Zac Spirit takes his second Lion City Cup

For six months now, Flying Spur has been on the brink of his 100th stakeswinner, while Traveston Girl (no. 99), Mahuta (no. 98) and Sacred Star (no. 93) have added further Group 2 & Group 3 successes and a pair of Listed wins to his record.

No. 92, Zac Spirit chimed in on Sunday evening with an exhilarating victory, in near-course record time of 1:08.45, in the $S800,000 Lion City Cup 1200m Sgp-1, the third leg of the Singapore  Sprint Series.

Watch Zac Spirit’s second Lion City Cup Sgp-1 victory.

The result was greeted with considerable emotion by trainer Cliff Brown who sent Zac Spirit back to Australia to recover after surgery for a knee chip found after his unplaced run in last year’s Krisflyer Sprint G1.

Brown said, “There was a lot of work to bring him back and that goes across the board…it’s a huge team effort.

“I thought he was too far back in the race, but when I saw him improve before the home turn, I was like ‘Crikey! He really is travelling!’

“It’s amazing what he’s done. He’s won the Lion City Cup two years ago and he’s won it again, after injury.”

It’s the 6YO gelding’s fifth Singapore black type win and came after only one lead-up run, on 3 April, when he dead-heated for second with Wimbledon (by Snitzel) in the Kranji Sprint Sgp-3, the first leg of the Sprint Series.

Zac Spirit was bred by Newhaven Park Stud & the late Colin Tidy and is raced by Andy & Genni Wong’s Zac Stable which also enjoyed success with his stakes-winning half-brother Zac Influence.

Named Singapore’s Champion Sprinter of 2014, Zac Spirit has now won or placed in 20 of his 22 starts for prizemoney of more than $S1.7 million. That’s more than ten times the $140,000 Brown paid for him at the 2011 Inglis Easter Sale.

His dam Kidman (by Quest for Fame) is a great-grand-daughter of Mr Tidy’s marvellous broodmare Summoned, dam of five-time Group 1 winner & sire Zeditave and four other Group winners. Kidman’s other descendants include Group 1 winners Melito, Greys Inn and Norzita, and Group 2 winner Jet Spur, also by Flying Spur.

Zac Spirit’s 3YO half-sister Always (by Manhattan Rain) won on debut in January for Newhaven Park & Helen Tidy, and his 2YO three-quarter brother Preferred (by Redoute’s Choice)  is yet to race for James Harron Bloodstock & partners. Kidman has a weanling filly by Redoute’s Choice and is in foal to Exceed And Excel.

Flying Spur, happily retired at Arrowfield since 2012, still has plenty of runners competing for him, but it’s most likely that his 100th stakeswinner will emerge from the 129 foals in his final two crops (current 3YOs & 4YOs) that have already raced.

A Phillip Stokes-trained 4YO mare down to contest Saturday’s SAJC City of Adelaide H. LR is Flying Spur’s best immediate chance to complete his century and it would be fitting if she did. Like her sire, Rationality carries the Arrowfield silks and she is a full sister to one of his very best performers, the three-time Group 1 winner Mentality.

Zac Spirit named Singapore's Champion Sprinter

Flying Spur may be two years retired from stud duties, but he’s proving as reluctant to leave centre stage as baby boomers are to give way to Generations X, Y and Z.

 The latest evidence of that is this week’s naming of Zac Spirit as Singapore’s Champion Sprinter of 2014.

The splendidly consistent gelding had a terrific year, winning four and placing in three of his 7 starts between 19 January and 16 November, most notably the $S500,000 Lion City Cup 1200m Sgp-1 in 1:08.78 on 27 April. He subsequently finished third behind Lucky Nine & Emperor Max in the $1 million Krisflyer International Sprint G1 in May.

Zac Spirit, bred by Newhaven Park Stud & Colin Tidy and trained by Cliff Brown for Andy Wong’s Zac Stable, has won or placed in 14 of his 15 starts for prizemoney of more than $S940,000 – a handsome return on the $140,000 Brown paid for him at the 2011 Inglis Easter Sale.

