Southern Legend triumphs in second Kranji Mile

Saturday evening’s S$1.5 million Kranji Mile LR was a triumph for the Australian breeding industry, Hong Kong racing, Inglis sales, Not A Single Doubt and Arrowfield & Corumbene Studs as Southern Legend sped to a commanding victory, chased home by 7YO former Hong Kong Group winner Blizzard.

Saturday evening’s S$1.5 million Kranji Mile 1600m LR was a triumph for the Australian breeding industry,  as Southern Legend sped to a commanding victory, chased home by former Hong Kong Group winner Blizzard.

Southern Legend and Zac Purton had everything under control at the end of the 2019 Kranji Mile LR. (PHOTO: Singapore Turf Club)

Already Not A Single Doubt’s all-time leading earner, Southern Legend took his prizemoney to around $4.9 million with his second consecutive Kranji Mile win for owner Boniface Ho and trainer Caspar Fownes. His time of 1:33.61 was slightly faster than his 2018 performance and, in the opinion of his jockey Zac Purton, a stronger win all round. 

Mr Ho’s buyer and Australian-based manager Carmel Size shared her delight on Twitter: “Thrill of a life time to have kicked the journey off with such a super, super horse, he is so honest and wouldn’t know how to run a bad race.”

Carmel and her father Neville Begg bought Southern Legend (ex Donna’s Appeal by Carnegie) for $280,000 from the 2014 Inglis Easter draft of breeder Corumbene Stud. The Stud has retained Southern Legend’s yearling sister, already named Loveland.   

The Kranji Mile is Mr Ho’s second major success with a Not A Single Doubt son this year, following Classique Legend’s brilliant ATC Arrowfield Stud 3YO Sprint G2 victory at The Championships last month. Classique Legend is now a contender for the $14 million The TAB Everest after Mr Ho & Carmel Size Racing purchased GPI Racing’s slot.

They also signed for three Not A Single Doubt yearlings from Arrowfield’s Class of 2019, securing the Zillow & Lahana colts at Inglis Easter for $1.05 million & $480,000 respectively, and the Stormy Hussey colt for $140,000 at Inglis Classic.

There was plenty to admire about Blizzard’s runner-up performance too. Bred by GSA Bloodstock and purchased for $75,000 by Ricky Yiu from Arrowfield’s 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft, the 7YO son of Starcraft and Stormy Choice (by Redoute’s Choice) has been a wonderfully genuine performer in top company over five seasons for the Infinitude Syndicate.

His four years in Hong Kong produced a Group 3 victory, a Group 1 third and three excellent Group 1 fifths in Japan before his transfer last year to Lee Freedman in Singapore. Blizzard has since added the Fortune Bowl LR & three placings to his record and his lifetime prizemoney now approaches $4 million.

As for Not A Single Doubt, he looks increasingly secure in 5th spot on the Australian General Sires’ Premiership and his season tally of stakes wins is only five short of his career-best total of 26, compiled in 2016/17.

Sun Jewellery seals a sparkling Hong Kong season

Snitzel’s 4YO son Sun Jewellery sealed a super Hong Kong season for Arrowfield stallions & graduates when he took out the last of the Club’s feature races, the Premier Cup 1400m HK-3, on Sunday evening.

Already winner of the HK-1 Classic Mile & Classic Cup earlier this year,  Sun Jewellery scored with panache if not dominance, after jumping well to take up the inside running while Dashing Fellow pressed on from his wide gate towards the lead where was soon joined by Dundonnell.

Joao Moreira angled Sun Jewellery out at the 350-metre mark and he wound up to tackle Dashing Fellow just as Dundonnell began to fade. Dashing Fellow would not concede and Sun Jewellery had to produce all of his superior finishing speed to get the better of him by a short head, with Rewarding Hero 2.5 lengths away in third place.

Watch Sun Jewellery’s Hong Kong Premier Cup HK-3 win.

Dashing Fellow’s jockey Chad Schofield was in a good position to assess the quality of Sun Jewellery’s performance.

He said, “We had a very easy time up front, and with his light weight he sprinted hard. I thought the way he quickened we would be hard to beat, but that winner is very good. Even though we had another picnic out front, he still ran us down.”

