Lonhro strikes Gold on last weekend

Consistent 4 year old Denman gelding Lonhro Gold led all the way in the final race on Friday 7th of December, the class 4 over 1000m. An iron horse, Lonhro Gold was lining up for his 13th start in 2018, and had not finished further back than 5th all year.

Ridden for the first time by Apprentice N Zyrul, Lonhro Gold was quick away from the gates, and took up his customary role at the front of the field after the first 200m. A quick breather before the turn, saw Zyrul then kick away at the top of the staraight, and in a superbly judged ride Lonhro Gold was to strong in the end holding off the challenge of Reach For The Sun by a neck.

Apprentice N Zyrul gets Lonhro Gold home in the Class 4 over 1000m.

A $40,000 purchase at the Inglis 2016 Ready to Race Sale, Lonhro Gold has been a model of Consistency, having 2 wins, 4 seconds and 3 thirds from 16 starts and has amassed a tick under $150,000 in stake money. Long time stable supporters Gold Stable were delighted with the win, and look forward to 2019 season with all their horses.

Stable Quinella in Group 2 EW BARKER Trophy

Racegoers witnessed one of the best two horse wars of the season, when stablemates Mister Yeoh and Zac Kasa cleared out to make it a two horse race in the $500,000 Group 2 E W Barker Trophy on Friday evening, 9th of November. Both handicapped on the minimum 50kg for the time honored event, punters felt the Cliff Brown pair would be the two to beat, and they were spot on with the pair trading favoritism until barrier rise with Zac Kasa starting marginally in front of Mister Yeoh at $15.

From barrier rise Zac Kasa took up his customary position leading, with Dance In The Wind also up there, and Mister Yeoh with Australian Apprentice Ben Thompson riding, stalking the pair. Rounding the turn, Dance In The Wind found the going to tough and Mister Yeoh loomed up to Zac Kasa and the pair put a big break between themselves and the rest of the field. Over the last 300m in was a two horse war, with the stablemates going head to head, before Mister Yeoh got the upper hand in the last 50m.

It was Melbourne Apprentice Ben Thompson’s first Group race win, and his professionalism and willingness to follow instructions shows that he will be a force in racing in the coming years. He was accompanied in Singapore by his father Jason, who thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Zac Kasa lost no admirers in defeat, and remains one of the best 1200-1400m horses in Singapore as his Group 1 second in the Lion City Cup can attest.

Mister Yeoh and Ben Thompson get the upper hand in the shadows of the post in the EW Barker trophy.

At the end of the day it was a superb effort from both stable runners, with the 1.5kg advantage to Mister Yeoh probably the deciding factor in the end. The win in the $500,000 Group 2 feature again capped a great run for the stable in the feature races in Singapore. Two Group 1, two Group 2 and two Group 3 victories as well as multiple placing in other Group races for season 2018 is a great result, and with a host of promising horses in the stable, the feature races in 2019 will again be in the stable’s sights.

Owner Nick Turnball (2nd from right) was track side and overcome with emotion after the victory.

It was the second win for Cliff in the EW Barker Trophy with a stable favorite What Now successful in the 2012 edition under the guidance of Joao Moriera. Nick Turnball took time out of his hectic schedule to stop over in Singapore to watch the race live. Mr Turnball witnessed and made mention of another training masterclass from Cliff, and commented that he had never seen a horse glowing so much in the mounting yard.

Mister Yeoh, bred by Nick Turnball out of his mare Wai Lin, herself a daughter of Nick’s Group 1 winning filly Miss Pennymoney recorded his 4th win from just 8 starts and his second group race win in Singapore. He has now won over $671,000 in stake money and is clearly among the best 4 year old’s in Singapore.

 

Debt Collector wins Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a Royal Week!

