The Kranji Mile is a Group 1 race over 1600m first introduced in 2000. It replaced the Queen Elizabeth II Cup as one of the three Legs of the Singapore Triple Crown series. Slated as the first Leg, normally at the beginning of October, the Kranji Mile then moved on to the Raffles Cup (1800m), leading up to the grand final, the Singapore Gold Cup (2200m). Japanese electronics giant Panasonic came on board to sponsor the race from 2007 until 2017, with the Sakura Day held in tandem to celebrate all things Japanese.
In 2018, the Kranji Mile was revamped as an Invitational race with prizemoney increased to $1.5 million as a prelude to the International race meeting the Singapore Turf Club aims to reintroduce together with the Lion City Cup (1200m) in 2019. Four overseas horses will be invited to compete against Singapore-based horses. Bonuses of $100,000 and $50,000 will be paid out to any Singapore-based horse who finishes first and second past the post respectively. As such, the new Kranji Mile is no longer held as the first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series, and is also being brought forward to May.
Circuit Land heads 11-strong local contingent in Kranji Mile
Singapore will be represented by 11 local runners in the inaugural $1.5 million Invitational Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) which will be held at a twilight meeting starting at 3.45pm on May 26.
|1||Circuit Land||Lee Freedman|
|2||Elite Excalibur||Cliff Brown|
|4||Clarton Super||Tan Kah Soon|
|6||Well Done||Shane Baertschiger|
|8||Nova Strike||Alwin Tan|
|9||Majestic Moments||Ricardo Le Grange|
|11||Iron Man||Ricardo Le Grange|
They will compete against an overseas team made up of Southern Legend and Horse Of Fortune from Hong Kong, and Ocean Emperor from New Zealand.
The Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) on April 27 was a good trial to the Kranji Mile as seven of the local runners ran against each other in that race. Circuit Land, the former Hong Kong-based galloper who was at only his second Kranji start for Lee Freedman, was the one who came out tops after a close fight with reigning Singapore Horse of the Year, Infantry.
Circuit Land picked up 12 points for that win to sit on 114 points, making him the highest-rated Singapore-based horse in the field.
The Alwin Tan-trained Infantry won the last Kranji Mile, but when it was then run in October as the Panasonic-sponsored first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series. The five-year-old son of Tavistock boasts three more ‘black type’ wins among his total haul of nine wins, including the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) last year.
Another Derby winner in the mix is Well Done, recently transferred to trainer Shane Baertschiger, who will also present the up-and-coming Preditor, a five-year-old entire by Savabeel who has captured four wins between 1400m and 1800m in Singapore. Besides the 2016 Derby, Well Done, a six-year-old by Falkirk, also won the Group 1 Patron’s Bowl (1600m) among the seven races he captured for trainer David Kok, paving the way to the Champion Four-Year-Old title that year.
After showing promise in his first season, even performing creditably in Dubai last year, the former Sydney-based Elite Excalibur finally took a well-deserved feature at his third Kranji win in the Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1600m) on March 18. Trained by Cliff Brown, the Fastnet Rock five-year-old flew home for third in the Chairman’s Trophy.
A winner of five races at Kranji, Clarton Super has spearheaded young trainer Tan Kah Soon’s fledgling career from Day 1. The Swift Alliance five-year-old has already given the first full-season handler two big-race wins in the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) and the Group 3 Fortune Bowl (1400m).
The sixth local raider to boast ‘black type’ credentials is new Kranji trainer Donna Logan’s Volkstok’n’barrell, but earned in New Zealand. Still yet to race in Singapore, the Tavistock six-year-old was a multiple-Group winner for Logan, including four at Group 1 level, with the 2015 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), the 2016 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) and 2017 Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) among the highlights.
The remaining four local contenders hail from a duo trained by Ricardo Le Grange, Majestic Moments, three times runner-up in Group 1 events and Iron Man, and two other from Tan, Nova Strike, fifth at his last start in the Chairman’s Trophy, and Maximus.
Five overseas jockeys riding at Kranji Mile meeting
The Singapore Turf Club has granted a one-day visiting jockey’s licence to the five overseas jockeys booked to ride at the Group 1 Kranji Mile meeting on 26 May, 2018.
The five jockeys, along with their Kranji Mile riding assignments are:
|Jockey||Kranji Mile ride|
|David Probert||Here Comes When|
|Jason Collett||Ocean Emperor|
|Zac Purton||Southern Legend|
|Karis Teetan||Horse Of Fortune|
|Alexis Badel||Circuit Land|
The Welsh- born Probert, 30, has ridden in excess of 600 winners in a career that began with English trainer Andrew Balding at his Kingsclere yard in Newmarket in 2006. Crowned joint British champion apprentice jockey with William Buick in 2008, Probert has gone on to ride more than 20 Group and Listed Race winners in his career.
Well-travelled, Probert has ridden successfully throughout Great Britain and other European countries, as well as at short stints in Dubai, Qatar and India. He has yet to ride a Group 1 winner with his highest acclaim being two wins in the Group 2 Oettingen-Rennen (1600m) at Baden Baden in Germany, including the latest aboard his Kranji Mile ride, Here Comes When in 2014.