Sun Jewellery’s trainer John Size agreed. “The pace suited the leader, but to get past him, he really had to sprint and work hard and sustain the run.

“He’s aimed at a race like the Hong Kong Mile in December, so we’ll ask him to do a little bit more in the new season and see if he shapes up for it.”

Not that Sun Jewellery (ex Tan Tat Star by Umatilla), with nine wins and $3.2 million from 13 starts, has to do any more to delight his owner-breeder Tung Moon Fai. Tan Tat Star has an unraced 3YO son Tan Tat Nova (by Not A Single Doubt), a weanling filly by Bel Esprit and is in foal to Manhattan Rain.

Sun Jewellery and Arrowfield graduates Contentment (Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup G1 & Sha Tin Trophy G2) & Not Listenin’tome (Bauhini Sprint Trophy G3) have won five Hong Kong feature races this season.

Contentment and Not Listenin’tome, both rated on 125, are among Hong Kong’s leading performers, while Sun Jewellery (110), Redoute’s Choice’s son Thewizardofoz (111) & Arrowfield-sold Blizzard (105) all look capable of improving their figures next season.

It’s been a busy month for Snitzel’s tribe with 22 wins around the world in 19 days, including the QTC Cup G2 victory by his newest stallion son Spill The Beans, bred & raced by Arrowfield and now standing at Aquis Farm in Queensland. 

Snitzel has also taken his season tally of Australian 2YO winners to 25 (26 including the South African-owned Heavenly Blue). With 42 days to go until the end of the 2015/16 season, he has a great chance to better the 32-year record of 26 Australian 2YO winners, set by Rory’s Jester in 1997/98.

Sun Jewellery shines in Hong Kong Classic Cup

Sun Jewellery’s class was all too evident at Sha Tin on Sunday evening when he prevailed in a thrilling finish to the Hong Kong Classic Cup 1800m HK-1, and set himself up for a tilt at history in the Hong Kong Derby.

He is Snitzel’s third stakeswinner this month, after 3YOs Spill The Beans (ATC Eskimo Prince S. G3) and Perignon (ATC Light Fingers S. G2) who are the latest additions to their sire’s lifetime record of 35 stakeswinners.

Sun Jewellery won last month’s Classic Mile HK-1, the first leg of the Hong Kong Four-Year-Old Series, but punters believed that Werther, runner-up in that race, would be better suited by an extra 200 metres, so let Sun Jewellery go out as second favourite. Every other runner, including Arrowfield graduate Blizzard (Starcraft-Stormy Choice), a game third in the Classic Mile, was allowed to start at double-figure odds.

Watch Sun Jewellery win the Hong Kong Classic Cup HK-1.

Sun Jewellery and Werther settled behind the pace in fourth and fifth positions, while Blizzard was forced wide from gate 10 and raced near the back of the field for about 600 metres, until Gerald Mosse sent him forward to slot into third behind Green Dispatch and Eastern Express.

Blizzard launched his challenge at the top of the straight, as Hugh Bowman peeled Werther out behind him, leaving Ryan Moore on Sun Jewellery to consider his options as the field opened up, before electing to switch to the inside. Eastern Express showed plenty of fight too and the four horses lined up for a battle worthy of the race.

However, as Werther wound up for a powerful late burst, it was clear that Sun Jewellery was going well enough to win which he did by a head from Werther, with Blizzard and Eastern Express a nose away in a dead-heat for third. 

The result took Sun Jewellery’s record to eight wins and $2.9 million from 11 starts in Australia and Hong Kong.

Ryan Moore said,  “Sun Jewellery’s a class horse and class usually tells over a distance. He’s probably just better than them, he’s just got a class edge and that allows horses to go further than you’d think they would.

“He’s got an awful lot of courage, and that as well as his attitude are the two things that stand out about him most. I did always feel that I was going to get up. Werther started moving early and I wanted to keep tabs on him – he got away from me a bit but my horse dug in very well.”

Sun Jewellery is only the second horse, after Floral Pegasus in 2007, to complete the Classic Mile/Cup double, and now gets his chance to become the first horse to win all three legs of the Four-Year-Old Series. The 2000 metres of the final leg, the Hong Kong Derby HK-1 on 20 March, takes him into unknown territory, but his trainer John Size has been there before.

