous about. When you have
runners in a Melbourne Cup, that's when you get nervous as
that's the pinnacle for a lot of us trainers."
Laxon has been training racehorses for more than 40
years and it was when he transferred to Singapore in 1999
that his career really took off.
A carpenter by trade in New Zealand, Laxon dabbled
as an amateur rider before taking out a training license,
preparing more than 600 winners in a career that saw him
win many feature races in his native country as well as
travelling abroad to Australia and Hong Kong.
After arriving in Singapore in October 1999, Laxon trained
his first Kranji winner the following year and hasn't looked
"When I got to the 800 or 900 mark that is when I thought
1000 winners was achievable," said Laxon.
"There are so many trainers out there that have better
records than what I have winners wise, but I don't think there
would be too many with 1000 winners on the one track.
"The secret to my success is that I have a lot of good
people working for me and when I do go away the show goes
"It is a military operation our training regime. Very regular
and not erratic and we get things done. I've also had a very
good client basis as well.
"The racing here is so efficient and you don't have to
"After I won the (1988) Melbourne Cup with Empire Rose
I could have gone to Hong Kong but I declined but decided
to come here after I had a good look at the facilities that were
"I was born a country kid and grew up on a farm but I
love the city of Singapore and the lifestyle and I've got no
intentions of retiring just yet.
"This is what I love doing and I want to keep on turning
5/7/2013 Stallion career beckons for retired Super Easy
Multiple Singapore Group One winner Super Easy (NZ) (Darci
Brahma) has been retired following his impressive victory in the
Patron's Bowl on Sunday.
"He's suffered an injury to his near foreleg and while he could have
come back, his trainer Michael Freedman discussed the situation
with his owners and they all feel it's a fitting way to end a great
career," said Cambridge bloodstock agent Michael Wallace, who is
now looking to place the four-year-old at stud.
"We feel he's got plenty to offer as a stallion so we're currently
Super Easy returned to scale on Sunday with swelling in his
near foreleg, which a scan and X-ray revealed to be a tear in his
Super Easy has retired as the winner of 15 of his 23 starts from 1000-
1600 metres and was the champion three-year-old and Horse of the
Year in 2012. His earnings topped NZ$2.1 million.
1/7/2013 Super Easy reigns supreme in Patron's Bowl
Super Easy (centre) heads for victory in the Patron's Bowl on Sunday
Singapore Horse of the Year 2012 Super Easy (NZ)
(Darci Brahma) regained his mantle as one of Kranji's
best gallopers in the best possible fashion when he
rebounded from his last two defeats with a deserving win in
the $500,000 Sgp Gr. 1 Patron's Bowl (1600m) on Sunday.
Barring his resounding win in the Gr. 1 Lion City Cup
(1200m) last April, success at the highest level has eluded
the Darci Brahma four-year-old since his amazing unbeaten
run of 12 wins came to a grinding halt in last October's Gr. 1
Panasonic Kranji Mile (1600m).
In his four post-Hong Kong runs, the previous Singapore
Three-Year-Old Triple Crown winner was twice defeated in
third place by Speedy Cat (NZ) (Scaredee Cat), first-up in the
Gr. 3 Merlion Trophy (1200m) and more recently in the first
Leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge (of which the
Patron's Bowl is the second Leg), the Stewards' Cup (1400m).
In between, he went into the G. 1 KrisFlyer International
Sprint as the leading local hope, but found the overseas form too rich, running third (again) to Lucky Nine (Dubawi).
But trainer Michael Freedman and jockey Joao Moreira
never lost faith in the entire, more so when they felt the
Stewards' Cup run could have yielded better results had he
drawn a more inside gate.
He has certainly not lost his admirers either, given the way
he was punted down to start as the odds-on favourite ($9) in
the 13-horse field.
Freedman said Super Easy may have lost his a bit of gloss,
but his two victories at Gr. 1 level put things in a different
"He's won two Gr. 1 races this prep. I wished every horse in
my yard could do that," said the Australian conditioner.
"He was probably off his game in the KrisFlyer and went
a bit flat out at his last run and to line up at the top level and
win just goes to show what a great horse he is.
"I'll see how he pulls up before deciding if we press on
to the Derby. Whether he can stay or not I'm not sure, but I
can tell you that whenever good horses are tested over more
ground, they can beat the other horses on class sometimes."
The $1.15 million Gr. 1 Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m)
is the last Leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge and
will be run in two weeks' time on July 14. Super Easy has
never raced beyond 1600m in 20 starts that have now seen
him collect 14 wins and four placings for prizemoney that has
edged past the $2.1 million mark.
1/7/2013 First Tothelign makes it three from three
First Tothelign makes it
three in a row at Kranji
Popular grey galloper First Tothelign (NZ) (Align)
stretched his unbeaten record to three from three,
but not without giving his connections and legion of
backers some heart flutters in the home straight on Sunday at
The Shane Baertschiger-trained gelding took a sit in third
in the $55,000 Dreyfuss 2004 Stakes Open Benchmark 67
(1200m) instead of dictating terms as he did at his first two
all-the-way successes, but the end-result was as his name
suggests, still first past the line, but it did look iffy at the 300m
Ridden by jockey John Powell, who was replaced by Corey
Brown at the second start when he was stood down after
wasting too hard to meet the allotted 54kgs, First Tothelign,
who was handicapped at 59kgs this time, looked a moral to
put paid to his rivals when he was set alight at the top of the
straight, especially as Jet Pace (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) who
had set a frantic pace was already showing the white flag.
But despite Powell's urgings, the grey three-year-old by
Align was not drawing clear as expected. If anything, Faretti
(Tale Of The Cat) was looming large one length behind, but
the big engine roared into full throttle in the end to score
rather comfortably by three parts of a length from the muchimproved
Baertschiger said the lugging bit he has applied to the MA
Racing Stable-owned gelding seems to have done the trick.
"He's always loafed around in the straight before. I think
the lugging bit helped him focus a lot better today," said
"We took a sit today as he had 59kgs on his back and
we knew Jet Ace would be quicker. He still won by a length,
which is all good.
"Obviously halfway in the straight, I got a bit worried, but
he ran on in the end. He's looking for 1400m and that's where
he is heading soon."
With that latest success, First Tothelign, who cost
NZ$160,000, has already amassed earnings just a tick below
$100,000 for his connections.
29/6/2013 Cazals' long-term Spring plan
California Memory will not contest this year's Cox Plate. Image: HKJC
Hong Kong trainer Tony Cruz eyeing 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with gifted stayer
Hong Kong-based trainer Tony Cruz is thinking long term about the 2014 Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) with his exciting staying prospect Willie Cazals.
A champion trainer and, in his time, a champion jockey in the Asian racing hub, Cruz has had in his care the likes of Silent Witness – who won all of his first 17 starts and was twice Hong Kong Horse of the Year – and Group 1 Hong Kong Mile winner Lucky Owners.
Willie Cazals, by the American sire Aussie Rules out of the Irish mare Secrete Marina, began his racing career in Italy and achieved Listed race success twice in his first three starts.
The now five-year-old gelding defeated Sneak A Peek, currently trained by Peter Moody, by five lengths in the Listed Premio Merano (2000m) in 2011 before moving to Cruz's yard.
“He had a core lesion injury last year and he has come back well but we are going to stick to the Hong Kong program and look to the Melbourne Cup in 2014,” said Cruz who currently sits second in the Hong Kong trainers premiership with 62 winners.
Having had only seven career starts to date, Cruz is keen for Willie Cazals to conquer the local scene before heading abroad.
“First he needs to prove himself in Hong Kong. Our local program is very important and he can win some very good prize money”, Cruz said of the gelding who finished a last start second to stablemate California Memory in the Group 1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin.
“If he is successful (in Hong Kong in the 2013/14 season) then he will come, that’s for sure.”
Four-time Group 1 winner California Memory was eligible for a full subsidy of travel expenses to Melbourne for the Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) in October, courtesy of the Moonee Valley Racing Club, but Cruz has decided not to accept the lucrative invitation.
“California Memory will stick to the Hong Kong races as he is not a sound horse”, Cruz explained of the constant foot issues that have delivered consistent training challenges.
“Last year we tried running him in Singapore and Dubai but the horse pulled up sore so it is too risky to travel with him.”
As for shooting for a first and successful attempt at Australian feature racing, hopefully it all falls into place for Tony Cruz in 2014.
If that does happen, he believes that “Willie Cazals will probably be the one”.
By Danny Matthews
29/6/2013 Athos on Target for second Melbourne Cup Bid
The Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos, currently 9/1 second-favourite in the bet365 racing betting list for November’s Melbourne Cup at Flemington, remains on course for the ‘race that stops a nation’, despite failing to hit the frame recently when only fifth in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The talented stayer was strongly fancied to win by those who chose to watch racing online, and the mile-and-a-half contest at Royal Ascot proved particularly dramatic, race leader, Ektihaam, slipping up at halfway when leading and seemingly travelling powerfully.
The eventual Lady Cecil-trained winner, Thomas Chippendale, collapsed and died just a couple of strides after crossing the winning line in a scene that understandably reduced his connections and many racing fans to tears.
In amongst all the drama of the contest, Mount Athos – nine-length winner of the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester on his previous start - ran a fine trial for a second assault on the Melbourne Cup, coming off worst in a barging match two furlongs from home that knocked him to the rear of the field.
He recovered his composure to finish with a flourish into fifth, suggesting that his winning turn might not be at all far away.
Cumani has had a repeat trip to Australia in mind for the six-year-old since his fine run in last year’s big race, where he also finished with plenty of purpose into fifth place behind Green Moon.
Rather like his Royal Ascot run, the Dr Marwan Koukash-owned stayer failed to get the run of the race at Flemington and hopes are high that the Cumani team might at last manage to get their hands on the coveted prize, having gone so close on a number of occasions in recent years in the world’s richest two-mile contest.
28/6/2013 Chase Me back in action tonight
Singapore Derby winner Chase Me will return from injury at Kranji tonight
Singapore Derby winner Chase Me (NZ) (Storm
Creek) will make his long awaited return at Kranji
The Storm Creek gelding has not raced since landing
the Sgp2 Chairman's Trophy on July 29 last year. He was
then sidelined with a leg injury and given plenty of time to
He has since been unplaced in two trials this time in
and trainer Desmond Koh believes he is ready to make a
"Nothing beats a real race to put the fitness back on
a horse," he said. "I could have trialled him more, but I
thought I might as well just race him to knock him back
in shape. All he needs is the mileage and I think he's fit
enough to have his first start."
Chase Me is expected to be out sprinted in Friday's
1200m race against proven speedsters Makkura (NZ)
(Falkirk) Goal Keeper (Untouchable) and Masthead (Written
Tycoon), with middle distances his forte.
Koh has not fashioned any specific campaign for Chase
Me, preferring to just take each race as it comes, but he
is excited about the return to racing of the horse who
catapulted him to his biggest win of his ten-year training
In order to make Chase Me's first-up run as untaxing
as possible, Koh has bypassed his Derby and Chairman's
Trophy-winning partner Joao Moreira in favour of his twokilo
claimer Tengku Rehaizat just to shave some weight off
the top impost of 59.5kg.
Singapore Turf Club
O'Shea learns that fresh is best after Sea Siren fails to fire
Cups contender: Dandino, right, was brave in defeat. Photo: Getty Images
You can't burn the candle at both ends - unless, perhaps, you have a superhorse. And good as she might be, John O'Shea's gallant group 1-winning mare Sea Siren is not a superhorse.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock finished eighth in a field of 18 in the group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday, beaten about 6.2 lengths by all-the-way winner Lethal Force, and in retrospect O'Shea ruminated that calling her to perform at the highest level in Sydney, then Brisbane, then on the other side of the world in the space of a couple of months might have been too big an ask.
''[Winning at Royal Ascot) is a very doable thing if you get a horse at the right stage of its preparation,'' O'Shea said after his mare had unsaddled alongside the beaten brigade. ''Obviously the horse has done well here. We have been very happy with her. She raced probably a little below her best.''
He felt that ground conditions in Brisbane, particularly the heavy track at Eagle Farm, had taken its toll. But in future, as in the past, the best hope for success at Royal Ascot lay in preserving a horse for the trip and probably bypassing most of the autumn riches on offer in Australia.
''I think, had she got a dry track in the BTC Cup she probably wouldn't have gone to the [Doomben] 10,000,'' O'Shea said. ''She had a very hard run in the 10,000 [when she was runner-up to Epaulette] and she had to come back to Sydney then go to Melbourne.
''That's something else we need to look at, why we need to fly out of Melbourne when we have got an airport in Sydney. She's had a very hard run in Brisbane, another 24 hours on the float and then another plane over here, all that sort of stuff going forward is something we need to assess.
''If you look at the Australian horses that perform here, that's what they have done. Maybe Sydney, but definitely not Brisbane … I think they have to have fresh legs and come here on an upward spiral.''
Sea Siren ran in the colours of the all powerful Coolmore group, which had bought her before the race, and will transfer to Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien for the rest of the European summer campaign. She could be aimed at the July Cup at Newmarket next month.
While the O'Shea camp might have been a bit despondent about the result, another group of Australians were delighted with the showing of their Caulfield and Melbourne Cup candidate.
The Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock syndicate's Dandino showed he was right on course for a tilt at Australia's most famous races later this year with a sterling second in the group 2 Hardwicke Stakes. Ridden by Frankie Dettori for Newmarket-based Italian trainer Marco Botti, Dandino was beaten a length by Thomas Chippendale, which collapsed and died shortly after the winning post.
It was an eventful race as the favourite, Ektihaam, slipped and fell on the greasy surface, forcing his rider, Paul Hanagan, to give up the rest of his rides for the day.
Darren Dance, the boss of ATB, was confident that the son of Dansili would be right in whatever he contested in Melbourne. ''That was a terrific run, he is right on course, we are happy with that,'' Dance said.
Dandino will be on the first shipment of European horses to arrive in Victoria for the carnival.
24/6/2013 Pockets digs deep to get the money
Deep Pockets (outer) scores in a desperate finish
Trainer Cliff Brown could not conceal his delight when
one of his stable stalwarts, Deep Pockets (NZ) (Lucky
Owners), returned to winning ways on Sunday.
Lined up in the $125,000 Open race over 1800m, Deep
Pockets, who last ran 10th to Military Attack in the Group
1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) on May 19,
delivered a heart-stopping duel with another beaten SIA Cup
runner, Ready To Strike (NZ) (Colombia), before outslugging
the gallant Laurie Laxon-trained gelding by a short head.
Ready To Strike, who finished 11th but seven lengths
behind Deep Pockets in the International showpiece, found
a second wind as he customarily does under the kosh, after
being headed by Deep Pockets at the 300m mark, but jockey
Alan Munro, threw his all at Deep Pockets, who responded
gamely to cling on for dear life.
Deep Pockets has now brought his record to six wins
and eight placings from 32 starts for prizemoney close to
"Obviously the SIA Cup was a different class for him, but
he's come through well from that race," said Brown.
"It's been a while since his last win (June 6, 2012), but that
was really good. He fully deserved to win today as he's always
run well even when he didn't win.
"Last year, he ran second in the Derby and just before the
SIA Cup, he ran good (fourth) in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup
"All being well, I will probably set him for the Chairman's
The Group 2 weight-for-age race over 1800m will be run
on July 28, and was captured last year by Chase Me (NZ)
(Storm Creek) backing up two weeks after his Emirates
Singapore Derby win.
22/6/2013 Spring hopefuls head to Hardwicke
Mount Athos is again on a path to Melbourne
Mount Athos and Victorian-owned Dandino among a host of spring hopefuls stepping out in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot
Several live Emirates Melbourne Cup contenders grace the final day of Royal Ascot with both Mount Athos and Dandino lining up in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes over 2400 metres on Saturday.
The pair represent Newmarket's two Italian-born trainers, Luca Cumani and Marco Botti, both of whom have made a strong impression at the Spring Racing Carnival before.
Botti, who prepared Jakkalberry for an excellent third to Green Moon last November, now trains three horses for Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock with the Cups in mind again.
Dandino has very recently been joined at the purpose-built Prestige Place stable by ex Mick Kent galloper Tac De Boistron but only the Hardwicke runner is in strong work at present.
The six-year-old is with his fourth trainer now, having won a handicap over the same distance for Lincolnshire-based James Given at the 2010 Royal meeting before failing to make it as a jumper with Nicky Henderson.
James Fanshawe oversaw Dandino last year, where his best effort was second to former Botti inmate Joshua Tree in the Grade 1 Canadian International, and he was beaten a quarter of a length by the re-opposing Universal on his first start for ATB in last month's Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes (2400m).
"I think he has a very good chance," said Botti. "Good to firm ground is what he wants, so hopefully it will be right for him here, and the mile and a half is his best trip."
Cumani gave the impression Mount Athos was his best ever chance for that elusive Cup success last year but he was too far behind to do himself justice and motored through the pack in the last 200m for fifth.
Owner Dr Marwan Koukash is equally desperate to make it back to Flemington and after nine-length victory in a weak renewal of the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester (2650m), the pair will be picking and choosing their way through the British season.
Cumani said: "It was only an exercise canter at Chester, I don't think he beat a lot there but it was more the way he did it that we were pleased with. He looks to have a solid chance."
Aiken, who was fourth to Sea moon 12 months ago and rounded off his season by finishing runner-up on British Champions Day, could again attract the interest of Racing Victoria's international recruiter Leigh Jordon, while Godolphin's Songcraft looked an improved individual in a 2800-metre Listed race at York.
None of the nine runners can be overlooked for this event, which is off at 0.05am Sunday, as Lady Cecil's pair Thomas Chippendale and Noble Mission, as well as Roger Varian's Ektihaam all have good course form.
And Sir Michael Stoute, a seven-time winner of the race already, supplemented Sir John Hawkwood for £40,000 after two strong handicap wins in May.
Programmed as the second race onm the final day of the Royal Carnival, the Hardwicke Stakes is set to jump at 12:05am AET on Sunday morning.
Simenon (outside) is narrowly defeated by Estimate in the Ascot Gold Cup
Irish trainer Willie Mullins targeting "the best race in the world" with brave Ascot Gold Cup runner-up
Simenon booked his ticket to the 2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup with a gutsy effort behind The Queen’s Estimate in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot overnight.
Trainer Willie Mullins travelled Holy Orders to Flemington 10 years ago on a fruitless mission, but the multiple champion Irish National Hunt trainer is keen to return to Australia and capture one of the world’s most prestigious flat races.
Simenon had been a decent horse in his younger days for Andrew Balding but the six-year-old has blossomed in Mullins’ County Carlow base in Ireland and scored twice at the Royal meeting last year when winning the Ascot Stakes and the Queen Alexandra.
Johnny Murtagh’s mount advertised his Gold Cup credentials when flashing home from an unfavourable draw in the Chester Cup last month and put in the effort of his life in the 4000-metre feature on day three of the meeting.
Simenon was only beaten a neck by Estimate, and Mullins said: “He ran so well and I wasn't disappointed to be second – maybe for the first time in my life.
“Our horse ran well above his form – a career best for him I am sure. It was the perfect race to be in and it is special to be involved in a win for The Queen. This is a great day for racing.
“The plan this year had been to take him to the Melbourne Cup and I always said that if I had a horse good enough to run there then I would love to go back.
“We had a runner there a few years ago but he had a few of his own ideas about how he should train!
“This horse loves these staying races and I think the Melbourne Cup would suit him really well.
“I think the Melbourne Cup is the best race in the world, and it is the world’s best party, so that is where we will be heading.
“The plan is to keep the horse sound between now and then, and if we do go then I would like to get him out there early and give him a prep run somewhere beforehand.”
Mullins has dominated Irish jump racing in recent years and his Midas touch has extended across to the UK and the Cheltenham Festival with Hurricane Fly this year winning a second Champion Hurdle, Quevega a fifth Mares’ Hurdle and Sir Des Champs taking second in the Gold Cup.
But anyone doubting Mullins’ ability to travel horses need look no further than April’s Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan when his Blackstairmountain claimed a famous success under jockey Ruby Walsh.
The $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be run at Flemington on 5 November.
The Mullins-trained Holy Orders finished 17th in 2003 Melbourne Cup behind Makybe Diva.
21/6/2013 July Cup likely for Shamexpress
New Zealand-bred sprinter Shamexpress (NZ)
(O'Reilly) failed to fire at Royal Ascot with veteran Sole
Power (Kyllachy) claiming the Gr.1 King's Stand Stakes
on the opening day of the Royal meeting.
The Danny O'Brien-trained colt could only finish
ninth in the 1000-metre Royal Ascot dash, four and
a-quarter lengths astern of the Irish-trained winner
Sole Power and South African raider Shea Shea
"He was only average today," said the Flemington
trainer. "He has not been beaten out of sight - three or
four lengths. He was probably a bit soft in the last 100
"He chased Shea Shea, but was just average in the
last furlong. We will probably stay, we are here now
and the horse is in good order, and try him over six
furlongs in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket."
21/6/2013 Kazeem Al class at Ascot
Al Kazeem (outside) gets the better of Mukhadram
Cox Plate all but ruled out for Al Kazeem after impressive Prince of Wales's Stakes win over fellow invitees
Al Kazeem has the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as his end-of-term objective after kick-starting a remarkable treble for jockey James Doyle in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2000m) on day two of Royal Ascot.
Moonee Valley Racing Club have extended an invite to Roger Charlton’s vastly improving five-year-old for the Sportingbet Cox Plate but the trainer is favouring a crack at Europe’s premier middle-distance (2400 metres) championship on the first Sunday of October.
Having been sidelined with injury following his impressive successful comeback last season, Al Kazeem has now won all three of his starts this campaign.
After a pipe-opener in a Group 3 event at Sandown, he lowered the colours of last year’s two-time Derby winner Camelot for a maiden Group 1 success in Ireland’s Tattersalls Gold Cup and again had that rival behind when winning the 2000-metre feature.
This Group 1 win was a first visit to the Royal Ascot winner’s enclosure for Doyle and he wasted no time adding to it by capturing the next two races aboard Belgian Bill and Rizeena.
Charlton said: “I thought for a minute we weren't going to get there, but James seemed confident.
“We had to be patient with him last season and he has progressed further than I ever thought he would.
“There are a lot of lovely races and without discussing with the owners I don't know where next.
“Like most people I'd love to have a runner in the Arc and if we go there maybe the King George would be next.
“I do think the Arc is the best race and would love to win it.
“I am very privileged to be invited to the Cox Plate. It is a great invite but it is a big ask for the horse and I am not Luca Cumani with his record at travelling horses. As I say, it is an honour to be asked, but I don’t think we will be going.”
Al Kazeem just reeled in the front-running Mukhadram to post victory by a neck, with the pair pulling over three lengths clear of the third-placed The Fugue.
John Gosden’s filly was making her seasonal debut in the colours of owner and musical impresario Andrew Lloyd-Webber and was one of five runners in the field extended an invite to the Cox Plate on October 26.
Gosden said: “I have not discussed with her owners where she will run for the rest of the season – we wanted to get today out of the way first and take it from there.”
Camelot, another Cox Plate invitee, took fourth place with 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux failing to display the requisite dash over a trip short of his best and finishing a well-beaten ninth of the 11 runners.
His trainer Ed Dunlop commented: “It was perhaps one run too many after his world tour. He’ll have a break now but we don’t have any further plans at this stage.”
Shamexpress looked well prior to the race but could only manage ninth place
Aussie raider Shamexpress failed to fire at Royal Ascot with veteran Sole Power claiming the King's Stand Stakes
It was not to be for Australian hopes of another victory in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes as Danny O'Brien's Shamexpress could only finish ninth in the 1000-metre Royal Ascot dash overnight.
With the field spread all over the track, Craig Newitt's mount made good headway from the rear but was four and a quarter lengths behind the Irish-trained winner Sole Power.
Last seen landing the Lexus Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March, O'Brien is keen to return the four-year-old to 1200 metres for a rematch with Sole Power in next month's Darley July Cup – the seventh leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.
"He was only average today," said the Flemington trainer.
"He has not been beaten out of sight - three or four lengths. He was probably a bit soft in the last 100 (metres).
"He chased Shea Shea, but was just average in the last furlong. We will probably stay - we are here now and the horse is in good order - and try him over six furlongs in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket."
South African ace Shea Shea went off favourite and put in a bold show on the far side of the Royal Ascot straight, but he was cut down late on the stands rail and defeated a neck by Sole Power, who has travelled the world with trainer Eddie Lynam.
A 100-1 winner of the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York in 2010, Sole Power had finished behind Shea Shea twice at the Dubai Carnival, including in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.
It was the third straight King’s Stand appearance for 32-start veteran Sole Power who improved off eighth (2011) and third (2012) placings to claim a thrilling win.
Lynam said: "I'm very proud of him. I thought if we could beat Shea Shea, he was going to win, but I didn't think he could beat Shea Shea.
"He'll go on now for the July Cup. He's a year older so I think he'd have a better chance of staying the extra distance.
"Then he'll go for the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, then the Prix de l'Abbaye and on to the Hong Kong Sprint. He might have a couple of weeks off after that!"
Lynam was asked if he could possibly even run Sole Power in the $1 million Patinack Farm Classic at the Spring Racing Carnival, but he smiled, "We know what we can do, and we know what we can't. I know how good those Australian sprinters are, so we won't go there."
With his victory last night, Sole Power became eligible for a $600,000 bonus if successful in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington this November.
Shea Shea's jockey Christophe Soumillon felt his mount could have done with more company, but trainer Mike De Kock did not rule out a possible return on Saturday for another cosmopolitan sprint, the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m).
"We'll see how he pulls out in the morning and may take our place on Saturday, but the door's open," he said.
Shamexpress impressed during a Newmarket gallop late last week
South African star Shea Shea poses biggest challenge to Shamexpress' Kings' Stand Stakes aspirations
Australian sprinters have set the benchmark when it comes to the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes and Danny O’Brien is aiming to continue the trend set by Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti and Scenic Blast when Shamexpress goes to post at Royal Ascot in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The Newmarket Handicap winner faces 18 rivals in the 1000-metre dash due off at five minutes past midnight and bids to become the fifth Australian winner in the last 11 years.
And that tally could have risen even higher had O’Brien’s Star Witness not found Prohibit half-a-length too strong when beaten into second two years ago.
