Charge Forward 3YO wins again at Kranji

Only three members of Charge Forward’s 2013 crop are racing in Singapore but all of them have won, most recently the promising Mark Walker-trained pair Hatta (on 16 September), and Awatere, successful for the second time on Sunday evening.

Awatere (ex Catbird Kitty by Catbird) scored an impressive two-length win over 1200 metres, taking his earnings from six starts to $94,000 for New Zealand owners Craig & Pip Forsyth. Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis purchased the gelding for $50,000 from Lyndhurst Farm which presented him on behalf of breeder Dan Myers.

Watch Awatere win at Kranji on 9 October.

Awatere is from the same family as the good Hong Kong performer Best Eleven, also by Charge Forward, and descends from the dam of English Two Thousand Guineas winner Mystiko.

Hatta (ex Jujitzel by Snitzel) finished fifth behind Awatere on Sunday after his stylish maiden victory for the Al-Arabiya Stable on the polytrack last month. His breeder Carl Holt has been a strong supporter of both Charge Forward and Snitzel, and this year sold a filly bred on the same cross, out of his stakes-winning mare Zelsnitz, for $85,000 to Moody Racing at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The third Singapore runner and winner from Charge Forward’s 2013 crop is Macarthur (ex Mozambique by Redoute’s Choice), who impressed as a 2YO last season with two wins before finishing just behind the placegetters in the Golden Horseshore Sgp-2 and Juvenile Championship Sgp-3.

Macarthur was bred by Ron & Deb Gilbert of Highgrove Stud and is trained by Steven Burridge for Adam & Brittany Levinson and Steve & Christine Levar under the Stars & Stripes Stable banner.

It won’t escape pedigree analysts that all three horses are all out of Danehill-line mares, as is Charge Forward’s leading Singapore earner this year, the nine-time winner Good News (ex Rezyana by Redoute’s Choice). 

In all, the fifteen Singapore runners by the son of Red Ransom have earned an average of almost $114,000.

Macarthur heads to Golden Horseshoe

Charge Forward’s 2YO son Macarthur’s second win at Kranji on Friday evening was even more impressive than his maiden victory a month ago.

He jumped smartly from barrier 10 in the 1200-metre IRT Juvenile Stakes and took up the lead with favourite Jupiter Gold in close attendance. Macarthur always looked more comfortable than his rivals during the race and had plenty left in to offer when Vlad Duric asked to him to sprint in the straight.

The filly Athena mounted a strong late challenge and got the better of Jupiter Gold, but Macarthur held her out by a head to score in a time of 1:10.78, cutting out the last 200 metres in 22:74.

Watch Macarthur’s IRT Juvenile Stakes win.

Steve Levar, who races Macarthur with his wife Christine and American couple Adam & Brittany Levinson under the Stars & Stripes Stable banner, was understably delighted with the gelding’s performance.
 
He says, “It was a great thrill for all of us to see win like he did and now he will more than likely be favourite for the Golden Horseshoe next month. He just keeps on improving and taking the next step each time he races and he has a great will to win.” 

Macarthur (ex Mozambique by Redoute’s Choice) was bred by the Gilberts of Highgrove Stud and offered at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, but he failed to meet his reserve. Sent to Gai Waterhouse, he trialled twice at Randwick before being sold privately to the Levar & Levinson partnership which has also enjoyed success with the Australian-bred Bugatty, bought last year from a partnership that included Deb Gilbert.

Steve Levar reports that Macarthur, who is prepared by Steven Burridge, has pulled up well after Friday’s race. “He will be given a quiet week to freshen up before we prepare him for the big one in July.”

He adds, “It’s a real credit to Ron and Debbie Gilbert who consistently breed top class thoroughbreds every year. We will definitely be taking a closer look at the Highgrove Stud yearlings next season.”

That’s good news not only for Highgrove, but also for Aushorse which sponsors the six-race Golden Horseshoe Series with the support of Inglis, Magic Millions & IRT. 

