Monday, 16 July 2012
: Race experience proved beneficial when Empire Bay led throughout to take the $65,000 Hello Dubai Stakes over 1200m on Sunday.
| Empire Bay|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
Jumping straight to the front and being well-rated by Barend Vorster, Empire Bay
raced away to a six-and-a-half length victory over Joyous Express
(Z Zuriman) with Rory
(Ivaldo Santana) a further two-and-a-half lengths back in third place.
Trainer Michael Freedman said he would now consider giving Empire Bay the chance against tougher opposition with a start in the Group 3 Magic Millions Juvenile Championship over 1200m on July 29.
Freedman purchased Empire Bay as a yearling in New Zealand and the gelding made his way to Singapore last December.
Empire Bay was being prepared for the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe in May but went shin-sore after two trials in March and April.
“We were getting him ready for the Aushorse race but he went shin-sore along the way,” said Freedman.
“”I said to (owner) Bernard (Lee) that we should give him a break and let him mature so we held him back a month.
“If he comes through this race alright then we'll look at running him in the Juvenile Championship.
“He's shown us ability all the way through and I think he has the scope to get a bit further when he gets older.
“He's a lovely horse and I think there's still plenty to come from him.”
Vorster doesn't get a lot of opportunities with Freedman but whenever the pair join forces they invariably find their way to the winner's circle.
“I have to thank Michael for giving me the opportunity,” said Vorster. “He supports me at this time of year when the younger horses are starting out against the older ones and they get my weight.
“This horse is a lovely individual but he's still very green. He wanted to run off from the rail, but I made sure he stayed close to it and kept him running.
“He's got a lovely big action on him and after the race he didn't want to pull up. He wanted to keep running all the way.
“I think Michael and his team is going to have quite a bit of fun with this horse.”
Empire Bay is a two-year-old by Iffraaj
from the Honour And Glory
mare Lekker Ding
and was a NZ$65,000 yearling purchase. He has already returned around $35,000 for connections – the Horizon Stable.
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