O’Brien said of this year’s challenger: “We had a barrier trial at Flemington and the horse who finished second, Linton, went on to win the Stradbroke Handicap so Shamexpress's form leaving Australia was very good.
“He took the trip really well which is obviously the big thing. It is a long time travelling but he seemed to handle it.
"We were close enough when running second with Star Witness to know that we had got most of the preparation right. We are sticking to a similar formula and hoping we can go one better.
“Star Witness was the champion two-year-old and three-year-old - a very precocious horse. This guy is getting there a bit later in his career but is equal to him now if not better.
"I think Shamexpress is coming here at the right time of his career - he is nowhere near as seasoned as some of the Australian horses who have run at Royal Ascot such as Takeover Target and Black Caviar because he is only a three-year-old.
"He's a horse in a really good space and I think he is still improving - on an upward spiral. I expect him to show that on Tuesday and his next few runs should be the best of his career.”
Star Witness had finished second in the $1m Patinack Farm Classic in the spring before his UK adventure and VRC have put up a $A600,000 bonus for any Global Sprint Challenge international leg winner who can supplement their win with success in that race at Flemington in Melbourne Cup week.
Favourite for the King’s Stand is Mike de Kock’s Shea Shea – a South African Grade One winner who scored twice in Dubai this year with the second leg of his double his Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) success, achieved in a course-record time.
De Kock said: "I always knew he was good but I think his performance on World Cup night inDubaiwas special. He stepped up again there.
"There is the weight and the pressure of a nation on him. We will be doing our best and he will be doing his best - if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.
"I have a few Royal Ascot runners and this is one meeting any trainer would like to have a winner at.”
Sole Power, third in the race last year and second to Shea Shea in the Al Quoz trial, tries his luck again in the race for Irish trainer Edward Lynam, who said: “If Shea Shea brings his Dubai form to Ascot it won’t matter what the rest of us do.
“The first time we met him at Meydan he broke the track record, then he went and smashed it the second time. We actually broke the old track record both times but one time we were only fourth.
“If he turns up like that at Ascot I can’t see him getting beat but we’ll give it a go, our horse is in good form.”
Shamexpress will begin from barrier three and Shea Shea from gate five, with 2011 hero Prohibit (2) and Sole Power (14) also among key draws in the $570,000 feature.
Click here for the full field, form and draws for the Kings’ Stand Stakes.
By Martin Kelly
Monday 17 June 2013 Ascot Action on Sky Racing
Sky Racing is bringing Royal Ascot action to Australian viewers first, with the most
comprehensive coverage of the five day carnival.
On the back of Black Caviar's success at Royal Ascot in 2012, Australian-trained
thoroughbreds will again be seeking Royal Ascot glory with Shamexpress contesting
the King's Stand Stakes on Day 1 and Sea Siren to run in the Diamond Jubilee on
Day 5. Viewers will also be keen to watch the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes on Day 1
with interest around majority Australian-owned and hot favourite, Animal Kingdom.
Coverage kicks off on Sky Racing World (Channel 521 on FOXTEL) at 8pm each
night of the carnival with leading UK racing broadcaster and Sky's sister station
AtTheRaces providing an extensive preview program. International racing experts
Shane Anderson and Andrew Le Jeune will front the studio coverage.
Sky Racing viewers can expect to have access to the most extensive coverage of the
famous carnival. Courtesy of AtTheRaces the Sky Racing World programing will also
feature a comprehensive review of overnight Royal Ascot races at 8.30am on
Wednesday – Friday, 7.30am on Saturday and 10am on Sunday.
Live racing coverage will commence at 10.30pm each evening on Sky Racing World
and Sky Racing 2 will join at 11.30pm. UK form expert, Martin Kelly will be trackside
bringing viewers mounting yard information and pre and post-race interviews.
Sky Racing's Chief Operating Officer, Brendan Parnell said Australia's interest in the
Royal Ascot Carnival is growing year on year and is pleased to bring viewers
"The Australian racing industry continues to take great interest in one of the world's
great racing carnivals and Sky Racing viewers will be able to enjoy the entire carnival
live on Sky Racing World," Mr Parnell said.
Sky Racing World programs Off the Rails, Racing Retro and Bred to Win will also
feature the Royal Ascot Carnival this week.
Royal Ascot Carnival – Sky Racing Coverage Overview and Program Guide
**All times AEST**
Andrew Le Jeune and international form expert, Shane Anderson, bring you all the action from
Day 1 – Day 5 of Royal Ascot on Sky Racing World. UK form expert, Martin Kelly, will be
trackside to provide mounting yard information and pre and post-race interviews.
DAY 1 – Tuesday 18th June
20:00 – 21:00 Sky Racing World – At The Races - Royal Ascot Day 1 Preview
22:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing World – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 1
23:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing 1 – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 1
DAY 2 – Wednesday 19th June
Royal Ascot Day 1 Review
08:30 – 09:00 Sky Racing World – At The Races – Royal Ascot Review Day 1
20:00 – 21:00 Sky Racing World – At The Races - Royal Ascot Day 2 Preview
22:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing World – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 2
23:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing 2 – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 2
DAY 3 – Thursday 20th June
Royal Ascot Day 2 Review
08:30 – 09:00 Sky Racing World – At The Races – Royal Ascot Review Day 2
20:30 – 21:30 Sky Racing World – At The Races - Royal Ascot Day 3 Preview
22:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing World – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 3
23:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing 2 – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 3
DAY 4 – Friday 21st June
Royal Ascot Day 3 Review
08:30 – 09:00 Sky Racing World – At The Races – Royal Ascot Review Day 3
20:00 – 21:00 Sky Racing World – At The Races - Royal Ascot Day 4 Preview
22:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing World – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 4
23:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing 2 – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 4
DAY 5 – Saturday 22nd June
Royal Ascot Day 4 Review
07:30 – 08:00 Sky Racing World – At The Races – Royal Ascot Review Day 4
20:00 – 21:00 Sky Racing World – At The Races - Royal Ascot Day 5 Preview
22:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing World – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 5
23:30 – 3:00 Sky Racing 2 – Royal Ascot Coverage Day 5
Sunday 23rd June
Royal Ascot Day 5 Review
10:00 – 10:30 Sky Racing World – At The Races – Royal Ascot Review Day 5
Cox Plate a chance for Animal Kingdom
- Date June 17, 2013
Caryl Williamson and Chris Roots
Joel Rosario on Animal Kingdom. Photo: AFP
John Messara, the Racing NSW chairman and Arrowfield Stud boss, says it will be tempting to defer superstar Animal Kingdom's stud career if he wins at Royal Ascot this week - and he has even put the Cox Plate on the agenda.
The Dubai World Cup winner is odds-on to win the Queen Anne Stakes - the first race of the Royal meeting on Tuesday.
Messara bought a controlling share in Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, before his World Cup victory in March, with the intention of standing him at his Arrowfield Stud in NSW in the spring.
Sheikh Mohammed bought into the five-year-old after the World Cup - with Messara now holding 50 per cent, the sheikh's Darley 29 per cent and Team Valor 21 per cent.
''At this stage of the game we've declared he will be retired after the race,'' Messara told Sydney's Sky Sports Radio. ''I know there's going to be a lot of pressure on [that happening] if he wins.
''We'll have to sit down and think about it after the race, but we've just got to win it first.
''But if he wins he'll probably be the highest rated horse in the world and there are a lot of nice races … the Breeders' Cup, the Coral Eclipse here in England and even perhaps the Cox Plate.
''But we have already set a service fee for him and the present intention is to retire him.''
Animal Kingdom's announced service fee is $38,500 and he will serve the northern hemisphere season at Sheikh Mohammed's Jonabell Farm in Kentucky.
Meanwhile, the Royal Ascot dreams of Flemington trainer Danny O'Brien remain unfulfilled. He took Star Witness to England two years ago when he narrowly lost the King's Stand Stakes.
O'Brien returns for another crack at the 1000-metre sprint with Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress.
"We have planned to have Shamexpress very fit when he got here and have just the one gallop, and it was very good,'' he said.
"The preparation has gone without any problems, so I would expect him to run a very good race on Tuesday.'' Shamexpress is likely to stay on in England for the July Cup next month.
The final Australian contender for Ascot is Sea Siren, recently purchased by Coolmore and trained by John O'Shea. She will run in Saturday's Diamond Jubilee, which Black Caviar won last year.
"To have a good sprinter you want to go over there and have a go at this meeting, but you need everything to go [right],'' O'Shea said. ''I think any trainer anywhere in the world would say to win at Royal Ascot would be a career highlight."
17/6/2013 Sterling quality clear to see in Asia
The quality of Inglis graduates Sterling City and Good Sight was clear to see on Sunday as the pair saluted in Hong Kong and Malaysia’s Group level events respectively.
Good Sight ($60,000 2008 Easter II, 6g Lonhro-Belle Famille) took out the weekend’s feature event at the Selangor Turf Club, the RM500,000 Malaysian Group 1 Piala Emas Sultan Selangor over 2000m.
The son of Lonhro provided Malaysia’s favourite jockey Noel ‘King’ Callow his third straight victory in the prestigious event, including last year’s running aboard Inglis graduate Speed Baby.
Speed Baby went on to be crowned Malaysia’s Horse of the Year, an accolade that Good Sight is aiming to match in 2013.
Replay of Good Sight’s victory in the Piala Emas Sultan Selangor can be viewed HERE
Good Sight was a $60,000 purchase by CP Beh from the draft of Woodlands Stud in Session II of the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. He has won over RM1,000,000 under the Golden Knight stable in Malaysia.
Sterling City ($200,000 2010 Easter, 4g Nadeem-So Gorgeous) then made the step to stakes winner in style, winning the Hong Kong Group 3 Premier Cup over 1400m at Sha Tin.
Ridden by young gun Tommy Berry, Sterling City defeated a top class field. Bullish Champion was second, while Inglis graduates Admiration and Time After Time filled third and fourth spots.
Replay of Sterling City’s win in The Premier Cup can be viewed HERE
The John Moore trained four-year-old was a $200,000 purchase for owners Gary and CS Ling from the draft of Twin Palms Stud at the 2010 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Sterling City has risen through the classes in Hong Kong thanks to a strong record of five wins and seven placings from 14 starts.
“He had his opportunity today to acquit himself in Group handicap company and he did that. Now for next season he’ll be gearing to run in all the big races,” said John Moore after Sunday’s win.
Five yearlings by Sterling City’s sire Nadeem and one by Good Sight’s sire Lonhro are set to go under the hammer at the Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale Winter Book next Sunday 23 June 2013.
The Winter Book is one of many opportunities for buyers to secure a young thoroughbred to aim higher with during the Inglis Select Yearling Sales Series.
In 2013 Inglis will also conduct Australasia’s first “select” Ready 2 Race Sale in Sydney on 3 October.
Details of the Classic Winter Book or Ready 2 Race Sale are available on the Inglis website www.inglis.com.au .
17/6/2013 Got Luck looks another smart type for Tan
Singapore trainer Alvin Tan seems to have unearthed
another quality sort in Got Luck (NZ) (Danroad) who
made a demolition job at his debut run on Sunday.
A three-time barrier trial winner, including one at Te Aroha
in New Zealand before he was snapped up by Tan to race at
Kranji, Got Luck reproduced that form in the $65,000 Initiation
race over 1100m on the Polytrack, toying with the opposition
from the start to romp in by three lengths easing down.
With the words "exciting prospect" being bandied around,
Tan was, however, quick to put things in perspective.
"That was a good win, better than I thought. Oscar was
cantering with him and he even joked with Mr Chua he could
lose some weight and ride him too," said Tan who recently
won the Group 2 Stewards' Cup with his stable star Speedy
"I'm just a bit concerned by the timing, but it was his first
run and Oscar had already stopped riding from a long way.
"I spotted him at the breeze-ups in New Zealand and
spent a bit of money for him after he won a trial.
"On his breeding, he's more of a sprinter and the furthest
he will probably go is 1400m. I will also keep him to Polytrack
races for now."
Chavez said he was oozing confidence before the race
after he rode Got Luck to his two barrier trial wins at Kranji in
"He's too good for this field. From the jump, he just relaxed
for me and I knew from a long way he'd be hard to beat," said
Chavez. "From his trials, I expected him to win easy today, but
he will have to go through his grades now."
Got Luck streets his rivals on debut at Kranji
17/6/2013 All in the Steed's breeding says Walker
After just missing out by a whisker at his last run,
Golden Sand Steed (NZ) (Pins) was rewarded for
his sheer consistency with a hard-fought win in the
$75,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 1100m on Polytrack on
The Pins three-year-old was notching up his fourth
success from only 12 starts after coming from New Zealand as
an unraced two-year-old last year. Raced by the ST Resources
Stable, Golden Sand Steed only finished out of the placings
twice, with his worst performance coming in the Gr. 3 Magic
Millions Juvenile Championship (1200m) when finishing
down the course a long way from the winner Rising Empire.
Walker, who consolidates his top spot in the Singapore
trainer's premiership with that 38th win, five clear of Michael
Freedman, said Golden Sand Steed had already the makings
of a good horse from his prolific lineage.
