Monday, 21 May 2012
: After suffering the disappointment of having to scratch Rocket Man from the $1 million Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint over 1200m earlier in the week, trainer Patrick Shaw was able to savour back-to-back victories in Singapore's richest sprint on Sunday night.
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
, his reserve runner in the Group 1 race, provided Shaw with his straight success in the KrisFlyer having tasted success 12 months earlier with Rocket Man
Ridden by South African jockey Barend Vorster, Ato
($85) scored by one-and-a-half lengths over Mr Big
(Stephen Baster) with English galloper Secret Asset
(George Baker) a length-and-a-quarter away third.
The start to the race was delayed when Yin Xin
(Danny Beasley) burst through the front of the stalls before being reined back in while Invincible Ash
(Gary Carroll) had to be backed out of the gates and was vetted after drawing next to him.
On the second attempt, Yin Xin jumped quickly to take over the running on settling down with Mr Big in close attendance along with Ato
and Captain Obvious
Before the turn off the back straight was reached, Better Be The One
(Joao Moreira) who had been trapped wide from his outside draw went forward to sit three wide outside of the leaders while Vorster was getting a cosy run behind them.
Turning for home, Yin Xin quickly compounded and Mr Big took over on the rail while Vorster came to the outside and the pair settled down to stage a two-horse war over the final 200m.
With the blinkers off on this occasion, Ato
was able to keep an eye on his opponent and was able to finish the race off the stronger, despite Mr Big being renowned for his fighting qualities.
Secret Asset who had been in a midfield position tried valiantly to run down the two local gallopers while Captain Obvious kept trying all the way to the line without ever being a winning chance.
When Rocket Man came out of the race Shaw knew he had an able replacement in the shape of Ato
“Great run, I always gave him a big chance,” said Shaw. “He has always been a bit of an unlucky horse and always been the bridesmaid, but on the day, today, we had him spot-on.
“He was a very good second choice to have in the race. It was a pity about Rocket Man but it goes like that and he is safe in the box.
“It was a great ride as we planned it out.”
Shaw had said earlier in the week that there had been consideration of gelding Ato
after his KrisFlyer run, but obviously those plans will now be shelved.
“Obviously now he is going to be a stallion,” said Shaw. “I'm sure now the owners will take him home as a stallion for sure. Otherwise I would be cutting him. I would have liked to have done it but now definitely not.”
Shaw explained why he took the blinkers off Ato
for the race.
“He has been travelling a bit keen at his last runs,” said Shaw. “He waits for them to get past him then he starts to get them. So I said to Dennis (Evans of Newbury Racing) that I am taking a chance and taking them off and let him see what is around him.
Vorster said the race panned out as he expected. The pace suited and he was able to track into the race at the right moment.
“There is no description to display how I feel,” said Voster.
“Singapore has been great to me and it is great to get one of the big races on a night like this.
“I just thought he was really, really well in himself and last week he had a nice sharp gallop. You know he is a horse that thinks a lot and tonight he was thinking about the right thing. He never looked at anything sideways.
“I pulled him away from Mr Big and went away from the inside to the middle and he just kept extending and I was just hoping that nothing was coming at me. He was just finding the line so well.
“On a night like this, my thoughts are with Rocket Man back in his box, but to win a race like this it is really one of the big things.
“Like Patrick said to me, do not get stuck on the fence. So I had to make a decision to get out and I saw that Danny was not travelling wide and I still had plenty of horse under me.
“To Dennis and his wife, they have been great owners to Singapore as well and I just want to congratulate them and say thank you to them for giving this horse to us and for us to be able to get this race for them.”
South African Evans said he would speak with Andreas Jacobs of Main Chance Farms back in his homeland about standing the entire as a stallion back in South Africa.
“There could a chance we could send him somewhere like Australia or New Zealand where he is probably better known,” said Evans.
“Andreas Jacobs of Main Chance Farms owns 25 per cent of the horse. So it is something we will have to speak about.
“I offered Andreas 25 per cent of the horse just like I have offered another big owner Gaynor Rupert 25 per cent in some yearlings that I have purchased for here by an outstanding new sire Trippi
“I want these people to get exposure in Singapore and other parts of the world but I also want the exposure for Singapore as well.”
Evans said the victory of Ato
was one of his career highlights.
“I'm in dreamland. I can't believe this is happening,” he said.
The $8 favourite Krypton Factor
, who defeated Rocket Man in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen back in March, finished fifth under Kieren Fallon.
“The track was too soft, but anyway, I knew I was in trouble at the start already,” said Fallon.
“I had to take hold of him and he just did not travel at any moment. He did not make any ground and was a beaten horse from a long way.”