Size prepared Choisir’s son Luger to win last year’s Derby, and he believes Sun Jewellery can match that performance.

He says, “Like most good horses he does a lot of things right and his temperament helps him a lot. He’s manageable in a race and he’s determined in a finish, so all those attributes you’d love to have in any horse.”

It’s also worth remembering that, although it’s hard to find stakes-winning form past 1600 metres in Sun Jewellery’s female family, Snitzel has already left Cox Plate winner Shamus Award, and Aliyana Tilde, placed in both the Australian Oaks and the Sydney Cup.

Sun Jewellery is raced by Tung Moon Fai who also bred him from Tan Tat Star (by Umatilla), a city-winning sister to the marvellous Umrum, two-time Group 1 winner and eight times Group 1-placed over eight seasons in the care of Leon Macdonald.

Tan Tat Star has been a fine producer, leaving Sun Jewellery, Group 3 winner Tan Tat De Lago, city winner Tan Tat Tess and two other winners, all her foals to race.

The Tung family has Sun Jewellery’s unraced 3YO three-quarter brother Tan Tat Nova (by Not A Single Doubt) in training with Peter Moody, who also prepared Sun Jewellery for his first four starts in Australia. The mare foaled a filly by Bel Esprit last Spring and is in foal to Manhattan Rain.  

Arrowfield graduate treble at Sha Tin & Kranji

October began with notable wins in Hong Kong & Singapore by Arrowfield & Inglis sale graduates, and it’s ended the same way, with successes by Stepitup, Contentment & Blizzard on Sunday evening. 

Stepitup has book-ended the month with the first two legs of the Singapore Triple Crown, adding the $500,000 Raffles Cup to his Kranji Mile win on 4 October.

Hope of a Raffles Cup victory seemed forlorn until the very end of the 1800-metre contest when Stepitup and jockey Michael Rodd found clear air and went after the leader Fastnet Dragon. They caught him in the final 20 metres, winning by a half-length with Quechua more than two lengths back in third place. 

Watch Stepitup win the Raffles Cup Sgp-1.

Stepitup’s trainer Laurie Laxon said, “He didn’t look like he could win. He sure was in a major spot of bother, he was all jammed up, but he just has this amazing mindset, he just has to get the win.

“He’s only a small horse and is the quietest in the stable, you wouldn’t notice him, but what a motor he has. He will now go for the Gold Cup and I guess he would get the top weight of 58 or 59kg now, but he will be a big chance.”

The son of Hussonet and Ain’t Seen Nothin’ was  has now won 15 races, ten of them at domestic Group level, and well over $S$2 million for his owner the Tivic Stable.

Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Stepitup was purchased by Cliff Brown for $90,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Ain’t Seen Nothin’ has a 3YO colt by Starcraft, a yearling filly by All American and a filly foal by Dundeel.

At Sha Tin another son of Hussonet, 5YO Contentment, turned in a sub-1.34 time to win the 1600 metres HK$4 million Sha Tin Trophy HK-2, showing he’s right on target for December’s Hong Kong Mile G1. 

Watch Contentment’s Sha Tin Trophy HK-2 win.

A $65,000 John Foote purchase from the Arrowfield consignment at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale, Contentment has now won eight of his 11 starts and the equivalent of $1.7 million for owner Benson Lo Tak Wing.

Contentment’s trainer John Size said, “He has always shown me that he was a very good horse, from the first day that he walked into the stable. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I thought he was a good horse before he raced. He always did everything correctly – he’s always presented like a good horse.”

Bred by Paul Favretto, Tony & Judy Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn, Contentment is from the Commands mare Jemison, also the dam of 3YO and yearling colts by Charge Forward, a 2YO filly by Gio Ponti and a 2015 filly by Animal Kingdom.

Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year Able Friend scored a brilliant victory in the next race, the Premier Bowl HK-2, and a quinella by Blizzard and Thewizardofoz in the last race, a Class 2 event over 1400 metres, signed off a big night for Australian-breds. 