"He's from a top-class sire in Pins and anything that comes
from the Waikato Stud has to give you a headstart," said the
"David Ellis (Te Akau Racing principal) buys and breeds
really good horses and the results are showing on the track. "Our job is simple really – just put a saddle on them and
make sure they stay sound and healthy.
"He (Golden Sand Steed) was second-up from a break
today and the freshness was probably gone, but he's a good
consistent sort who just keeps improving all the time.
"He missed out very narrowly at his last run. There was
nothing in it, but anyway, we got it today."
Golden Sand Steed gets home narrowly out wide despite the deceptive camera angle
16/6/2013 Captain Kirk to be given a spell
Undefeated three-year-old Captain Kirk (NZ) (Falkirk)
is heading for a break following his victory on Friday
night in the S$65,000 Novice Stakes over 1100 metres
on Polytrack at Singapore's Kranji racetrack.
Captain Kirk won his debut outing over 1200 metres on
the turf back on May 17 and trainer Leslie Khoo believes the
gelding is better suited on that surface even though he didn't
have too much difficulty in Friday's half-length victory.
Sent out a short-priced favourite, Captain Kirk jumped
the fastest of the seven runners and was able to cross from
his outside draw and lead the field on settling down. Jockey
Harry Kasim kept Captain Kirk under a tight rein until the
home turn before asking for an effort and the gelding quickly
opened up a winning break on his rivals, holding on bravely
as the margin was whittled back.
Following the debut win, Khoo elected to give Captain
Kirk a barrier trial under the lights on June 6. When the
gelding finished second, Khoo revealed the gelding was
feeling his shins and he backed off on the three-year-old in
the lead-up to Friday night's race.
"I'll give him a break now for six to eight weeks," said Khoo. "I didn't push him after his trial last week as he was feeling his
"I thought he may have been feeling them a bit again
tonight as he changed stride late in the race and I just think
also that he might be a better horse on the turf as well.
"He was very fast at the start and then the other horse
came up and pressured him. He's a nice lovely horse and has a
bit of a future."
Kasim also believes Captain Kirk has a bright future after
making it back-to-back victories.
"I think he has a good feature race win in him," he said. "He's a lovely strong horse and I'm sure he will keep getting
better. He jumped very well but then the other horse came up
to him and didn't really give him any chance to relax.
"He showed a good turn of foot when I asked him and
although he was getting tired on the line I think he was
entitled to a bit after being pressured."
Captain Kirk's two wins have brought in just shy of
S$70,000 in prizemoney for his owners, the Captain Stable.
raises his whip
in triumph as
holds on to
score at Kranji
Race Singapore TC Novice S. 1100m
Winner Captain Kirk (NZ) 2009
Owners Captain Stable
Trainer Leslie Khoo (Kranji)
Breeding by Falkirk out of Chiming by Star Way (GB)
Breeder Windsor Park Stud Ltd
Sales 2011 National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Windsor Park Stud, P: Chequers NZ Ltd;
2011 Ready to Run Sale, V: Chequers Stud, P:
Mr L Khoo; $65,000
12/6/2013 Legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil dies
Sir Henry Cecil with his champion horse Frankel (image: Racing Post)
Peter Moody pays tribute to legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil
Victoria’s premier trainer Peter Moody has paid tribute to legendary British trainer Sir Henry Cecil following his death at the age of 70 in the UK overnight.
Cecil, who trained world champion Frankel to an unbeaten 14 career victories and prepared a record 25 British Classic winners among a stellar career, succumbed to a long battle with stomach cancer.
Moody, who spent time with Cecil in the UK last year when campaigning Black Caviar at Royal Ascot, described the gifted horseman “as one of the greats of world racing”.
“It’s certainly a tragic loss to the industry,” Moody said.
“I was fortunate enough to spend a day with Sir Henry Cecil last year when he had Frankel lining up at Royal Ascot and we had Black Caviar.
“I’ve mentioned it previously and not just in his passing, it was one of the more special moments of my whole trip to see how such a great horseman appreciated my great horse and his care and attention to detail with his great horse Frankel.
Moody said it was a fitting way for Cecil, who trained a record 75 Royal Ascot winners, to finish his training career on the back of the Frankel’s success.
“I may be corrected but I think he was the most successful trainer at Royal Ascot of all time and that on its own is a phenomenal achievement,” he said.
“To finish his training career with one of the finest horses that any of us have ever seen in Frankel, what a great way to go out.
“I’m not suggesting that I’d like to follow suit after Black Caviar and I’m looking forward to meeting him again another day, but hopefully a few years down the track.”
Cecil trained his first Classic winner with Bolkonski in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in 1975 before going to win the Epsom Derby four times, the Epsom Oaks on eight occasions and the 1000 Guineas six times among his 25 Classic triumphs and over 100 Group 1 victories.
Hall Of Fame trainer Lee Freedman described Cecil as one of his “lifetime heroes”.
“Sir Henry Cecil a champion trainer, but more importantly a great gentleman,” Freedman said.
By Ben Asgari
MM Graduates shine abroad
Wednesday, 12 June, 2013
Magic Millions graduates raced with great success internationally over the weekend.
The winning run in feature races in South Africa of recent months continued on Saturday night with yet another stakes double - both purchased by one of the region's leading judge.
Readytogorightnow (More Than Ready-Storm Fronts) added a second stakes win to his impressive race record when he cruised to victory in the Group Three Winter Classic at Kenilworth.
With Glen Hatt in the saddle, the well bred three-year-old cruised to victory, a length and a quarter ahead of his rivals.
From just 11 starts, Readytogorightnow has notched four wins and also been a minor placegetter on three other occasions.
His dam Storm Fronts, an unraced daughter of Hurricane Sky, is a half sister to Miss Minden - the stakes winning dam of stakes gallopers Miss Danehill, Pentastic and Point Made - and the dam of group winning sire Primus.
Prepared by Justin Snaith, Readytogorightnow was purchased by leading Sydney based bloodstock agent James Bester for $85,000 at the 2011 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale from the Yarraman Park Stud draft.
The win was also celebrated by the Wentwood Grange team from New Zealand who bought his dam Storm Fronts for $50,000 at the corresponding 2011 National Broodmare Sale.
Exciting juvenile filly Mohave Princess extended her unbeaten run to two when she won Saturday night's Devon Air Stakes at Clairwood.
The first Australian bred stakes winner for Rock of Gibraltar's son Mount Nelson, Mohave Princess is prepared by Gavin Van Zyl and was ridden to her length and a half win by Brandon Lerena.
Mohave Princess was purchased for $18,000, also by James Bester, at the 2011 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale from the draft of Glastonbury Farms.
She is one of two winners from two named foals for the Melbourne winning Fusaichi Pegasus mare Our Mohave - a daughter of Sydney stakes winner Mohave Dancer.
That makes Our Mohave a half sister to three stakes performers including $1.25 million earner and sire Natural Blitz.
Both Readytogorightnow and Mohave Princess are part owned by well known South African businessman Hassen Adams.
Meanwhile, in Macau last year's Magic Millions National Yearling Sale top selling filly made the best possible start to her racing career with a strong win.
Yu Long Bao Ma, a $160,000 purchase for Nicholas and James Moore Bloodstock from the Tyreel Stud draft, debuted for the Peter Leyshan stable and won brilliantly.
Raced by Ma Ching, Yu Long Bao Ma is by outstanding Darley sire Lonhro and from the beautifully related mare Paris Tryst.
An unraced daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus, Paris Tryst is a daughter of Caulfield, Melbourne and Australian Cup winner and Horse of the Year Let's Elope and is thus a half sister to three stakes performers including group winning sire Ustinov.
Other international winners for Magic Millions graduates over the weekend included:
- Zac Spirit (Flying Spur-Kidman) - $95,000, 2010 National Weanling Sale, Newhaven Park - winner in Singapore
- Mr Vain Marceau (Helenus-Corymbia) - $3,000, 2010 Perth Winter Mixed Sale, Korilya Stud - winner in Malaysia
- Good Good Luck (Magic Albert-Our Impala) - $14,500, 2006 National Weanling Sale, Pine Lodge Thoroughbreds - winner in Malaysia
- Golden Lark (King Cugat-Abbey Lady) - $11,000, 2008 National Yearling Sale, Baramul Stud - winner in Singapore
- Happy Surpriser (Delzao-Sheer Nonsense) - $15,000, 2008 National Horses in Training Sale, Oakwood Farm - winner in Malaysia
- Buena Vista (Tayasu Tsuyoshi-Minstrel Show) - $8,000, 2009 Adelaide Yearling Sale, Caithness Breeding - winner in Malaysia
- Birralee Road (Tough Speed-Aliandra) - $7,000, 2009 Tasmanian Yearling Sale, BM & PR Armstrong - winner in Malaysia
- Happy Amigo (Falvelon-Miss Lehaar) - $20,000, 2011 Perth Yearling Sale, Robyn Wise - winner in Malaysia
- Just Blessed (Trade Fair-Rain Squall) - $18,000, 2011 Perth Yearling Sale, Bellbridge Park - winner in Singapore
- Tomorrows Dreams (Snippetson-Relativity) - $40,000, 2011 Adelaide Yearling Sale, Little Hills Pastoral Co - winner in Singapore
- Kaiser Bright (Spinning World-Raheebah) - $40,000, 2011 National Horses in Training Sale, Nolen Racing - winner in Singapore
- Young Happy (Dane Shadow-Miss Bijou) - $17,000, 2009 National Yearling Sale, Fairview Park Stud - winner in Hong Kong
PICS - Gold Circle and Macau Jockey Club.
10/6/2013 Speedy Cat atones in Stewards' Cup
Speedy Cat scores narrowly in the Gr. 2 Steward's Cup over 1400m
Trainer Alvin Tan crept ever so closer to a maiden Gr. 1
success when Speedy Cat (NZ) (Scaredee Cat) took
out the opening Leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old
Challenge on Sunday.
Speedy Cat gave Tan his first 'Black Type' success when
taking out the Gr. 3 Merlion Trophy in March and he bettered
that when victorious in Sunday's G. 2 $300,000 Stewards' Cup
Tan will be hoping Speedy Cat can provide him with that
elusive first Gr. 1 success in the second leg of the Four-Year-
Old Challenge, the $500,000 Patron's Bowl over 1600m on
Ridden by Manoel Nunes, Speedy Cat scored by a head
over El Milagro (Red Dazzler) with the favourite Super Easy
(NZ) (Darci Brahma) a neck away third.
Speedy Cat recorded a time of 1 min 21.69 secs for the
After winning his first 12 starts in Singapore, Super Easy
first tasted defeat at the hands of Better Life in Gr. 1 Kranji
Mile last October before heading to Hong Kong but this year
Speedy Cat has inflicted two defeats on last year's Singapore
Horse of the Year.
Super Easy did turn the tables on Speedy Cat in the Gr.
1 Lion City Cup, but the 1400m of Sunday's race was a more
Speedy Cat was coming into the Stewards' Cup off an
unlucky sixth in the Gr. 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint over
1200m on May 19.
"His run in the KrisFlyer was very good," said Tan. "He got checked and the jockey almost fell off, but he got going
"This distance was much more suitable for him. I was
happy with where he was in the run and he finished off
"This is the biggest prizemoney that we have won with
him and we are now getting closer to a Gr. 1 win.
"We will now head to the second leg with him. That race is
three weeks away which is perfect for him."
A four-year-old New Zealand-bred by Scaredee Cat from
Lane Cove, Speedy Cat has won eight of his 19 starts for
the Alwin Stable and accumulated more than $750,000 in
9/6/2013 Shamexpress settles in well after 34 hour trip to the UK
Jockey Craig Newitt conducts the cheering as Shamexpress returns to the Flemington mounting yard after his win in this year's Group One
After a 34-hour trip across the globe to England, trainer
Danny O'Brien is hoping his star colt Shamexpress
(NZ) (O'Reilly) showcases his talents to the world at
the famed Royal Ascot and Newmarket carnivals.
O'Brien confirmed the winner of Flemington's Group One
Newmarket Handicap was well settled in at his new surrounds
at Abington Place Racing Stables in Newmarket this week
following his arduous trek.
"You always worry that the horse handles the flight across,
but from our experience travelling horses it appears he has
handled the flight without any worries," O'Brien said.
"He is looking bright and well and eating up in his stall so
we will give him a few quiet days before getting him ready to
take on the best at Royal Ascot."
The 14-time Group One winning trainer also announced
that New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing will sponsor
the horse in the UK as the colt promotes the Kiwi breeding
"We have had a lot of luck with New Zealand-breds,"
O'Brien said, "winning races such as the Caulfield Cup, AJC
Derby, Australian Guineas and Newmarket, Salinger and
Goodwood Handicaps. So hopefully this colt can add another
chapter to that by winning on the world stage."
The O'Reilly colt's colours will carry the NZTM logo on the
chest throughout his European campaign, which will include
the Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 18 and the July
Cup at Newmarket on July 13.
9/6/2013 1100M Track record to Makkura
open sprint at
Improving mare Makkura (NZ) (Falkirk) broke the 1100
metre track record when taking out the S$125,000 Open
Handicap at Kranji racetrack in Singapore on Friday night,
stopping the clock at 1:04.31 to clip 0.14 seconds off the
Trainer Laurie Laxon said Makkura, in the hands of Barend
Vorster, had developed into a "good strong mare" after
recording two wins on end, her previous success coming
three weeks ago when ridden by the Kiwi trainer's apprentice
Koh Teck Huat.