Probert rode 94 winners from 855 rides throughout the United Kingdom in the 2017 racing season and currently has on the board 10 winners from 125 rides this season. He goes to scale at 55kgs.
Collett is a 26-year-old New Zealand rider currently plying his trade in Sydney, Australia, and has booted home in excess of 800 winners.
Hailing from a racing family in Pukekohe, Collett began his riding career nine years ago. He has two siblings, who are both jockeys, including the recently-licensed Alysha Collett.
One year after landing the New Zealand champion apprentice jockey title in the 2011/2012 season, Collett moved across the Tasman Sea to Sydney where he was associated with the powerful Chris Waller stable.
With three ‘black type’ wins already gained back in New Zealand, namely the Group 2 Japan New Zealand Trophy, Dunedin Gold Cup, Tauranga Cup, Collett has since added more feathers to his cap in Australia, padding up his resume to a total feature tally of 29 Group winners and 28 Listed winners, notably the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes aboard Rebel Dane in 2013 and more recently, the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes aboard Man From Uncle in 2017.
Collett, who also represented New Zealand at the Asian Young Guns Challenge in Macau in 2012, currently sits in sixth place on the Sydney jockeys’ premiership on 49 winners this season, and goes to scale at 53kgs.
Hong Kong-based Australian jockey Purton, 35, began his riding career in Queensland where he won the Brisbane champion jockey title in 2003 while still an apprentice jockey. He later moved to Sydney where he figured among the leading jockeys before he moved to Hong Kong in 2007.
After a slow start in the British colony, Purton soon made his mark, becoming the first jockey to end the 13-year reign of champion jockey Douglas Whyte in the 2013/2014 season. Purton has chalked up in excess of 800 winners in Hong Kong, and has ridden several Group and Listed winners throughout Australia, Hong Kong and other countries.
Some of his major wins include the 2012 Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes aboard Little Bridge at Royal Ascot, the 2014 Group 1 Caulfield Cup aboard Admire Rakti, the Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen on Aerovelocity in March 2015, the Hong Kong Mile (twice), Hong Kong Sprint (twice), Hong Kong Vase, Hong Kong Derby, Hong Kong Gold Cup and one World Super Jockey Series title in Japan in 2012.
Locally, Purton is better remembered for winning the 2013 Singapore Airlines International Cup on Military Attack and the 2015 KrisFlyer International Sprint on Aerovelocity.
Purton, who goes to scale at 54kgs, is currently placed second on the Hong Kong jockeys’ premiership on 95 winners from 475 rides.
Mauritian-born Teetan, 27, will be at his third pit-stop visit in Singapore. The Hong Kong-based jockey paid his first visit in 2016 when he landed the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) aboard Lim’s Cruiser for trainer Stephen Gray.
After beginning his career as an apprentice jockey in South Africa in 2005, Teetan went on to finish runner-up on the South African apprentice jockey championship in the 2009-2010 season. He relocated to Hong Kong three years later in August 2013, getting off to a flying start at his very first ride aboard Amazing Always.
The lightweight jockey went on to bring up an outstanding haul of 50 winners in that rookie season. After another prolific season in 2015-2016 when he finished third on the log, he had a quieter season in 2016-2017, but has bounced back this year, currently sitting in third place on 41 winners behind perennial champion Joao Moreira.
With a total win tally in excess of 800 winners chalked up mainly in South Africa and Hong Kong, Teetan counts several feature race wins on his resume, namely the Group 1 Cape Derby and Group 1 Daily News 2000 with Jackson in South Africa, the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Cup, Group 2 Hong Kong Chairman’s Trophy and Group 2 Hong Kong Premier Bowl at Sha Tin and the Keeneland Korea Sprint aboard the Tony Millard-trained Super Jockey in Seoul in 2016.
Teetan also won a feature race aboard his Kranji Mile mount Horse Of Fortune – also prepared by Millard – in the Group 3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse (1800m) in 2016.
Teetan, who has also ridden in Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Macau, goes to scale at 50kgs.
With a trainer as mother (Myriam Bollack-Badel) and a former jockey as father (Alain Badel), Badel, 28, was always destined to become a jockey. After being crowned French champion apprentice jockey in 2007, he broke into the Top 10 in the French premiership in just his second year riding with 60 winners.
Feature races wins did not take long to come. He notched his first Group race win aboard Norse King for his mother in the 2013 Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris (2400m). He again landed another Group 2 for Bollack-Badel in the Grand Prix de Deauville aboard Cocktail Queen the next year.
Badel soon caught the eye of the Aga Khan, becoming his stable jockey behind Christophe Soumillon at the beginning of the 2015 racing season. That proved to be his most successful season to-date with a haul of 104 winners and a seventh position finish on the log. He won the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte that year aboard Donjuan Triumphant.
Badel has been a regular visitor in Hong Kong since December 2016, ending his first two-month stint on seven winners. He returned for a new term between November 2017 and February 2018, booting home another 14 more winners.
Currently based in France, Badel sits in 30th place on the French championship on 13 winners from 138 rides. He goes to scale at 52kgs.
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