Singapore Racing: Kranji Mile News
With four days to go before the $1.5 million Invitational Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m), the mercury level is rising for the race tagged as the “hottest race in the tropics”.
All three overseas horses emerged from their International Stables for some light work, with New Zealand’s Ocean Emperor also heading to the Grandstand parade ring for a look-see, accompanied by his trainer Gary Hennessy.
While the Cox Plate-winning Hennessy arrived on the same plane as Ocean Emperor on Thursday, two-time KrisFlyer International Sprint-winning trainer Caspar Fownes (Lucky Nine in 2013 and 2014) walked in straight from Changi Airport all bleary-eyed as Southern Legend was getting a hose-down after his workout.
Horse Of Fortune’s trainer Tony Millard arrives only on Thursday after the Happy Valley meeting on Wednesday night, but his wife Beverly has been taking care of business, both on (she is also the track rider) and off the South African-bred since their arrival on Saturday.
Among the home team, most of the 10 runners (after Well Done’s unfortunate withdrawal on Saturday) had an easy time, except for Iron Man who quickened up the Polytrack under race-rider Barend Vorster.
Ocean Emperor (NZ) – Gary Hennessy
Trotted and cantered two laps of Track 6 with track rider Tui Miles up. Later went for paddock schooling in the parade ring.
“I’m just keeping him ticking over here as he’s reasonably clean-winded. Core fitness is an important thing for us,” said trainer Gary Hennessy.
“He’s had his last gallop back home on Tuesday and trialed the last Thursday before he came here.
“He lost some weight during the travel, but he’s regained it and is back to his racing weight. His racing weight was round about 480kgs before, but we’ve upped the ante since, and he’s around 465-470kgs now.
“I gave Tui the whip for the second lap as he’s very casual, he only does what he has to do. But on raceday, he’s a different horse.
“He went to the parade ring to familiarise himself and he took it all in very well. We’ll see how it goes, maybe he’ll breeze up on the grass on Wednesday.”
Ocean Emperor walks around the parade ring with track rider Tui Miles on board.
Southern Legend (HK) – Caspar Fownes
Trotted half a lap and cantered 1 ½ lap on Polytrack (Track 2) under track rider Mok Chun Wa.
“On Sunday, he just had a trot on the back track, today he did some trot and canter on the Polytrack,” said trainer Caspar Fownes who came straight to the track after landing in Singapore, fresh off his training hat-trick at Sha Tin on Sunday.
“I missed the work, but he looks happy. He’s eating and drinking and that’s all you can ask of a horse in a new environment.
“He lost a few pounds coming here, but that’s normal. I wouldn’t worry about the weights, it’s irrelevant.”
Southern Legend looks nice and fresh as he canters around the Polytrack.
Horse Of Fortune (HK) – Tony Millard
Strong canter over 2000m on the Polytrack (Track 2) with Beverly Millard in the saddle.
“He did two laps on Track 2. On the first lap, he didn’t change his legs, but he did on the second,” said Beverly Millard, Tony Millard’s wife.
“One day a week, we get to work the other way back home. He did win in Cape Town going on the left hand, but he’s probably a bit ring-rusty now.
“It’s important we get him used to the other way of going as it can make a big difference.
“He’s already done his main prep at home. He’ll do the same work tomorrow and may open up on Thursday, just to stretch his legs.
“He was a little bit unsettled when he just arrived (on Saturday), which was a bit surprising as he is well-traveled, having journeyed from South Africa via Mauritius and France before getting to Hong Kong.
“It’s never easy to travel and he’s lost about 10 to 12 pounds, but he’s a quiet little horse who’s tough and resilient. The most important is to keep him happy.
“He’s a horse who likes to be close to the pace. He’s a fighter, he puts his head down and gives his best.
“He ran sixth in the Hong Kong Mile last December. He may not be in that top group but he always does his best.”
Horse Of Fortune (Beverly Millard) is led out for his second day of morning trackwork at Kranji.
Circuit Land (SG) – Lee Freedman
Cantered on the heath track (Track 4) with track rider Chihiro Iizuka in the saddle.
