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Star three-year-old Nova Swiss tasted his first defeat in the Merlion Trophy last start, but appears well placed to return to the winner's stall in this evening's Group 3 Singapore 3YO Sprint.
Unable to repel the challenge of his stablemate Infantry in the feature sprint, Nova Swiss would have lost few admirers when finishing a narrow second.
Champion jockey Joao Moreira has always treasured the friendship ties he has made in Singapore, probably even made stronger after he left for Hong Kong in 2013.
One of them is with Australian trainer Cliff Brown, who supplied the Brazilian ace with numerous winning rides during his five wonder years at Kranji. Horses like Zac Spirit, What Now and Divided House spring to mind.
Jockey Vlad Duric’s Frday riding double aboard Grand Cross and Poseidon saw him tie with fellow Australian Michael Rodd on 18 winners at the top of the ladder.
Duric was booked for five rides, but following the withdrawal of Macavity, he still took home two wins and two seconds.
Trainer James Peters reckoned Grand Cross needed a couple of runs to warm up after the blinkered-gelding scored pretty comfortably in the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1200m on Friday night.
The four-year-old son of Fastnet Rock has now won three races, all with blinkers on. As with his previous wins, it seems Grand Cross gets going with more practice.
Singapore racing fans will be glued to their TV sets for two Dubai World Cup races on Saturday night, but they may want to know there is actually a third race they should look out for.
Quechua will be the first to step out to fly the Singapore flag in the US$1 million Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at 8.50pm local time before Singapore Horse of the Year Debt Collector gets his turn 2hr 40minutes later in the US$6 million Group 1 Dubai Turf (1800m).
Hong Kong trainer Caspar Fownes is confident Dundonnell is peaking at the right time for the US$2 million Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m) on dirt on Saturday.
The Englishman who is famous in Singapore for having won three KrisFlyer International Sprints (twice with Lucky Nine in 2013 and 2014, and Green Birdie in 2010) has yet to break through in Dubai, though.
Florent Geroux is a name only a fistful of Singapore racegoers may have heard of or seen on a racecard.
There is a slim chance those who follow Hong Kong racing may remember him taking part in last December’s Longines International Jockeys’ Championship, even if he did not win any race. Household names like Joao Moreira, Hugh Bowman (the winner) or Zac Purton tend to hog the limelight – and their names are easier to pronounce.
The Stephen Gray trained Bayu broke through for a deserved maiden win last start and appears well placed to go back-to-back in the final event at Singapore this evening.
Only lightly raced the son of Per Incanto has improved with each start culminating with a victory at this course and distance last start.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but in Ricardo Le Grange’s case, it may well be that and one step further - improvement.
To make it even better, the words of praise came from his old master himself, Patrick Shaw. The two men are currently reunited in Dubai as Le Grange saddles his maiden overseas runner Quechua in the US$1 million Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) on Saturday.
If it were for him, trainer Cliff Brown is quite adamant he would not have travelled Debt Collector to Dubai in the wake of his last run when the trip suddenly hung in the balance – but he said two persons made him change his mind.
Well known for his no-nonsense approach, the Australian handler very seldom softens his stance on various issues, but in this particular scenario which involved arguably the best horse (Zac Spirit is up there, too) he has trained in Singapore since he moved from Narbethong, Victoria in 2007, he swayed.
After knocking in four wins on the bounce last year, Distinctive Darci has not greeted the judge yet in three runs this prep, but trainer Mark Walker is hoping he can find his way back to the winner’s enclosure this Sunday in the one that matters.
The son of Darci Brahma is entered in a very competitive line-up to the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m), but Walker is banking on a return to his own age group at set weights to rekindle that winning flair again.
Trainer Leslie Khoo said it was always the plan to give Queen Roulette a warm-up run first before tackling the $250,000 Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) next.
The three-time winner made her racing comeback after a four-month spell last Sunday, turning up with what looked her typical sizzling acceleration, but in the end, could only settle for third place to Al Green.
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