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Twickenham aiming for a second Prize in a row

Trainer Stephen Gray is confident Twickenham has hit the same level of form and fitness that saw him take last year’s Committee’s Prize.

Twickenham aiming for a second Prize in a row

Trainer Stephen Gray is confident Twickenham has hit the same level of form and fitness that saw him take last year’s Committee’s Prize.

Twickenham
Twickenham Picture:Singapore Turf Club

The Artie Schiller seven-year-old will this Sunday step out for his title defence in this year’s renewal of the Group 3 handicap race over the mile.


The St George Stable-owned galloper has not scored since his back-from-the-brink nose-win in the $200,000 race on September 18. On that day, Twickenham Horseform led but was clearly headed by Kirks Ryker before he clawed his way back to score by a whisker.

Despite having not visited the winner’s circle in one year, Gray could not have been happier with the way Twickenham has peaked at the right time.

“He is light at the weights (50kgs) and he is in the same condition he was last year when he won with Vlad Duric. This time it’s CC (Chin Chuen) Wong who is riding him,” said the Kiwi trainer.

“CC has had a bit of luck with Paul Hickman (owner) having won aboard Golden Curl twice. The horse is going really well and heading in the right direction.”

Gray saddles another St George Stable runner in Newlands in the Committee’s Prize, with a view of using the race as a stepping stone to a loftier target in two months’ time.

“Newlands is going for the Gold Cup, but not Twickenham as he can’t stay. Newlands ran good (fourth) in that race last year,” he said.

“His prep this year has come up good and he can run well fresh. He hasn’t raced since the QEII Cup (Queen Elizabeth II Cup over 1800m).

“The mile will suit him first-up but he’s a dead-set 2000m horse. Derreck David will ride him.”

Speaking of the Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m), Gray did not leave his eyes off his last year’s victor, Bahana (Vlad Duric) as he wrapped up an easy barrier trial on Tuesday, running sixth about 4 ½ lengths off the winner Awesome (Noh Senari).

“All good’s with him. Weight-for-age races didn’t suit him, but he’s coming right at the right time for the Gold Cup,” said Gray.

“He had a chip removed after his last race (QEII Cup). Glen Boss rode him that day and they had to get back from the wide draw.

“He’s a handicap horse and he will still win good races.”

Gray enjoyed a purple patch of Group race wins with Bahana and Lim’s Cruiser from November last year, but the dynamic duo have not quite set the track alight at their recent endeavours.

First-up from a let-up, Lim’s Cruiser, however ran a belter in Sunday’s Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) when he kept running into dead ends before eventually flying home once the gaps came through to run a close fifth to Countofmontecristo,

“He had to be ridden for luck. In the last 100m, he stormed home,” said Gray.

“There wasn’t much between the first five. It was a great prep run for the Kranji Mile.”

The $700,000 Group 1 Panasonic Kranji Mile (1600m) is the first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series and will be run on October 1. The challenge then progresses to the $700,000 Group 1 Raffles Cup (1800m) three weeks later on October 21 before culminating with the grand final, the $1.35 million Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) on November 12.
Singapore Turf Club



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