"She was in her right race tonight," said Laxon. "She's a
good tough mare but she also had a light weight which made
her task a lot easier.
"She's run a record and I think there's still more to come
Vorster said Makkura had been "erratic" previously but on
Friday night she gave him a "beautiful ride".
"I rode her during the week on the big track and she felt
nice and relaxed," said Vorster. "When some of the other jockeys get on her at the races
she can be a real handful, so tonight I just told the syces to let
her go and let me handle her.
"She gave me a beautiful ride and really was on her best
"The pace was perfect for her and it was a matter of timing
the run right on her. She let down really well and is right up
there at the top now after that win.
"Laurie's got her going really well and if she can maintain
this form then I'm sure she'll be winning again."
A five-year-old mare by Falkirk, Makkura is from the
Centaine mare Electric Dream, a daughter of crack sprinter
Westminster's half-sister Starlight Express. She has now won
seven of her sixteen starts in Singapore and accumulated
around S$375,000 in prizemoney for her owners.
Laxon notched up a winning double when Natural Nice
(NZ) (Towkay) took out the following race, the S$75,000 Class
3 Stakes over 1400 metres.
Race Singapore TC Open H. 1100m
Winner Makkura (NZ) 2007
Owners Toast Trust No 27 & Stephen Crutchley Stable
Trainer Laurie Laxon (Kranji)
Breeding by Falkirk out of Electric Dream by Centaine
Breeder S K K Goh; Mrs J P & L D Wallace
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Festival
Session; V: Poseidon Bloodstock, P: Mr S G
7/6/2013 Speedy Cat has Nunes aiming high this Sunday
Speedy Cat and Manoel Nunes on their way to victory in the Group 3 Merlion Trophy in March.
Jockey Manoel Nunes is looking forward to Sunday's
feature race, the Gr. 2 $300,000 Stewards' Cup over
The race kicks-off the Singapore Four-Year-Old
Challenge and Nunes will partner the Alvin Tan-trained
Speedy Cat (NZ).
The New Zealand-bred son of Scaredee Cat (NZ) (Tale
Of The Cat) was a last start sixth in the International Gr.
1 KrisFlyer International Sprint over 1200m on May 19
and Nunes believes the gelding was unlucky not to have
finished in the placings.
He said a check on entering the straight put an end to
his chances in that race and believes the gelding was lucky
not to fall.
"I got sandwiched between the Japanese horse (Dasher
Go Go) who was weakening and the Australian (Bel
Sprinter) horse that ran second and was lucky not to fall," said Nunes.
"My horse was travelling very well at the time and the
way he finishes his races off I am confident that he would
have run into the placings.
"He was knocked down and by the time I picked him
up, balanced him up and got going again it was too much
of a task."
Nunes gave Speedy Cat his final gallop for Sunday's
race on the main Polytrack on Tuesday morning and said
the gelding felt in great order.
"He felt happy and fresh and I was very pleased with
how he galloped on Tuesday morning," said Nunes.
"He runs his best races when his runs are spaced and it
will be three weeks since he last ran in the KrisFlyer."
Speedy Cat claimed his biggest success and provided
his trainer with his first win in a 'Black Type' race when he
took out the Group 3 Merlion Trophy over 1200m on the
Polytrack in March.
4/6/2013 Lucky Nine targets Spring
Lucky Nine, pictured here winning the Krisflyer International Sprint last month. Image: Singapore Turf Club
International sprint star confirms Spring Racing Carnival plans
Hong Kong trainer Caspar Fownes has confirmed multiple Group 1-winning international sprinter Lucky Nine will be targeted at the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
A dominant winner of the Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) at Kranji in Singapore last start, the son of Dubawi boasts five Group 1 victories at distances ranging between 1200m-1600m.
Speaking after another of his horses, Helene Spirit, finished 16th behind Lord Kanaloa in the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) in Japan on Sunday, Fownes confirmed Lucky Nine would target both the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 as well as the Group 1 Patinack Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.
“I’ve wanted to go there for a few years now, but it comes at the wrong time for us because we look forward to our international races, but he’s already won one of them so we can play around with him,” Fownes said.
“He is in great form, you can be confident to travel with him and you’re not going to get any egg on your face.
“He doesn’t know how to run a bad race, the only time he ever runs a bad race there is a problem with him.”
Having already claimed a leg of the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) with his victory in the KrisFlyer, should Lucky Nine also pick up the Patinack Classic he would then become eligible for the US $1 million bonus in the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) in December.
The GSC bonus is available to any horse that can win three legs of the series in three different countries.
Connections of the Lucky Nine will also be in line for a $600,000 Victoria Racing Club bonus, paid to the winner of the Patinack Farm Classic, if such horse has won a leg of the Global Sprint Challenge run outside Australia since 1 October 2012.
By Ben Asgari
3/6/2013 Nunes claims an early double with Bogart
Bogart scores easily at Kranji on Sunday
Jockey Manoel Nunes claimed an early double at Kranji
on Sunday when Bogart (NZ) (Darci Brahma) took out
the $65,000 Initiation Stakes over 1200m.
Nunes had taken the opening race on the card aboard the
Sam Chua-trained Double S which also led throughout.
"He is a nice horse who will keep on developing," said
Nunes. "He drew a bad barrier on the international weekend
and got a squeeze at the start but still ran a good race (when
third behind Captain Kirk).
Bogart was a NZ$155,000 yearling purchase by trainer
Michael Freedman and is another of the Darci Brahma stock
to show his wares in Singapore.
The trainer has a good record with horses by Darci
Brahma including Super Easy (NZ), Chateauneuf Dupape (NZ)
and Ronnie Brown (NZ) to name just a few.
Freedman said he had considered scratching Bogart
because of the wide draw but was certainly delighted he
resisted the temptation to do so.
"He had to do a fair amount of work early in the race to
get across to the front and during the race I thought that if he
could finish in the first three then he's done a very good job," said Freedman.
"To keep going like he did and win I thought was a very
good effort and he looks like developing into a nice horse.
"I said on Friday night that even though these two-yearolds
get weight off the older horses they still have to be good
"This horse is going to keep improving and his pedigree
says that he will be better off once he gets up to a mile and
possibly even further."
16/2013 Cups quest a Pleasure
Only A Pleasure could be a factor in Melbourne this spring
OTI Racing set to unveil another of their spring prospects in France this weekend
OTI Racing Director Terry Henderson is hoping another of the team’s promising international gallopers can put his name forward as a Melbourne spring contender when he resumes in France on Sunday.
Four-year-old entire Only A Pleasure steps out for French maestro Andre Fabre in Sunday’s Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly (2400m) and while Henderson isn’t expecting a first-up win, he hopes the son of Montjeu can justify his Melbourne aspirations.
A winner of three races in his six-start career, including the Listed Prix Michel Houyvet (3000m) at Deauvuille in August, Only A Pleasure could tackle the likes of French Derby hero and fellow Cups prospect Saonois, Alain de Royer Dupre pair Lago Minto and I’m Your Man and progressive four-year-old Now We Can.
“It’s a fairly tough race and he won’t be suited by the ground but Andre Fabre believes he needs the run,” Henderson said.
“There are no expectations from us this weekend because he is certainly not as his best last weekend.”
“What we’re looking for is a run that will bring him on further for later on as he heads towards Melbourne.”
The Grand Prix de Chantilly, contested last year by 2011 Melbourne Cup and 2012 Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden, plays second fiddle on the Chantilly card to the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) featuring some of Europe’s top three-year-old staying prospects.
While the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups are the focus with Only A Pleasure and OTI’s untapped three-year-old Kitten On The Run, who is due to step out over 2000 metres at Royal Ascot, Henderson said the Cox Plate was still on the radar for the Luca Cumani-trained Mobaco.
Despite finishing at the tail of the field in last Saturday’s Listed Festival Stakes (2000m) at Goodwood, Henderson said Mobaco would take great improvement from the run and was likely to back up in the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes (2000m) at Royal Ascot.
“His run was satisfactory and he’ll be improved for his first up run,” Henderson said.
“He goes to Ascot on the Thursday for another 2000m run.”
By James Tzaferis
1/6/2013 International #Springwatch
Defending BMW Caulfield Cup and 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup hero Dunaden will face only four rivals when he returns to the track on Saturday night (AET) in a classy renewal of the Group 1 Coronation Cup (2400m) at Epsom Downs (UK).
A Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival favourite, the seven-year-old is in ominous form and boasts close-up efforts behind St Nicholas Abbey in the Group 1 Sheema Classic (2400m) and Pastorius in the Group 1 Prix Ganay (2100m) at his two most recent appearances.
While the Mikel Delzangles-trained star is likely to chase the Group 1 Prix de Arc de Triomphe (2400m) in his own backyard instead of making a third trek to Melbourne, some of his rivals on Saturday could feature down under during the spring.
Of his four rivals, the Aiden O’Brien-trained St Nicholas Abbey will chase his third consecutive win in the weight-for-age feature, while globetrotting talent Joshua Tree will make his second appearance for new trainer Ed Dunlop, the man who prepared 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux.
Run on a massive Epsom Derby card, the Coronation Cup is just one of the weekend races that could offer a guide to the Spring Racing Carnival.
Following is the broadcast time for the international races to watch together with comments from Racing Victoria’s international recruitment officer, Leigh Jordon, on who to watch from a Spring Carnival viewpoint;
- Epsom (UK) – Group 1 Coronation Cup (2400m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & Racing World at 11.40pm (AET) Saturday night
Leigh Jordon’s Comment: Only a small field but an intriguing race with some familiar names lining up. Caulfield and Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden is likely to stay in Europe and contest the Arc this year, but we would love to see him back in Melbourne over the spring for a race like the Cox Plate and won’t shut the door just yet. The Aidan O’Brien-trained St. Nicholas Abbey is a class horse and the favourite shooting for three straight. Joshua Tree is having his second start for Ed Dunlop and I will be keen to see how he progresses as his profile suggests the spring Cups could be within his reach.
- Chantilly (FR) – Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly (2400m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & Racing World at 1am (AET) Monday morning
Leigh Jordon’s Comments: Dunaden was an unlucky third last year before winning the Caulfield Cup. The final field is not yet known, but I’m particularly interested in last year’s French Derby winner Saonois who possesses a slick turn of foot and would be an ideal Cups horse. Melbourne-based OTI Racing has already confirmed their spring intentions with Only A Pleasure so he’s a big watch. Alain de Royer Dupre has two runners in the race including last start Listed winner I’m Your Man, who is owned in similar interests to Sydney G1 winner Reliable Man. The other runner for Aussies to watch closely is Now We Can.
Shamexpress (NZ) produced a winning trial performance down the Flemington straight this morning, pleasing his connections ahead of his trip to the Royal Ascot meeting in England.
The winner of Australia’s premier sprint race this season, the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap, Shamexpress (O’Reilly x Volkrose) is being aimed at the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) on the first day of the Royal Ascot Meeting on Tuesday 18 June.
Shamexpress will be looking to make it a winning double for New Zealand in the Gr.1 King’s Stand Stakes.
The three-year-old’s trainer Danny O’Brien has outlined that the King’s Stand Stakes could be the first race of a UK campaign which could also see the son of O’Reilly target other races including the Group 1 July Cup.
To view the video of Shamexpress winning this morning’s trial and hear the thoughts of his trainer Danny O’Brien, click here.
Shamexpress leaves for England next Wednesday and O’Brien was very happy with his final trial earlier today.
“It was great to get him on the course proper and see him open up a bit down the straight,” commented O’Brien.
“The horse really needs to be race fit when he gets on the plane and that will bring him right up to the mark. We missed the Sydney and Queensland Carnivals so we could have him 110% focused on England and everything has gone to plan so far so we just need to get the traveling out of the way now.
“He will arrive in England 13 days before the race so for the first week he will just find his feet and acclimatise and I will give him a serious piece of work four or five days before the race.”
O’Brien is no stranger to the pressure of Royal Ascot having taken Glamour Puss and Star Witness to the famous meeting and believes that experience can help him capture an elusive royal win.
Should Shamexpress win the King’s Stand Stakes, it would complete a winning double for New Zealand with Little Bridge (NZ) (Faltaat) winning the race last year in a spectacular performance.
New Zealand also celebrated Royal Ascot success last year with So You Think (NZ) (High Chaparral) when he won the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes just a day after Little Bridge’s history-making Group 1 win.
Shamexpress was purchased as a yearling by Danny O’Brien from Richard Rutherford’s Beltana Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2011 Karaka Premier Sale for $130,000.
Cavalryman (pictured) is one to watch at Sandown (UK) tonight
Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon gives his insight into tonight’s UK racing action
Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon will be watching tonight’s racing action from Sandown in the UK with a keen eye on potential Spring Racing Carnival visitors.
Jordan nominated both the Group 2 Henry II Stakes (3300m), which jumps at 4.15am Melbourne time, as well as the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes (2000m, 4.50am), as races that could feature possible Spring raiders.
In the Henry II Stakes, Jordan said Times Up as well as the Godolphin pair of Cavalryman and Colour Vision were the main horses to watch from a Cups point of view.
