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.
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.