If you believe in Omens, then there was no way Debt Collector would not win the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kranji on Sunday 21st October. In the week leading up to the race, the World Wide media were carrying a story of a break away from Royal protocol in Australia, the likes of which for it’s spontaneity, affection and of course it’s effect on a young Australian lady had not been seen for many a long year. The young lady in question was of course none other than India Brown, daughter of Cliff and Jo who has been a staunch Monarchist since the age of 8 and quite possibly the biggest fans of Prince Harry and Prince William on the planet.

Camping out in Melbourne since 4am, to catch a glimpse of the Royal couple Harry and Meagan, Prince Harry was drawn to a sign prepared earlier by India, which said she had been there since 4am, and stated her affection for the Royal family. After a quick verbal exchange the world watched as Harry and India embraced and India became the envy of Royal fans around the globe. Respecting the monarchy, India declined most interviews requests after the event, but Australian viewers were enlightened as to what the meeting meant to her when she spoke to Channel 7 news. Without a doubt, her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, a most avid racing fan, would of been quite satisfied stroking her corgi’s as she watched Debt Collector take out the race named in her honour, after the events in Melbourne.

Prince Harry hugs India Brown, sending the World-Wide media into a spin!

Sent out a clear favorite after his astonishing Raffles Cup victory, Debt Collector assumed his normal position at the tail of the field, this time with two behind him. Racing on the long course jockey Michael Rodd bided his time, allowing DC to cruise around the long home turn, keeping the front runners in his sight. Peeling out at the 400m with nearly the whole field in front of him, Rodd stoked up DC and he rapidly made ground on the pack.

What transpired was a sooner-than-expected burst to prominence with Debt Collector quickly putting paid to the challengers of the prominent runners Countofmontecristo, and the well-fancied pair Jupiter Gold and Circuit Land. By the 200m Debt Collector had left the entire field in his wake. With the majority of his victories, achieved by steaming over the top of his rivals in the last 100m, Michael Rodd had to keep DC’s mind on the job in the last 200m, and he scored by a comfortable length, from the fast finishing Majestic Moments.

No heart failure in QEII Cup as DC and Rodd have it in their keeping at 200m.

Owner Glenn Whittenbury was on his feet roaring home Debt Collector well before the line, secure in the fact that DC had wrapped this one up earlier than he usually does and was able to enjoy the last 100m without any coronary fibrillation’s. Glenn was mobbed by friends and well-wishes after the race all enjoying the moment, and steeling themselves for what was going to be another night of punishing, but euphoric celebrations.

Glenn Whittenbury and friends enjoy the victory in QE II Cup.

The staggering statistic of nine Group 1 victories in the last three seasons, together with other multiple Group and feature race wins, not just recently but in Cliff’s entire time in Singapore, is testament to Cliff’s ability to select, buy, train and manage horses to peak at the right time. Ably assisted by B Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons and a group of dedicated staff, Cliff rightly pointed out in his post race interview that it is a massive team effort by all involved.

Staff enjoy celebratory banquet at the stable on Tuesday.

With his fifth Group 1 victory, and 10th win overall, Debt Collector took his earnings past $2.7 million. It’s been an incredible return to greatness for Debt Collector and a journey shared with many friends Glenn has made in Singapore. No horse has ever won the Singapore Triple Crown. The final leg, The Singapore Gold Cup on November 11th, will be a tough task given it’s a handicap, and DC will have to carry top weight. The decision whether to run in the Cup will be made by connections in the coming weeks.

 

Grey Race to Race Double!!

Friday the 19th of October proved a very successful night for the stable, with three runners yielding 2 wins and a third. The two winners were both grey’s with Miss Dusty bouncing back to her best form and the highly promising Zac Kasa returning to the winners stall.

The first leg of the double saw the Greg Perry bred and owned Miss Dusty return to top form with an effortless win in the class 4 over 1100m on the poly track. The wide draw of 9 in the field proved no concern with Michael Rodd having the daughter of Reliable Man quickly out of the gates and up sitting outside the leader. On straightening she quickly got the upper hand over Soldado, and shot away to win softly by nearly 3 lengths.