His dam Kidman (by Quest for Fame) is a great-grand-daughter of Summoned, dam of Group 1 winner & sire Zeditave and four other Group winners. Kidman’s other descendants include Group 1 winners Melito, Greys Inn and Norzita, and Group 2 winner Jet Spur, also by Flying Spur.

Zac Spirit’s yearling three-quarter brother was the top-priced colt by Redoute’s Choice at the recent Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, where he was knocked down for $720,000 to James Harron Bloodstock and James Moynihan.

It’s been a very good 12 months for Flying Spur. He celebrated his 12th international Group 1 winner last weekend when Sacred Star won the WRC Telegraph H. G1 in New Zealand, and has also been represented over the past year by stakeswinners Mushreq (in Dubai) and Gold Force (MRC Inglis 2YO Premier S. (R) LR).

Their efforts have been supported by Flying Spur’s eight other stakes performers in the past year, among them Traveston Girl (2nd, MRC Thousand Guineas G1) and Group-placed Ataab (South Africa), Hazard, Recoinage, That’s A Good Idea (Australia) & The Glitzy One (New Zealand).

A top 10 sire in Singapore during 2014, the champion son of Danehill accumulated $4.3 million prizemoney in Australia’s 2013/14 season, and finished 5th on the Australian Broodmare Sires’ list with $8.1 million and nine stakeswinners. His reputation as a broodmare sire, already well-established, was enhanced last Spring by his 53rd stakeswinner, and fifth Group 1 winner in that role, the Victoria Derby winner Preferment.

Although overshadowed by Redoute’s Choice as a sire of sires, Flying Spur has eight stakes-siring sons, and the best of them, Casino Prince, has already left his own champion, four-time Group 1 winner All Too Hard, now receiving an excellent stud opportunity at Vinery.

With his sons & daughters making their own marks, and more than 230 named foals in his final three crops, the youngest of which are now 2YOs, Flying Spur’s time on stage is a long way from finished yet.

Zac Spirit lands Singapore Group 1

Flying Spur’s son Zac Spirit sealed his status as Singapore’s best sprinter with a dashing win in Sunday evening’s $S500,000 Lion City Cup 1200m Sgp-1.

Ridden by Alan Munro, 4YO gelding defeated arch-rival Emperor Max by 1.5 lengths in 1:08.78. Goal Keeper was a short head away in third place.

Zac Spirit has now won eight of his 12 starts and more than $S800,000 for the Zac Stable and trainer Cliff Brown who will now prepare him for his first attempt in international Group 1 company, the $S1 million KrisFlyer International Sprint on 18 May.

Brown said, “It’s been a long campaign for me and this horse, but today he really showed what he’s capable of and I’m really happy with the way he ran.”

“We just need to keep ticking him over and I think there’s still improvement in him before the KrisFlyer.” Zac Spirit takes Flying Spur’s tally of domestic and international Group 1 winners to 13, a collection headed by Mentality & Forensics, both three-time winners at the elite level. He has also achieved the Group 1 victory that eluded two other outstanding Singapore-based sons of Flying Spur, Lim’s Fighter and Flying Fulton.

Bred by Newhaven Park and Colin Tidy, Zac Spirit is out of Kidman (by Quest for Fame), a Group-placed city winner and also the dam of Zac Influence, whose Singapore record includes a Sgp-3 win and a third placing in the Raffles Cup Sgp-1.

This female family descending from the mare Summoned is one of the best-known in Australia, also responsible for Group 1 winners Greys Inn, Melito (by Redoute’s Choice) & Norzita. Summoned herself had five Group-winning progeny, including the champion 3YO, five-time Group 1 winner & valuable sire Zeditave, all bred by Colin Tidy.

Kidman has a yearling filly by Manhattan Rain and a weanling colt by Redoute’s Choice.

Flying Spur is no longer active in the serving barn, but he is enjoying a good season, thanks to Zac Spirit, Group 3 winner Spurtonic, 2YO stakeswinner Gold Force and Mushreq, successful in Dubai, and 18 stakes performers from his highly valued daughters.  

While he relaxes in retirement at Arrowfield, Flying Spur’s record as champion sire (92 stakeswinners) and influential broodmare sire (42 stakeswinners) continues to grow.