The final leg, the Golden Horseshoe Sgp-2, will be held on 8 July with prizemoney of $S325,000 plus a $S75,000 bonus for the winner if s/he was offered at an Inglis or Magic Millions Sale.  Macarthur’s cheque from last Friday’s win included a $S20,000 Auhorse bonus.

Recent Golden Horseshoe winners include Singapore Horse of the Year War Affair and Champion 2YOs Super One & Mr Big.

Well-established as a source of quality juveniles like Macarthur, Charge Forward also leaves his share of durable performers and one of them, 6YO Arrowfield graduate Bradman (ex Portrayal by Flying Spur) scored his sixth win at Flemington on Saturday.

Macarthur charges into Singapore 2YO Series

Back in August – it seems so long ago! – Gai Waterhouse was among the trainers interviewed by ANZ Bloodstock News about the stable’s most likely prospects for the new season.

One of the 2YOs Gai mentioned was a “nice colt” by Charge Forward from the Redoute’s Choice mare Mozambique. His name was Tribal and he duly appeared twice at Randwick in September, running second in a three-horse trial and then, at the Official 2YO Trials on 21 September, finishing 5th in his heat with subsequent Group 1 winner Prized Icon behind him.

Shinsoreness then held up his preparation for Queensland breeders Ron & Deb Gilbert of Highgrove Stud, who put him in training after he failed to meet his reserve at last year’s Magic Millions Sale.

Highgrove is a shareholder in Charge Forward and, as Ron says, “I’ve bred to Charge Forward every year since he went to stud, I know what a good Charge Forward looks like and Tribal was one. He was very athletic, an absolute tradesman, and I loved him.”

However, racing horses is a secondary activity for Ron. “Breeding is my passion, we’re busy and we live too far from major racetracks to get to the races very often, so most horses we race are for sale.”

That’s how a phone call from Steve Levar, the Australian-born, Singapore-based owner & CEO of iRaceMedia, led to Tribal’s sale in December 2015 to the Stars & Stripes Stable, established by the partnership of Levar & his wife Christine with US businessman Adam Levinson and his wife Brittany.

Levar, who draws on 30 years’ industry experience to manage the Stable’s six horses, had also bought Group-placed Melbourne winner Bugatty from a partnerhip including Deb Gilbert earlier in 2015. Re-named Vanderbilt in Singapore, he won his Kranji debut in September, a month after the partnership’s first runner, Risky Rockefeller, saluted the judge.

Tribal, now named Macarthur in keeping with the Stable’s American icon theme, extended this terrific run of success with an eye-catching maiden win at Kranji on Sunday.

The handsome, dark brown gelding had already begun his career on a promising note, with a third to Jupiter Gold in the Kranji Nursery Stakes on 10 April and trainer Steven Burridge was tempted to look at a leg of the 2YO Series for his next  start.

Levar suggested the 1200-metre War Affair Stakes, a restricted maiden, as a better option for the still immature Macarthur, and so it proved. Allotted 49 kg against his 3YO rivals, Macarthur shot out of gate 6, quickly crossed the field and settled comfortably in front with the other favoured runner Lim’s Dashing in close attendance.

At the top of the straight Lim’s Dashing kicked strongly, but once Macarthur balanced up, he responded with verve to hold him off by almost a length, with 4.3 lengths back to third-placed Nova Legend.

Watch Macarthur’s maiden win at Kranji.

Macarthur’s jockey A’Isisuhairi Kasim said, “I rode him in trackwork and he gave me a good feel. He’s got ability and is a real racehorse, but he’s still very green and still doesn’t know what he’s doing.

“In the straight, I didn’t pull the whip and waited for the other horse [Lim’s Dashing] to come up. That was when he responded and gave a very nice turn of foot in the last 200 metres.”

The Singapore Golden Horseshoe Series is now firmly on Macarthur’s radar, and he will be seen in the next leg on turf, the IRT Juvenile Stakes on 10 June. The Gilberts will naturally follow his progress with keen interest, but unfortunately without any further foals from Mozambique, who suffered laminitis and died two years ago.