The win continued the great breeding record of Greg’s mare Asciano Miss, who’s progeny have all raced in Singapore. Golden Sword has won 5 races and over $230,000, Nova Swiss 6 races and a tick under $380,000 and now Miss Dusty with her second win and two second place finishes in just 5 starts has won over $110,000. Sadly Asciano Miss passed away, but she may have left the best to last with Miss Dusty sure to add to her already impressive record.

Miss Dusty blasts to victory in race 6 on Friday evening.

The second winner was Zac Kasa who reminded all at Kranji of his huge potential in winning the Kranji B over 1200m. The pre-race hype was with the favorite Bold Thruster a very impressive winner of his only 3 starts all by big margins. With a feather weight of 50kg’s and Zac Kasa carrying 55kg, the “experts” and tipsters shied away from the Brown/Rodd combination and the imposing grey beast. However, both trainer and jockey were very confident that Zac Kasa would return to his best.

The doubters were made to eat humble pie, as Zac Kasa settled beautifully for Rodd just off the speed and stalked Bold Thruster through out the early stages of the race. Entering the straight Rodd confidently gave Zac Kasa a squeeze and he began to issue his challenge, eye balling the new “boom” horse in Singapore form the 300m mark. What looked likely to be quite an epic battle over the last 250m of the race, didn’t eventuate with Zac Kasa proving way to strong, even with a 5kg difference in the weights. Zac won by nearly a length and was drawing away on the line.

The win didn’t surprise any involved with Zac Kasa least of all Cliff and Michael Rodd. Race goers should of  remembered that the usually reserved Cliff did say after Zac Kasa’s first victory that he may well be the best horse he has had in Singapore.

Zac Spirit burts the undefeated Bold Thruster’s bubble in the Kranji B over 1200m.

Special mention must be made of the dedication of B Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons, who has along with Sabri his work rider and with the help of starters John Pepe and Damian Kinnimont, worked tirelessly and professionally with Zac Kasa who was basically a barrier rogue early on in Singapore. Tim and Sabri have looked after Zac Kasa at the barriers for every one of his races and one cannot underestimate their contribution in the continuation of Zac Kasa’s improvement as a racehorse.

The Zac owned gelding has now had 3 wins, 3 seconds and a third from 9 career starts and $380,000 in prize money. Purchased by Cliff from the Newhaven Park draft at the 2016 Sydney Easter Yearling Sales, Zac Kasa looks to have a huge future in Singapore given his improving race and barrier manners. The fact he is by Victoria Derby winner Reset, one would suggest he should appreciate further ground. He will next step up to 1400m in The Group 2 $500,000 EW Barker trophy on November 9th and will look to give the stable a second win in the race after What Now (now Switzerland resident) saluted in 2012.

Debt Collector claims 4th Group 1 with astonishing Raffles Cup Victory

Racing is a game of highs and sometimes heartbreaking lows, however Sunday the 23rd of September will be a date long remembered for all associated with the stable as Debt Collector claimed his second Raffles Cup, and 4th Group 1 victory in Singapore.

A plan hatched by Cliff and owner Glen Whittenbury at the end of 2017, saw Debt Collector return to Australia for a complete break from racing and the stable environment for 6 months. DC returned bigger, stronger, refreshed and as snakier as before after enjoying the paddocks of the Kelly family owned Newhaven Park Stud in New South Wales. The stable were very confident that he was somewhere near to getting back to his best form after a great first-up second to Preditor in the Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) on August 12, 10 months after his last Kranji appearance.

The 2018 Raffles Cup field was one of the best fields assembled in Singapore for many years, featuring 10 other proven Group winners, headed by Singapore Derby winner Jupiter Gold, Circuit Land, Clarton Super, Mr Clint and stablemate Group 3 winner and multiple Group 1 placed Elite Excalibur. Punters shared the stable’s and jockey Michael Rodd’s optimism sending DC out as the $11 favorite.

