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.

Not A Single Doubt’s son wins the Kranji Mile

The ripples from Southern Legend’s runaway victory in Saturday ‘s $S1.5 million Kranji Mile 1600m LR were felt most immediately by his Hong Kong owners Boniface & Henrietta Ho, trainer Caspar Fownes and jockey Zac Purton.

Watch Southern Legend win the 2018 Kranji Mile LR.

But they spread quickly to Australia where the 5YO son of Not A Single Doubt was bred by Corumbene Stud and sent to the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale where he was bought for $280,000 by Carmel Size and her father, celebrated trainer Neville Begg.

Carmel Size, centre, with Southern Legend’s owners Boniface & Henrietta Ho at the 2018 Inglis Easter Sale. (PHOTO: Arrowfield Stud)

As Carmel explains on her Twitter profile, she is the yearling purchaser and manager of a team of “Legends” – the horses raced by Mr & Mrs Ho  all have “Legend” in their names. 

Southern Legend’s 2YO season was educational with four trials and two starts for a fourth & a fifth in Sydney. That period of development was rewarded with three consecutive wins as an Autumn 3YO, culminating with Listed success in the ATC Darby Munro S. LR (featured image, PHOTO: Sportpix).

The following Spring he added a couple of Group 2 placings to his record before his January 2017 departure for Hong Kong where has won four races and, two months ago, finished third in the Champions Mile G1.

Sent out in Singapore as the even-money favourite, Southern Legend romped home in 1:33.79 by three lengths from fellow Hong Kong raider Horse of Fortune and Nova Strike. 

Caspar Fownes said, “He’s a real dude this horse. He was chilled throughout his stay here and has really enjoyed himself.

“He’s a versatile horse who can handle any type of going and obviously any direction as well, as we saw tonight.”

Southern Legend’s Singapore triumph marks the end of his current campaign and he will now return to Hong Kong with December’s International Meeting his next major target.

Southern Legend is the best of three winners out of Donna’s Appeal (by Sadler’s Wells’ son Carnegie), herself a city winner from the family of Charge Forward. Corumbene sold a full brother to Southern Legend for $185,000 to trainer Danny Williams at this year’s Inglis Easter Sale. Donna’s Appeal also has a weanling filly by Not A Single Doubt.

Southern Legend takes Not A Single Doubt’s season record to 16 individual stakeswinners, a career-best tally. Back in Australia, Champagne Cuddles’ 3rd in the BRC Kingsford-Smith Cup G1 and city wins by Touch of Mink & He’s A Moral have helped to consolidate Not A Single Doubt’s position among the top half-dozen sires with $9.8 million prizemoney.

Stepitup dazzles in Kranji Mile

Sunday’s $S500,000 Kranji Mile Sgp-1 was expected to be another easy win for Spalato, unbeaten in all eight of his Singapore starts.

But Arrowfield graduate Stepitup, who started third favourite behind Spalato & Quechua, had other ideas about how the first leg of the Singapore Triple Crown would work out.

When Pachelbel’s Canon set the pace in front, with Spalato ready to pounce behind him and Stepitup bustling along as usual at the rear, the race seemed to be unfolding as anticipated. It changed in a few seconds when Stepitup and Michael Rodd finally found a way through the wall of horses facing them at the top of the straight.

The pair hit the lead 400 metres out and put the outcome beyond doubt with a dazzling turn of foot that gave Stepitup a four-length victory – easily the biggest winning margin of the nine Singapore Group wins on his CV.

Quechua was second, with Wild Geese third and Spalato, possibly hampered by throwing a shoe during the race, more than five lengths from the winner.

Watch Stepitup’s Kranji Mile Sgp-1 win.

Stepitup has now won 14 of his 32 starts and taken his earnings to more than $S2.2 million – many times more than the $90,000 paid for him by Cliff Brown at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The 6YO gelding is one of six stakeswinners sold by Arrowfield at that Sale. (The others are Group 1 winner Snitzerland, Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel, South African Group 2 winner Honorine and Listed winners Smoko & Road Trippin’).

Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Stepitup is by Hussonet from the multiple stakes-winning racemare and marvellous broodmare Ain’t Seen Nothin’ (by Nothin’ Leica Dane), also the dam of dual stakeswinner Ain’tnofallenstar (by Starcraft) and Group 3 2YO winner Bachman (by All American). Ain’t Seen Nothin’ has a 3YO colt by Starcraft, a yearling sister to Bachman and last week she delivered a filly by Dundeel.

Stepitup is trained for the Tivic Stable by Laurie Laxon whose assistant Shane Ellis said, “That was probably his best run ever. It’s the first time I’ve seen him sprint like that.

“We still gave him a good chance as Spalato was third-up while he was rock-hard fit, so you never know what can happen. I told Michael to look at his races and how he must get him on the bit the whole way through.

“He’s a real champion and now he will definitely go to the Raffles Cup. He will run the journey and then we’ll see about the Gold Cup.”

The second Leg of the Triple Crown, the Raffles Cup 1800m Sgp-1, is run on 25 October, and the 2200-metre Singapore Gold Cup Sgp-1 follows on 15 November. No horse has yet won the Triple Crown.