Thewizardofoz (by Redoute’s Choice) was impressive at his season debut and first try beyond 1200 metres, but Blizzard (by Starcraft) was sensational, carrying a kilogram more than his rival, sitting wide for much of the race and rocketing down the centre of the track to win in 1:21.96. He ran the last 400 metres in 22.26, faster than any other winner on the ten-race program. 

Watch Blizzard & Thewizardofoz quinella the Zenith Excellent H.

A son of the Redoute’s Choice mare Stormy Choice, Blizzard was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock and offered by Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where his trainer Ricky Yiu bought him for $75,000.  He’s now won six of his 10 starts and returned HK$5.3 million (~$960,000) to his owner, the Infinitude Syndicate.

Hong Kong Group double for Arrowfield & Inglis

Not Listenin’tome and Contentment have more in common than being highly impressive Australian-bred Group winners at Sha Tin on Thursday evening. 

Both are also Arrowfield graduates of Inglis yearling sales.

The Hong Kong International Sprint G1 is the obvious target for Not Listenin’tome after proving way too strong for his rivals in the National Day Cup HK-3.

The 5YO gelding jumped smartly and initially settled in a group behind the early leader Amber Sky, but when jockey Neil Callan pushed the button 400 metres out, the race was all over as Not Listenin’tome instantly sprinted clear to win by two lengths from Super Jockey in 55.90.

Watch Not Listenin’tome’s National Day Cup HK-3 win.

It was the second Hong Kong stakes win for Not Listenin’tome, also successful in last season’s Sha Tin Vase HK-3 after an excellent 3YO year for the Hawkes stable in Australia where he won the MRC Zeditave S. G3 and was twice Group 1-placed, behind Zoustar and Appearance.  With five wins & 5 placings from 15 starts, his earnings now exceed $A1 million.

John Moore, who prepares Not Listenin’tome for Matthew Wong Leung Pak, could not have been happier with the gelding’s performance.

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked – he’s finally done what I wanted him to do. This should take him on his way to become Hong Kong’s top sprinter.”

Not Listenin’tome (Dylan Thomas-Flame Of Sydney by Encosta de Lago) was bred by Michael Pitt & Mark Read and bought by George Moore for $270,000 from the Arrowfield consignment at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale. Flame Of Sydney, herself a Flemington stakeswinner, has an unraced filly named She’s Got Power and a 2YO filly, both by Redoute’s Choice, a yearling colt by Snitzel and is foaling again to Snitzel this Spring.

Just over an hour later it was the turn of Contentment, Hong Kong’s Most Improved Horse last season and a $65,000 John Foote purchase from Arrowfield Stud at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale.

He lined up in the Celebration Cup 1400m HK-3 where he settled comfortably in fourth spot for Joao Moreira while Beauty Flame and Divine Calling rolled along in front. Set alight round the turn, Contentment picked up strongly to hit the lead 200 metres out and win by a half-length from Giant Treasure in 1:21.17.

Watch Contentment’s Celebration Cup HK-3 win.

Moreira said, “He is a much more mature horse than he was last season and he showed us what we were expecting.

“I don’t think he is at his best at the moment and he still won, so we are very excited about what he will bring to his next races. Wherever he goes he will be competitive – he has heart.”

It’s the chestnut gelding’s first stakes victory among seven wins in Hong Kong, and takes his career prizemoney for owner Benson Lo Tak Wing to more than $A1.3 million.

Bred by Paul Favretto, Tony & Judy Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn, Contentment is a new stakeswinner for champion sire Hussonet, from the Commands mare Jemison, a relative of champion 2YO colt Align. Jemison is also the dam of 3YO and yearling colts by Charge Forward, a 2YO filly by Gio Ponti and a recently foaled filly by Animal Kingdom.

Completing a tremendous night at Sha Tin for Inglis & Arrowfield was Blizzard (Starcraft-Stormy Choice by Redoute’s Choice) who sustained a big run to catch Go Baby Go close to the finish of the Class 2 Beijing Handicap over 1200 metres. 

Watch Blizzard’s win at Sha Tin.

Blizzard was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock and offered by Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where his trainer Ricky Yiu bought him for $75,000.  Five wins from 9 starts have now returned almost $A680,000 to Blizzard’s owner, the Infinitude Syndicate.