“Cavalryman obviously contested last year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup and actually ran the fastest last 1000 metres in the race,” Jordon said.
“He won the Group 3 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) in March and we’ll be watching him and his stable mate Colour Vision for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
“Times Up has his first start for Ed Dunlop, he was previously trained by his father John who retired last year.
“He won both the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3300m) and the Group 2 Doncaster Cup (3600m) last season and we will be watching him from a Melbourne Cup perspective.”
In last year’s Henry II Stakes, the now Peter Moody-trained Ibicenco finished second for his previous trainer Luca Cumani before making the trip to Melbourne for a Spring campaign that included a win in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m).
While the focus in the Henry II Stakes is from a cups point of view, attention shifts to Australasia’s weight for age championship the W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) when watching tonight’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
Last year’s Brigadier Gerard was won by Carlton House who went on to run second behind So You Think in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales Stakes (2000m) at Royal Ascot, before moving to Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney stable.
Jordon said the horses to watch tonight were the David Lanigan-trained Main Sequence and Luca Cumani’s Danadana.
“Main Sequence ran second in the Epsom Derby (2400m) last year behind Camelot and we’re watching him as a possible Cox Plate contender,” Jordan said.
“Danadana was very impressive winning last start at Chester, he’s got a good strike-rate and is an improving type.”
27/5/2013 Walker nets one win as Bazinga storms home
Bazinga and Shafiq Rizuan storm home to claim victory
Despite having strength in numbers with as many as
18 runners fielded over 10 of the 12 races on offer
on Friday, trainer Mark Walker had to endure a long
wait before Bazinga (NZ) (Fastnet Rock) saluted at long odds
in the third-last race, the $75,000 Kranji Stakes C race over
1200m on the Polytrack.
With his best showing being two second placings from Mr
Bean (Race 1) and Manny Pacuaio (Race 5), Walker was staring
down the barrel of a winless day until his 14th runner for the
day, Bazinga, ridden by stable apprentice Shafiq Rizuan, saved
Walker's second runner and slightly better-fancied Fighter
Jet also looked a chance halfway up the home straight, but
the Alvin Tan-trained Imacruiser split the pair to pinch second
place by a nose from Fighter Jet.
Raced by the Remarkable Stable in the familiar orange
Te Akau Racing silks, Bazinga (ex-Macau) has now registered
seven wins from 27 starts at Kranji, six of which were scored
with Shafiq up.
"Shafiq seems to have an affinity with this horse. The only
other time he won with someone else was with Vlad Duric at
his second win," said the Kiwi conditioner.
Shafiq admitted his level of confidence going into the race
was not exactly sky-high, but the New Zealand-bred gelding
has again risen to the occasion when the least was expected.
"I was not very confident before the race. I reckoned it
was a bit tough for him," said the 2011 Singapore champion
apprentice jockey whose last win incidentally came aboard
the same Bazinga on April 21.
"From the 800m, I kept waking him up and he just kept
going. Those who went fast early and were in front were
dropping back and that was when he finished very strongly."
25/5/2013 Array of Carnival contenders abroad
As if quality racing in our own backyard isn’t enough this weekend, Australian punters can delight in an array of international feature racing that could have significant bearing on the Spring Racing Carnival.
French stayer Shahwardi, a devastating winner of the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield last Spring, returns to the track for the first time this year in Sunday’s Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (3100m) at Longchamp.
The French staying test – in which Dunaden finished second two years ago en route to his Emirates Melbourne Cup success – has attracted a class field, and punters looking for a guide to the Melbourne spring should also keep a close eye on Shahwardi’s stablemate and defending Vigier champion Ivory Land.
A string of other Spring Carnival targets will campaign in feature races across the UK, Hong Kong and Japan this weekend.
Following are the must watch international races, including their Australian broadcast times, together with comments from Racing Victoria’s International Recruitment Officer, Leigh Jordon, on who to watch from a Spring Carnival viewpoint;
- Goodwood (UK) – Listed Festival Stakes (2000m) – Broadcast live on SKY 1 & SKY Racing World at 11.05pm (AET) Saturday night
Leigh Jordon’s Comment - This race was won by Jet Away last year who has since won impressively in Australia for David Hayes. Second last year was Fiorente who was subsequently exported to Australia with Gai Waterhouse nearly pulling off a great training feat with his second in the Melbourne Cup. I am interested in the two Luca Cumani-trained runners, with Afsare resuming after he was injured preparing for the Cox Plate last year. He looks the class runner. Melbourne-based OTI Racing’s new addition Mobaco also kicks off his campaign after winning his last two starts including a Group 3 win over 2000m.
- York (UK) – Listed Grand Cup (2800m) – Broadcast live on SKY 1 at 11.20pm (AET) Saturday night
Leigh Jordon’s Comment – Godolphin’s Cavalryman won this race last year before finishing 12thin the Melbourne Cup. They have Songcraft, a horse I have been following with interest over the past 12 months, engaged this year so keep your eye on him. The other interesting runner is Dr Marwan Koukash’s Address Unknown who won the Chester Cup last start. Marwan commented afterwards that the Melbourne Cup may be an option, but he’ll need to keep progressing through the grades to lift his rating so watch him closely too.
- Goodwood (UK) – Listed Tapster Stakes (2400m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 1.05am (AET) Sunday morning
Leigh Jordon’s Comment – Last year’s edition more so than this year’s may prove an interesting form reference for this Spring. Sea Moon, who is now in Australia after being purchased by Lloyd Williams, won while Dandino, who has been purchased by Victorian-based Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, ran second and is being aimed at the Cups too. Of this year’s runners, Noble Mission trained by Sir Henry Cecil is the one to beat, with Genzy and Moment In Time interesting runners. Genzy is trained by Ian Williams who prepared Munsef to run 12th in the 2009 Melbourne Cup behind Shocking.
- Tokyo (JAPAN) – G2 Meguro Kinen (2500m) – No live broadcast on Sunday afternoon
Leigh Jordon’s Comment: This race was won by Pop Rock in 2006 before coming to Australia and running second to Delta Blues in the Melbourne Cup. I will be watching Admire Rakti, to be ridden by Yasunari Iwata (Delta Blues’ Cup winning jockey), closely after his strong finish in the Group 1 Tenno Sho over 3200m in late April. A sound run in this race will hopefully set him up for a trip to Australia to compete in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. I will also be watching Desperado (9thTenno Sho), Lelouch with Craig Williams aboard and last year’s winner Smart Robin from a Spring viewpoint.
- Sha Tin (HK) – G1 Champions and Chater Cup (2400m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2, SKY Racing World & TVN at 6.05pm (AET) Sunday night
Leigh Jordon’s Comment - Dominant trained by ex-pat John Moore and ridden by ex-pat Zac Purton ran third in this race last year and was impressive last start winning the Group 3 Queen Mother over 2400m. A win in this race could see him target the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup. For mine, I think he would be an ideal horse for the Caulfield Cup. I will also be watching Willie Cazals, to be ridden by Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Gerald Mosse, who was finishing hard last start behind Dominant in the Queen Mother and may be a spring prospect.
- Longchamp (FRA) – G1 Prix d’Ispahan (1850m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 11.40pm (AET) Sunday night
Leigh Jordon’s Comment – This race is still at entries stage. Planteur trained by Marco Botti ran third in this race last year and interestingly, recent Randwick Group 1 winner, Reliable Man, ran sixth. Planteur is in great form running third in the Dubai World Cup in March, and I will be keen to see how he performs from a Cox Plate perspective. This is a high class field with the 2012 French Derby winner Saonois lining up and Maxios, a close last start second to Pastorious in the Group 1 Prix Ganay over 2100m, also engaged. Alain de Royer Dupre has Mandour, who has been very lightly raced but has plenty of ability, entered.
- Longchamp (FRA) – G2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (3100m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 12.10am (AET) Monday morning
Leigh Jordon’s Comment: This race is a great guide to the Cups. Brigantin won two years ago, with subsequent Cups winner Dunaden second. Last year’s winner Ivory Land lines up again for trainer Alain de Royer Dupre and I think he has the right profile for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup, I just need to convince the owner! I will be particularly interested in Alain’s other two runners Shahwardi, who won the Group 2 Herbert Power at Caulfield last year. He’s on trial to start in the Ascot Gold Cup next, and then hopefully a return to Melbourne. The other is Verema, an up and coming stayer who was beaten a head by Last Train in the Group 3 Barbeville (3200m) last start. I am also keen to see how Now We Can performs for Nicholas Clement, lightly raced with 4 wins in a row from 5 starts, he shows a smart turn of foot.
- The Curragh (IRE) – G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup (2100m) – Broadcast live on SKY 1, SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 12.20am (AET) Monday morning
Leigh Jordon’s Comment: So You Think won the 2011 and 2012 runnings of this Group 1 feature and Aidan O’Brien is looking to continue success in this race with his superstar Camelot. I am keen to see if Al Kazeem, trained by Roger Charlton can test Camelot, as he was super impressive first up winning the Group 3 Gordon Richards after being off the scene through injury for nearly 12 months and would be ideal horse for the Cox Plate. Dermot Weld’s mare Princess Highway is the other to watch from a Spring viewpoint. She is owned in the same interests as Profound Beauty and had excuses first-up when in season.
24/5/2013 Shamexpress on target for Royal Ascot
A jump-out at Flemington today is the next step for Shamexpress in his Royal Ascot preparation
A jump-out this week will be the first of two important
tests for three-year-old Shamexpress (NZ) (O'Reilly)
before he departs for his Royal Ascot assignment.
Trainer Danny O'Brien confirmed the Group One
Newmarket Handicap winner would have a jump-out at
Flemington today, and again the following week before he
leaves for England on June 5.
Shamexpress is being aimed at the Group One King's
Stand Stakes (1000m) on June 18 at Royal Ascot, with plans
for the colt to also stick around and contest other races
during the European summer such as the July Cup.
"Everything has been spot on," O'Brien said of the
"He's going to trial this Friday and the Friday after.
"You have them ready to race when they get on the plane
and then you don't have to do much when you get there."
Craig Newitt has already had success at Royal Ascot
partnering Miss Andretti to victory in the 2007 King's Stand
Stakes and is looking forward to heading back there to ride
Newitt won the Newmarket on Shamexpress at
Flemington in March and will be back aboard him in today's
"I saw him the other day when I was at Danny's stables
and he looks a bigger, stronger colt than what he was on
Newmarket day," Newitt said.
O'Brien has previously taken Glamour Puss and Star
Witness to England to race at Royal Ascot.
Glamour Puss was unplaced in both the King's Stand and
Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2006 while Star Witness was second
in the King's Stand and third in the Golden Jubilee in 2011
before being unplaced at his final start in the July Cup.
21/5/2013 Moore planning Plate Attack
Zac Purton posts a soft win on Military Attack
Cox Plate a distinct possibility for Singapore Airlines International Cup winner Military Attack
The John Moore-trained Military Attack, arguably the most improved horse on the world racing stage, overnight scored a commanding win in the $3 million Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) and may now be bound for the Moonee Valley Racing Club's showpiece, the Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).
“The Cox Plate would be a nice race for him now,” said Moore after breaking his International racing duck with the gelding who posted his fourth consecutive win on a night which belonged to Hong Kong with Lucky Nine having earlier won the KrisFlyer and Moore also claiming second in the Cup with Dan Excel.
“He'll have a break now and I'll be seriously looking at the Cox Plate. I know the Moonee Valley Racing Club has sent all the details to (owner) Steven Lo and I'll have a good talk to Steven about it. This is a serious horse now, he's kept progressing and we probably have to keep raising the bar.
“It will be a challenge to do both - to take on the Cox Plate and also the Hong Kong (International) Cup in December but it might be manageable. The horse has shown now that he thrives on travel and he's good fresh so we can train him that way,” he said.
Moore said he was delighted to have the international monkey off his back after a number of major race seconds when abroad, including with Zaidan in last year's Singapore Cup. “It's great to have that out of the way and my next target is to win a Group 1 race in Australia,” he said.
Military Attack won the 2000 metres feature by 3.25 lengths from his stablemate Dan Excel and ran near course record time in a performance which jockey Zac Purton described as “phenomenal”. The victory followed his success in the APQEII Cup on 28 April.
“I expected him to go close but of course I was surprised that he was able to blow them away like that,” said Purton.
Last year's Doomben Cup winner Mawingo returned to something like his best form, at his first run for local trainer Michael Freedman, when he finished a head behind Dan Excel in third place.
The Australian Bloodstock-owned German import, formerly trained out of Victoria by Freedman’s brother Anthony, was closing late and could well have grabbed second in a few more strides.
“He's run one hell of a race. He did have a dream run and couldn't match the winner but he was just pipped for second. He ran very well,” said jockey Hugh Bowman.
“I’ve only ridden him a couple of times and that was by far his best run under me and probably his best since last year’s Doomben Cup.”
The 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux finished eighth and found the trip “too short” according to jockey Gerald Mosse, after having competed at 3200 metres in Japan at his previous run.
By Steve Moran
Brett Prebble crosses the line on Lucky Nine
Victorian galloper Bel Sprinter far from disgraced after runner-up placing in Singapore's Krisflyer International
Hong Kong's Lucky Nine denied Australia's Bel Sprinter in tonight's $1 million Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) in Singapore and in the process a major sprint rivalry may well have begun which could continue throughout 2013.