“He just had some light work down the heath track this morning,” said trainer Lee Freedman.
“He had his last gallop over 1000m on Friday, and was nice and strong.
“He seems very bright and happy. He will have his next gallop either tomorrow or Wednesday.”
Clarton Super (SG) – Tan Kah Soon
Cantered on the uphill track with champion apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen aboard.
“I was happy with his work on the uphill track,” said trainer Tan Kah Soon.
“He will probably gallop tomorrow.”
Elite Excalibur (SG) – Cliff Brown
Cantered on the uphill track with a track rider aboard.
“He had a canter up the hill with one of my boys,” said trainer Cliff Brown.
“Michael (Rodd) will gallop him tomorrow. All’s good with him.”
Infantry, Nova Strike & Maximus (SG) – Alwin Tan
All three runners from the Alwin Tan yard came out on Track 4 for some light work over 1000m.
“They all had some light work – canter – on Track 4,” said trainer Alwin Tan.
“Infantry is going over 1600m and I wanted him to go easy. I’m very happy with his condition.
“Olivier Placais rode Nova Strike and the horse stretched out very nicely. Everything’s going well with him.
“Maximus was very fresh, he was a little bit keen, especially as it’s a Monday.
“They will do fast work tomorrow, either on Track 2 or Track 6.”
Iron Man & Majestic Moments (SG) – Ricardo Le Grange
Of the Ricardo Le Grange pair, Iron Man (Barend Vorster) galloped on the Polytrack (Track 2) reeling off the last 600m in 35.4 seconds. Majestic Moments did two laps of canter with a track rider up on Track 2.
“Happy with both of them. They both trialled well last week, and I had to monitor their weights and decide when they would gallop this week,” said trainer Ricardo Le Grange.
“Iron Man galloped this morning whereas Majestic Moments will gallop with Nooresh Juglall tomorrow. He will go on Polytrack as well – I’m not using the grass track for either horse.”
Preditor (SG) – Shane Baertschiger
Cantered one lap on the Polytrack (Track 2) under jockey Matthew Kellady’s guidance, looking nice and relaxed.
“The horse is going good and will come out around the same time (8am) tomorrow for his gallop,” said trainer Shane Baertschiger.
Preditor (Matthew Kellady) is put through his paces on the Polytrack.
Volkstok’n’barrell (SG) – Donna Logan
Cantered over one lap of the Polytrack (Track 2) with Alysha Collett up.
“The horse is progressing really well. More importantly, he’s bright and happy, and comfortable with himself,” said trainer Donna Logan of her New Zealand multiple-Group winner who has yet to race in Singapore.
“There is still some improvement in him. Bearing in mind he’s more of a 1800m-2000m horse, I don’t want him to peak too early.
“It’s better he has some fresh energy left for a mile.”
The Hong Kong Jockey Club will simulcast for betting seven races from the Kranji Mile Day meeting to be held at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore the evening of Saturday, 26 May.
The featured Kranji Mile (SIN-G1 1600m for 3yo+) has been revamped as an invitational race this year with prizemoney increased to S$1.5 million, making it the richest race on the Singapore racing calendar.
Hong Kong runners have enjoyed tremendous success during their Singapore visits and hopes are high for SOUTHERN LEGEND (Caspar Fownes) and HORSE OF FORTUNE (Tony Millard) to continue Hong Kong’s remarkable record in the Lion City.
The simulcast also includes two important series finales, namely the Lion City Cup (SIN-G1 1200m for 3yo+, 3rd Leg of the Singapore Sprint Series) and the Singapore Guineas (SIN-G1 1600m for 3yos, 3rd Leg of Singapore 3-Year-Old Challenge).
The seven races on the card are:
S1-1 05:15 pm Class 4 Handicap
S1-2 05:45 pm Class 3 Handicap
S1-3 06:15 pm Class 4 Handicap
S1-4 06:50 pm Lion City Cup
S1-5 07:25 pm Singapore Guineas
S1-6 08:05 pm Kranji Mile
S1-7 08:40 pm Kranji Stakes A
Final declarations with barrier draws for the Kranji Mile Day races will be available on Friday, 25 May.
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