The first September meeting for 2020, was again a great day for the stable with a treble, two seconds and a third from our runners. An excellent day could of been great, with Elite Incredible running a gallant second in the Singapore Derby, with race favorite Top Knight only catching him in the last few strides.
The day begun well with the first of our new 3 year old’s stepping out with Boomba and Zermatt running the quinella in race 2, the restricted maiden over 1200m. Boomba, whom one could possibly and somewhat accurately assume was named after his owner Barree’s Glenn Whittenbury, was actually given the name by Glenn, due to the horse’s quite short and rotund appearance on his arrival in Singapore. He looked like a little fatty Boomba!
Rather than hammer Boomba on the training track, Cliff allowed the son of Showcasing to gain fitness with three trials prior to his debut, with a significant improvement in each of these, before bolting away with the prize in his racetrack debut. Jumping from barrier No 1, Ruan Maia led throughout, and never looked like getting caught with Boomba lengthening magnificently when asked for his effort in the last 200m to win easily by 2.5 lengths. Stablemate Zermatt bred and owned by Greg and Lisa Perry finished off well for second, and looks a most promising type when he matures some more.
Greg and Lisa didn’t have to wait long to taste success on the day, when another they bred strolled away to win race 6, the four year old restricted maiden over 1400m. The striking chestnut son of All Too Hard out of the mare Dirty, (cleverly named In All His Glory), relished the step up to 1400m and simply toyed with his rivals to win by a commanding 4 and a half lengths with Vlad Duric aboard. Having already showed he was above average with two seconds and a third from his first 3 starts, In All His Glory ran a nice 4th on August 2nd first up after the Covid enforced break. Punter’s also agreed the 1400m would suit, as he started an even money favorite, and most were in the line to collect well before the finishing post.
Race 10 saw a most satisfying return to the winners stall for 5 year old gelding Hardcore. After consulting with managing owners Scott Bryce and Nick Conidi, it was decided to by-pass the derby and concentrate on the class 3 over 1800m. Race jockey Ruan Maia had gotten to know Hardcore well, having galloped and trialed him over the past month. It’s fair to say that Maia took a little while to handle Hardcore in his work in the manner that Cliff wanted, but his last trial helped convince Maia that he is best left alone early and produced late. All went according to script with Maia having Hardcore settled beautifully mid field, before giving him plenty of room at the top of the straight where he unleashed a powerful sustained run to win easily by 2.5 lengths.
Hardcore’s win continues the success of yearling purchases from New Zealand’s Westbury Stud’s drafts in recent times including Fitzroy (Swiss Ace), Golden Sword (Swiss Ace), and Inferno (Holy Roman Emperor). An as yet un raced Swiss Ace 3 year old named Golden Way in the stable, also purchased from a Westbury Stud draft, may well continue the trend. Hardcore has taken his record now to an impressive 4 wins and a second from 13 starts and a tick over $159,000, with Scott Bryce’s Green and yellow hooped colours likely to figure again in the winning stall in the near future given Hardcore’s impressive win.
The stable saddled two representatives in the Singapore Derby. Pax Anami and Elite Incredible. After constant rain through out the day it was a bit of guess work as to whether either would handle the ground. Alas, for Pax Anami he floundered in the going when asked to sprint. Elite Incredible ridden by local jockey Joseph See, was given instructions to shadow race favorite Minister who would race on the pace, which he followed to the letter.
As the field rounded the home turn, See started to put the acid test to Minister and the two forged clear with a wall of other runners commencing a run down the middle of the track. Half way down the straight it was clear that Elite Incredible had Minister’s measure. With the winning post in sight See riding for dear life looked to have pinched the Derby with Duric on Top Knight set sailing hard down the outside but running out of runway. Alas, it wasn’t to be with Top Knight just getting to Elite Incredible and replicating the finish of the Singapore Guineas last year. Whilst frustrating for both horse and rider both were gallant in defeat. Group 1 races are so hard to win, but with Cliff turning the horses out in magnificent order for the big one’s, the stable will be hard to beat in future feature races this year.