Lucky Nine provided trainer Caspar Fownes with a second win in the Singapore spring feature, having won in 2010 with former Australian galloper Green Birdie, and the trainer immediately declared that he was "ten to one on" to campaign a horse in Australia and that Lucky Nine could well be the one to blaze that trail.
“I am ten to one on to get there at some stage. It's something I'm very keen to do. The Aussies are so passionate about their racing and I want to be part of it one of these days. Obviously we'll look at the Melbourne spring program among the many options for the horse,” he said.
The Melbourne option is obviously the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m), a leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, with Lucky Nine now eligible for the VRC $600,000 bonus which would mean a $1.2 million first prize should he win. The Sprinters Stakes in Japan is also a possibility as is Royal Ascot but Fownes said a UK trip was only a “maybe” at this stage.
And, aside from all those possibilities, the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) in his own backyard in December is probably the race definitely locked in all being well and that could well see a rematch with Jason Warren's Bel Sprinter.
“I'll look forward to seeing him again if December, if not sooner,” Warren said, referring to Lucky Nine after Bel Sprinter charged late to be beaten a margin of three lengths which was not a true reflection of the margin between the two horses.
Warren hadn't met Fownes but introduced himself immediately after the race and was among the first to congratulate the winning trainer. Fownes returned the goodwill gesture by labelling Bel Sprinter a “gun”.
While Lucky Nine enjoyed the run of the race, Bel Sprinter had to come from the tail and overcome a severe bump on the home turn.
“He copped one hell of a bump on the home turn,” said jockey Hugh Bowman, “It may not have been the difference between winning and losing but he should have been closer.
“He's run a terrifically good race. He struggled to get into a rhythm early but he eventually got balanced, at least before the prat on the turn and he did produce a finishing burst.”
Warren said he was happy rather than disappointed. “He's run so well you have to be happy. I've been around racing too long to dwell on running second. He was on his wrong leg for the first 400 metres. He's come from those two runs in Sydney and gone back to going left handed. That might have thrown him early.
“It got a bit rough for him on the corner but he hit the line enormous. He's done a super job. He's done Australia proud. He's still learning this horse. He's had 15 starts and done something wrong in just about every one of them but he'll come on from this experience and I think we're in for a good spring,” Warren said.
The winner was, of course, ridden by Hong Kong based Australian Brett Prebble who'd previously won the race on Sacred Kingdom in 2009.
“My confidence grew from six to ten when the horse began well,” Prebble said, “he had his mind on the job and ran right up to his very best which is very bloody good especially when you consider all the issues he has.”
Fownes said the win was “satisfying” and a great relief. “You can't imagine the pressure I felt leading into this race with the horse's internal issues, his feet problem and just for good measure we discovered a chip in a fetlock joint when we x-rayed him recently. Who knows how good his record would be but for all his little problems,” Fownes said.
By Steve Moran
20/5/2013 Cool double for trainer in hot form
Cool Customer scores easily on debut.
After landing the spoils with Supernova on Guineas
night last Friday, trainer Bruce Marsh continues to
enjoy a great month of May as he saddled a winning
double with debutant Cool Customer (NZ) (One Cool Cat)
and roughie Smart Idea (NZ) (Keeninsky) on Singapore
Airlines International Cup day on Sunday.
The Kiwi conditioner has now brought up his sixth winner
since May 5 to take his overall tally to 19 wins and sneak up
to sixth place on the ladder, 15 wins behind current leader,
fellow countryman Mark Walker.
Jockey Danny Beasley, who combined with Marsh aboard
Cool Customer, for one praised the trainer's astuteness
behind the impressive debut win.
With the benefit of having ridden the One Cool Cat threeyear-
old at his two barrier trials at Kranji, Beasley was certainly
in a good position to give Marsh his feedback in mapping out
the one-time New Zealand trial winner's career at Kranji.
Two races were under consideration, a 1200m race on
Friday night and a 1400m race on Sunday, but Beasley said
Marsh had already made up his mind Cool Customer would
be better suited by Sunday's race for Restricted Maidens
Division 1, the $65,000 Singapore Airlines A380 Hong Kong
"Full credit must go to Bruce. He picked the seven-furlong
race when he could have gone for the six-furlong race on
Friday night," said Beasley.
"I think it was a masterstroke from Bruce as he thought the
1200m would be too sharp for him. He preferred today's race
and he was right on the money.
Beasley said he had initially planned to settle off the
speed, but had to improvise when Cool Customer showed a
bit more dash than anticipated.
"I wanted to be third or fourth, but we ended up leading," said the Australian hoop. "He began a lot quicker than I
"I knew I was on the best horse in the field. I rode him out
at the 300m and he gave me a very good strong kick to the
The Kiwi handler said he was happy with Cool Customer's
debut win, especially after he was vindicated by his decision
to elect for a 1400m race first-up.
"The 1200m is a bit sharp for him. He's a big, long striding
sort of horse and I thought the 1400m would suit him better," said Marsh.
20/5/2013 Virtual horse racing
Virtual horse racing is something you probably either love or hate – or maybe you’re completely indifferent?
But whatever your view of them, you have to admit that they’re improved beyond all recognition in recent years – particularly in terms of their graphics, sound effects and the overall feeling of reality they seem to be able to generate. The very recent three dimensional versions take this further still.
OK, they don’t look likely to replace the real thing any time soon – but for a bit of harmless fun, they can be quite interesting.
The lasts fad is for racing to appear in various fun online casino games. These, of course, can be played on mobile devices as well as by slot machines (whether real or virtual) and on your PC.
There are several virtual horse racing casino games around now from different software developers licensed out to many different online gaming companies. They all appear slightly different and offer various bonus rounds, races and multifarious features to make them more interesting. The more sophisticated of these games allow punters to select their horses based on form, weighing the odds etc.
For example, the “Virtual Race book” game by Betsoft takes place in a three-dimensional world with amazingly realistic horses, sound, and special effects. Each of the horses has a different off-beat name and players can make up to ten bets per race.
Similarly, the graphics and the sound effects in the well-known “Golden Derby” game are also superb. This is a superior game, on the whole, to most others in that it allows gamers to study previous form and weigh the odds accordingly. There’s also a progressive jackpot available which gradually builds form a small proportion of each punter’s stake until one lucky winner scoops the lot – and these can run into serious amounts of money. Players are given jackpot numbers at the start of the race - and if all eight entrants finish in the order of your jackpot list, you win it.
A third well-liked game is Playtech’s virtual racing game, “Derby Day Horse Racing”. This sees six horses per race with each being worth a certain number of points. Here again, each horse’s previous wins and places are listed, together with information concerning the horse, jockey and appropriateness of the track conditions for each runner.
Of course, the serious gamblers out there may allow themselves a little bit of a sneer at virtual racing. This is a “mug’s game” etcetera, and perhaps it is; no-one is going to suggest that you’re likely to come out ahead gambling on virtual racing. But there are three factors to bear in mind here. The first is that it’s harmless fun as long as the stakes involved are throwaway money only. The second thing to remember is that you can play all these games for free with your chosen provider on mobile devices, so it can be a fun way of passing the time while you’re on a journey or waiting around somewhere – whether or not you actually gamble for any real cash.
But perhaps most significantly of all; punters should bear in mind that almost all the online casinos and gaming companies give newly registering players free bonus sign-up money – so you can at least have a few virtual racing bets for free.
19/5/2013 War Affair's win gives him status of Singapore's leading juvenile
The opposition is well astern as War Affair gallops away with the two-year-old feature at Kranji on Friday night.
Hot favourite War Affair (NZ) (O'Reilly) stamped
himself as the best two-year-old in Singapore when
he defeated a capacity field for a commanding win
in the Group Two S$325,000 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe on
Friday night, taking home around S$170,000 stakes money for
the Warplan Racing Stable, headed by Mr and Mrs Ong.
Settled in midfield by jockey Joao Moreira, War Affair came
sailing home once he saw daylight at the top of the straight
to score by an impressive two lengths, with third another 2¼ lengths away, finishing the 1200 metres in just a tick under
As the winner of the Inglis Sydney Juvenile Stakes a
fortnight ago, at just his second start, War Affair became
the only juvenile to have claimed more than one leg of the
six-race Singapore Golden Horseshoe series. "He's a pretty
exciting horse," said trainer Mark Walker. "He's kept improving
with age and he's got an exciting future in Singapore. Being
by O'Reilly, who is a great sire, I think he'll go over more
"Two runs ago, he was not quite mature as an individual.
He's a big scopy sort and whatever he does now, he will
improve for sure. He will have two weeks out and I will the
map out a programme for him.
"David Ellis bought this horse. We had a budget of
$100,000 and he went for less. He's proven a good buy.
"I'd also like to thank Mr and Mrs Ong, who have been
great supporters of mine from day one."
Jockey Joao Moreira said his confidence level was at
an all-time high during the race seeing how well he was
travelling with cover behind the speed.
"Things just panned out beautifully for him. All I had to
do is keep him out of trouble," said the three-time Singapore
"I could have been a little closer to the pace and he would
still have won. It was good to be there, give him a chance to
learn how to run between runners.
"At his first start, he was very green, but credit to Mark for
having brought him to his best in the last two runs.
"This is a very promising horse with a bright future here,
especially if we step him up in distance."
Race Singapore TC Aushorse Golden Horseshoe
Winner War Affair (NZ) 2010
Owners Warplan Racing Stable
Trainer Mark Walker (Kranji)
Breeding by O'Reilly out of Kristique (USA) by Kris S
Breeder Trelawney Thoroughbred Ltd
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Premier Session;
V: Trelawney Stud Ltd, P: Mr D C Ellis; $70,000
17/5/2013 Warren satisfied with Sprinter draw
Bel Sprinter during trackwork at Kranji this morning. Image: Singapore Turf Club
Bel Sprinter camp remain confident despite wide draw for Singapore sprint feature
Victorian trainer Jason Warren remains upbeat about Bel Sprinter's prospects in Sunday's Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint despite his charge drawing barrier 10 in a field of 11 in the Singapore leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.
"I'm more than happy (for him) to be out there. He'll be loaded late which is a plus and they tell me there's plenty of speed so he'll be likely to settle back in any case," Warren said.
Local sprinters Emerald Hill, Goal Keeper and Mr Big are the likely go forward runners and given that they've drawn 11, 8 and 7 respectively it's hard to imagine that the KrisFlyer will be run at anything other than a fast tempo.
"Hopefully he can run over the top of them like he did in the Galaxy," said Warren who plans to have the horse a 'fraction underdone' for Sunday's assignment.
"That's where he is at the moment and where I'd like to have him fresh. He'll only trot and canter over the next couple of mornings. He's never been beaten fresh and I'm happy to have him fresh for Sunday," he said.
Bel Sprinter, this morning, worked at three-quarter pace from the 800 metres on the outside rail of the polytrack. He was timed to run his last 600m in 41.4 seconds.
“We didn't want him to do any more than that; it was just a light workout,” Warren said.
The five-year-old did sweat up under saddle this morning but is handling the humidity well enough according to the stable.
“He's usually a free sweater so that's no great concern and he, felt good,” said Carley Thomas who has looked after the horse since day one at Warren's stable.
“The heat hasn't affected his appetite, he's licked the bin out here.
“He ate up well in Sydney but he's done even better here.”
Warren said that Bel Sprinter would return to Melbourne - 'win, lose or draw' - after his Singapore assignment. 'He won't go to England. He's a gelding and there's no attraction for me to take him there. There's better prizemoney to be won in Melbourne and, in the absence of Black Caviar, that's the logical move.
"We'd look at the Manikato Stakes and probably a run either side of that and, all being well, head to Hong Kong in December," he said.
Australian Michael Freedman, now training in Singapore, will be represented by Super Easy and Mr Big in the KrisFlyer. His pair ran one-two in the recent Lion City Cup in Singapore with Super Easy recording his 14th career win.
Freedman was satisfied with drawing 6 and 7 for his two sprinters with Super Easy one slot nearer the inside. 'I'm usually a shocker at these barrier draws but it was OK today. Both horses are fine from their respective draws. The pace looks good enough if some of the locals take up their customary roles and my two should get every chance,' Freedman said.
Corey Brown, now based in Singapore before his intended July move to France, will ride Mr Big while Joao Morreira steers Super Easy. Glyn Schofield and High Bowman fly in from Sydney to ride Kavanagh and Bel Sprinter respectively while ex-pat Danny Beasley rides Goal Keeper and Hong Kong based Brett Prebble is aboard Lucky Nine.
Hong Kong based Australian trainer John Moore fared best of the visitors when it came to the draw for the Singapore Airlines International Cup with his APQEII Cup winner Military Attack drawing barrier four and his Champions Mile winner Dan Excel snaring gate one.
"It's a dream really. I'm ecstatic. I wanted them to both draw in. They can go forward and make their own luck and I'm sure they're both great chances," Moore said.
The 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux, who's since performed well at Gr 1 level in Hong Kong, Dubai and Japan, drew the middle pin gate seven in the Cup field of 13.
"That's perfect," said trainer Ed Dunlop's assistant Robin Trevor-Jones, "somewhere between four and nine was what I was looking for. Anywhere around there was going to suit me. That's where the winners usually draw in this race." The past four winners of the Cup have, indeed, drawn between four and nine.
