Sunday, 22 July 2012
: A former Perth and New Zealand trained galloper will locks horns today in Singapore over the mile and even their respective sires add to the international flavour.
is prepared by Leticia Dragon and Martin
by the current premiership leader Laurie Laxon.
The sire of Grand Approach is Galileo (the sire of Frankel) and what a racehorse he was himself with six wins from his eight starts.
Galileo won his juvenile debut by fourteen lengths and would capture the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as a three-year-old.
The sire of Martin (raced once in New Zealand for a strong finishing second at Otaki when called Marencumbae), is the $1.6 million colt Colombia (a son of Zabeel).
Colombia never raced and is the brother to ten-time G1 winner Octagonal, with the crop 'the Big O' raced against as a three-year-old the equivalent in boxing terms of the great middleweight era of Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Haggler, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran.
Octagonal beat Saintly (Rosehill Guineas and Australian Guineas) and Filante (Canterbury Guineas) but Nothin Leica Dane beat him in the VRC Derby and Hobartville Stakes.
A half brother to Martin is Happy Forever, a dual winner in Hong Kong and a good earning four-year-old.
Grand Approach has had two starts in Singapore since coming from the Frankie Maynard stable in Perth for Dragon.
The fresh up win on the poly was massive in Class Four under 57kg as the four-year-old sat wide handy after a modest start then three-wide in the lead across the top.
I like the way he dug deep to the line to win and at his only other start, also on the poly, the gelding in Class Three at a mile under 54kg finished a game third.
He was hitting full stride late in the race and the winner was Dujardin, which is significant in itself.
Grand Approach was an emergency for the G1 Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) last Sunday and narrowly missed getting a start, so Dragon knows she has a good sort on her hands.
Dragon believes the rush to get Grand Approach to the Derby and the sudden distance climbs may through just missing a start in fact turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Dujardin, which also had a rushed preparation to get into the Derby for Laxon ironically, ended up running a blinder for fifth.
The way he found the line from well back on the home turn was commendable for rider Alan Munro, who also in 1991 won the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes atop a now sire too in Generous.
Ten years before Galileo won that famous trio of top line events with Michaal Kinane atop we find Munro did the same on Generous, not that we are trying to show up Alan's age!
Today in the ninth race on the card, a S$75K Class Three mile on the turf, Grand Approach will be ridden by the record maker and breaker in Joao Moreira.
It will be his first time on the horse and its first look at the turf of Kranji but at 54kg bettors will like the pairing.
Grand Approach won third up in Perth and finished a close second the other time produced in that particular fitness state.
The dam of Grand Approach is the maiden Grand Mosque, which herself is out of Real Trier that has left countless multiple winners such as Sedecrem (10 wins), Emerald Zoff (8 wins), Burketown Boy(8 wins) and Mount Street (7 wins).
Two of those four names were group performers with Sedecrem a triple G1 winner including the 2003 Easter Handicap (1600m) and Mount Street was G1 placed twice in the NZ Derby (2400m) and significantly the 2005 Singapore Gold Cup.
Dragon looks to have a durable type that will just get better with racing and acclimatizing plus from a mile to a middle distance is where he will be lethal.
Martin is a three-year-old that in all likelihood will be a Laxon runner in the 2013 Singapore Derby, as he will surely try him at 2000m this year then plan a path for the next.
His five runs in Singapore have been super strong finishing efforts as though the already solidly built gelding is still filling out in both size and stamina.
He was placed behind Convict and Freezemaster at his first Kranji outing and the former won his second race last Sunday and the latter his third at the same meeting.
Martin would finish second at his next start to Freezemaster and then after a week break would win a maiden over 1400m on the turf easily for Moreira, who will know just how good his main rival is for today.
The next start would be a first look over a mile and returned a super sixth that saw then rider Danny Beasley get home rather well once balanced up from the back.
Beasley rode him last start too a powerhouse win at 1400m and will know how promising Martin is but also that he has a few mannerisms and is still learning all sorts of things.
The finished product next year could be another big earner for the Oscar Racing Stables.
In such a small field as Race Nine is there will be a danger of no pace or sudden changes due to runners being ridden against their normal pattern to make something happen that is not taking place to their liking at the time.
The stayer King Faalcon, which caught the eye last start second up late at 1200m, could well do something out of the blue and the six-time turf winner has dual mile success in his record.
Vaya Condios was formerly in the Laxon stable and the whopper four-year-old won twice for him but is now in the Steve Burridge yard and he has got one victory out of him and more look in store.
The turf and a mile are ideal for the lightweight with a win and three placings in as many starts at the trip.
It does look like a Leticia versus Laurie contest in the feature event on the card and where Joao goes so do the bettors, which means Grand Approach will be shorter than Martin.
Enjoy in terms of training alone the new versus the old.