Four of the past five winners of the KrisFlyer have drawn 3 or better but Rocket Man did overcome barrier nine to win in 2011.
By Steve Moran
Mawingo, pictured here during trackwork at Kranji this morning. Image: Singapore Turf Club
Freedman hoping drop back to 2000m will suit Singapore International Cup hope Mawingo
The drop back to 2000 metres may be the key to the German bred, Australian owned and now Singapore trained Mawingo turning around a last start BMW failure in Sunday's Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji.
That is the hope of Singapore based trainer Michael Freedman who has taken over the training of the five-year-old from his Melbourne based brother Anthony.
“The form card shows that his runs at 2000m have simply been better than those at 2400m and I recall Craig (Williams) saying that he didn't really stay after the BMW,” Freedman said.
Mawingo's four wins have come from 1600m to 2080m and while he was placed at 2400m in last year's Brisbane Cup it was a performance which rated well below his Doomben Cup win, at 2000 metres, just three weeks earlier.
The son of Tertullian was a labouring 9th in the BMW which promoted this post race comment from Williams: “He didn't see out the 2400 (metres, the way the race was run,” said the jockey who'll be replaced by High Bowman, who also rides Bel Sprinter, in Singapore.
His previous effort was a satisfactory closing fourth in the Ranvet behind Foreteller and Fiveandahalfstar who've run well since and he beat home the likes of Silent Achiever, Kellini and Sangster who've won or placed, at Group level, since.
Freedman is also hopeful that Mawingo will “pick up” after a couple of days to settle in to a steamy Singapore.
Now a registered Malayan Racing Association (MRA) galloper, the entire was required to pass a barrier test prior to accepting for Sunday’s race with Freedman pleased with his performance when jumping from the barriers in the 1800m chute and cantering a lap of the turf track with track rider William Stewart aboard.
“He's been a touch off his feed but nothing yet to cause great alarm. Hopefully he will spark up a little over the next few days,” he said.
“At least I know that he can jump out of the barriers but he won’t be doing too much before the race on Sunday.”
Mawingo won't, of course, be the first German bred winner of the Singapore feature race nor the first winner trained by a Freedman. Epalo won for the Germans in 2004 and the following year, Lee Freedman prepared Mummify to a memorable win in the race.
Michael Freedman might also be encouraged by the fact that while Mawingo's current form looks less than spectacular nor was Mummify's anything to write home about. He came off a fifth placing in a minor handicap at Caulfield and had been placed once in six starts of his campaign leading into Singapore.
“The horse looks to have travelled up very well and that always a key,” said Freedman after Mawingo arrived on Sunday night, “And I think having the other horse (Bel Sprinter) with him certainly made the trip a lot easier. I doubt we'll have to do a lot with him.”
Mawingo may have a long term future in Singapore and a win on Sunday would be the realization of a relatively long term goal. “The Singapore Cup would be a lovely race to target,” former trainer Anthony Freedman said as early as January this year.
Plans are to spell the horse following the SIA Cup and then aim at the G1 Singapore Triple Crown Series at the end of year which incorporates the Kranji Mile (1600m), the Raffles Cup (1800m) and the Longines Singapore Gold Cup (2200m).
“I talked to the owners in Sydney at the yearling sales and they felt the horse had met his mark in Australia,” Michael Freedman said, “they take a keen interest in racing in Singapore and asked me to put forward some options for them to consider following the SIA Cup.”
By Steve Moran
Bel Sprinter arrived at Changi Airport on Sunday night. Image: Singapore Turf Club
Victorian gallopers Bel Sprinter and Mawingo jet into Singapore ahead of Group 1 targets on International Raceday
Australia's two representatives at this weekend's Singapore International Race meeting flew into Singapore overnight ahead of their respective Group 1 targets on May 19.
Jason Warren-trained Bel Sprinter and Group 1-winning Freedman import Mawingo arrived on Sunday night and have settled in well to their new surroundings in the quarantine complex at the Singapore Turf Club.
While Bel Sprinter will run for Australia in the $1 million Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint over 1200m, German-bred Mawingo will represent Singapore in the $3 million Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) as he is now under the care of Michael Freedman.
The pair “bonded” during their three week pre-travel quarantine together at Denistoun Park, the training complex of Jason Warren, Bel Sprinter’s trainer.
Bel Sprinter and Mawingo travelled from Australia in great order and hardly turned a hair on their arrival in Singapore.
Speaking from the quarantine stables this morning both training camps reported the pair had settled in perfectly.
The only sign of any problem was when Bel Sprinter left the stable to go for a walk and Mawingo whinnied when his mate left.
“I couldn’t be happier with how our horse travelled,” said Warren's assistant trainer Mitch Beer. “He ate hay all the way and drank plenty of water.
“I thought he may have got a little upset when taken off the plane and was still in his crate with all the activity buzzing around him, but he was fine.
“He was a little tucked up when he got out of the crate, but looking at him this morning you wouldn’t know that he’s travelled.
“He ate up overnight, leaving just a handful of his feed, but he does that at home anyway. So long as he’s eating and drinking, that’s all we can hope for.”
Beer said Bel Sprinter would be given some light work on Tuesday and Wednesday with something more strenuous on Thursday morning.
Michael Freedman laid eyes for the first time on Mawingo after connections decided to send the entire to Singapore for the SIA Cup and to do his future racing.
Mawingo was previously-trained in Melbourne by Freedman’s brother Anthony and 12 months ago – May 19 to be exact – he took out the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane.
“He’s a nice horse and has travelled up very well,” said Freedman. “I think having the other horse with him certainly made the trip a lot easier.
“He’s settled in well and looks relaxed. We’ll know a bit more about him as the week goes on.”
Freedman said Mawingo was likely to go for a light canter on the Polytrack on Tuesday morning and again on Wednesday.
“I don’t think he’s going to need too much,” said Freedman. “I’m treating the flight up as almost a race, so I’ll just keep him ticking over and keep him fresh and happy.”
Story courtesy of the Singapore Turf Club
13/5/2013 Polytrack the ideal surface for Tim
Tim makes it two in a row at Kranji last Friday
Consistent galloper Tim (NZ) (Elusive City) landed
back-to-back victories when he took out the
$55,000 Class 4 Stakes over 1000m on the Polytrack
at Kranji last Friday night.
Successful on April 26, Tim, ridden by Joao Moreira, backed
up that success with a three-quarter length victory over
Black Unicorn with Flag Of Command a length away third.
Moreira said a lot of the credit for Tim's victory should go
to trainer Laurie Laxon's assistant Shane Ellis who helped
guide the jockey to victory.
"Shane not only does a lot of work in the stable but also a
lot of form and he got this race down perfect," said Moreira.
"He said there would be good pace and that we would get
a good trail and he read the race perfectly."
Moreira said Tim was an "honest" horse who was well
suited to the Polytrack.
"I still think he's got some room for improvement," said
Moreira. "He's made improvement from his last run and I think
he can make some more.
Laxon said Tim loved the Polytrack, having had all ten starts
to date on the surface, and said he had picked out another
race in a couple of weeks for the gelding.
"He loves the Polytrack," said Laxon. "And finally he's drawn a
couple of decent barriers and has strung together a couple of
"He's small but he's a tough little bugger. There's another nice
race for him in a couple of week's time that should fit nicely
into his benchmark."
Tim has now had ten starts in Singapore registering three
wins and three minor placings, all on the Polytrack, for just on
$130,000 in prizemoney for his Oscar Racing Stable owners.
Mufhasa career in doubt
6th May 2013
The career of dual New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa (NZ) (Pentire) could be over after he finished a long last in the Champions Mile at Sha Tin last night.
After making a good start to sit outside the leader, it was obvious on the home turn that Mufhasa was labouring and the ten-time Group One winner was eased out of the race by jockey Michael Rodd.
“We got to the half mile (800m) and he was trying to clear his wind,” Rodd said afterwards. “His breathing obviously wasn’t right and he was struggling soon after. There’s a problem, it’s a shame.”
A post-race veterinary report from the Hong Kong Jockey Club stated that Mufhasa was lame in his left front foreleg as well as having “substantial” blood in his trachea.
6th May 2013
Debutant Perfect Charger (NZ) (One Cool Cat) lived up to his impressive trial form with a solid victory in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden over 1100m on the polytrack on Sunday.
Ridden by Oscar Chavez, Perfect Charger scored by a length from Let’s Talk Now with Happy Forever a neck away third Perfect Charger had looked the goods at the barrier trials prior to his winning performance on Sunday with a third placing on April 3 before coming out and recording a 10 ¾ length 1000m trial success on April 23.
|Perfect Charger (NZ) (One Cool Cat)
Jumping smartly from barrier 10, Perfect Charger was sent forward by Chavez to share the lead with Let’s Talk Now and Happy Forever on settling down.
Once into the straight, Chavez gave Perfect Charger a crack with the whip which got his focus back and despite wanting to run about in the straight was too strong in the run to the line.
“I was happy where I was in the race but he was very green,” said Chavez. “He wanted to run away from Beasley’s horse (Happy Forever) and then wanted lay-in and lay-out in the straight.
“He didn’t focus fully in the race, but I gave him a hit with the whip and that woke him up that he is a racehorse.
“He did it naturally today and will continue to improve with that experience under him.
Perfect Charger was originally in the care of Steven Lam who trialed him on April 3 before transferring to Alvin Tan’s stable around a month ago.
“Steven Lam did all the early work with him,” said Chavez.
“He took a lot of work and came to Alvin’s stable where they just did the touch up work.
“I think if Alvin can find the right sort of race then he will be hard to beat at his next start and be even better later on.”
6th May 2013
Smart galloper Ronnie Brown (NZ) appreciated the drop in class with his victory in the $75,000 Kranji Stakes C over 1000m on the Polytrack on Sunday.
A three-year-old New Zealand-bred by Darci Brahma, Ronnie Brown has now won five of his 10 starts with a further two minor placings and took his prizemoney earnings to in excess of $200,000 for connections – the Mummify Stable.
| Ronnie Brown (NZ)
Sent out the favourite, Ronnie Brown, ridden by Joao Moreira, scored a two-and-a-half length victory over Petrenui with Affirmation a length-and-three-quarters away third.
The Michael Freedman-trained three-year-old relished coming back in journey to the 1000m after finishing fifth and fourth respectively over 1200m at his two previous runs. He had previously been successful over 1100m on March 17.
Freedman said that even though Ronnie Brown was built as though he would relish a longer journey, the trainer said he had finally figured out that the three-year-old was essentially a sprinter.
“I think he’s essentially he’s a 1000m or an 1100m horse,” said Freedman. “In his right race he can be pushed out to 1200m.
“Even though he’s built to get 1400m and a mile, I think he’s much happier at those distances.
“He’s done a good job today. He’s carried 58kg against the older horses and has given them a beating and has run time as well.
“It’s a pity the Club doesn’t run any 1000m feature races on the Polytrack as I think one of them would be right up his alley.”
5/5/2013 Bright future predicted for Singapore juvenile winner
War Affair passes the post a comfortable winner at Kranji on Friday night.
After running a promising fourth when debuting in the
fourth leg a fortnight ago, War Affair (NZ) (O'Reilly)
was sent out favourite and franked the form when he
came with a sustained run to take out the penultimate leg of
the six-race Singapore Golden Horseshoe series, the S$90,000
Inglis Sydney Juvenile Stakes at Kranji on Friday night.
Second favourite Bringithome (Lucky Owners) had looked
like the one to beat when he rolled to the top of the straight
still full of running, but once jockey Joao Moreira peeled
War Affair out for his run, there was no doubt about the
final outcome. Illustrating the superiority of the winner and
his runner-up, separated by three-quarters of a length, the
third-placegetter was just under four lengths away. War Affair
ran the 1200 metres on the turf course in the smart time of
Being a New Zealand-bred, War Affair did not qualify for
a S$30,000 bonus, but winning trainer Mark Walker can no
doubt look forward to more returns from him further down
"He's an overgrown horse, who probably shouldn't be
doing what he is doing now," said the Kiwi handler. "He won
tonight's race on natural ability. We'll probably give him one
more run and put him aside."
That one more run will most likely come in the final leg
of the juvenile series, the S$325,000 Group Two Aushorse
Golden Horseshoe, over 1200 metres, on May 17.
"We'll see how he pulls up. Obviously, if he's all right, he
will then go towards the final leg in two week's time," Walker
Moreira, who has been War Affair's partner at both runs,
said he would have been disappointed if he did not win
"He was probably not ready at his first race. He was
looking around and was getting plenty of kickback in his
face," said the Brazilian rider.
"He jumped very well tonight and was a lot closer than at
his debut. He was always in a good spot and I could feel he
would not let me down. I didn't pull the stick on him in the
end as I felt he would get there just riding him hands and
"He's certainly got a very bright future here."
Race Singapore TC Inglis Sydney Juvenile S.
Winner War Affair (NZ) 2010
Owners Warplan Racing Stable
Trainer Mark Walker (Kranji)
Breeding by O'Reilly out of Kristique (USA) by Kris S
Breeder Trelawney Thoroughbred Ltd
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Premier Session;
V: Trelawney Stud Ltd, P: Mr D C Ellis; $70,000