From barrier rise is was the typical Debt Collector race we have all witnessed before, with DC being allowed to smoke his pipe at the tail of the field. Up front it was soon evident the connections of Coutofmontecristo had a new tactical plan sending him to the lead and stringing the field out. All at the Kranji Raceourse had their hearts in their mouths when the field cornered as still last with 500m to go, Debt Collector had at least 12 lengths to make up, and Countofmontecristo had opened up an enormous gap of the rest of the field.

At the 200m with still possibly 6 lengths to make up, it appeared that he would run a nice second or third. The leader Counteofmontecristo was getting tired and both Circuit Land, Jupiter Gold and Clarton Super were all starting to bridge the gap. However, as has become his custom DC launched a staggering final 200m surge, again lugging in to intimidate those he was passing. With a turn of foot rarely seen, DC charged over the top of those in front to score by a short half head from Circuit Land, with a masterful display of timing from regular rider Michael Rodd.

Debt Collector steams home to win the 2018 Raffles Cup

Stable rider Michael Rodd has done a power of work on Debt Collector riding him in gallops and trials, and it was as much a victory for the Rodd/Brown combination and their faith in Debt Collector as a victory for anyone else. The Rodd/Brown combination has had remarkable feature race success in the last 3 years. Rodd has now won 8 times on Debt Collector and shares the most winners he has had on a horse with super mare Atlantic Jewel. In a nice bit of icing on the cake, Cliff made it three Raffles Cup victories in a row with Debt Collector winning in 2016, Gilt Complex in 2017, and now again with Debt Collector.

Michael Rodd accepts Raffles Cup Jockey trophy.

Friends of Debt Collector revel in the Raffles Cup victory.

What made the victory all the more special was a number of Barree Stable’s close Singapore friends were on track to witness Debt Collector’s breathtaking win. Paul Robbins, Nick Johnston, Guy Shirtliff and Dennis Cornwell all joined in the victory straight after the race. Emotions were running high as the enormity of his win sank in, but also on reflection that a 12 month plan had come to fruition.

Jo Fitzsimmons (wife of B trainer Tim Fitzsimmons) and Cliff accept owner and trainer trophies.

Holidaying Barree Stable Manager owner Glenn Whittenbury, his wife Jen and children Gabrielle and Gregory and Jen’s extended family watched the race live in Greece. There have been reports coming out of the small village of Zagoria in the Epirus region of Northern Greece, that a bald Australian put on a quite a show the likes of which had never been witnessed by the locals before. The man’s behavior has been apparently been described as a mix of violent shaking, uncontrollable euphoric emotion, coupled with hysterical yelling at an audible level loud enough to start a small landslide in the local surrounding hills. It was also reported that in the confusing scene made by this tourist that the proprietors of the cafe didn’t know whether to call the police or an ambulance. Apparently Glenn’s roaring of his mighty champ home in the last 200m, is still echoing in the surrounding hills.

Post race, Glenn quickly made contact with the stable saying that celebratory drinks were on him. After checking the day’s runners and making sure DC had come through the race in good order , The DC crew congregated at the Martini Bar at the Hyatt, followed by further celebrations at the night club Brix. Glenn knows he got off quite cheaply in the end, as his enormously generous gesture could of easily have been taken advantage of by some of his more dubious Singapore friends.

Debt Collector’s victory was his ninth in Singapore from  just 19 starts, his fourth Group 1 victory and sixth Group win overall. He has now amassed over $2.2million in prize money and will now be set for the Group 1 $1,000,000 QE 11 Cup on October 21st, this year run over 1800m.

As the old adage goes: “form is temporary but class is permanent” and this is so true in the case of Debt Collector. Once again Cliff has shown his incredible training ability to bring him back to form, maybe even better than he was when dominant in 2016. The stable can only thank owner Glenn Whittenbury for giving his mighty horse every possible chance to come back to his best, and we hope that this remarkable ride with DC will continue in the near future.

Raffles Cup celebrations on Sunday evening.

 

Glenn Whittenbury celebrates his champ DC’s win in Greece

 

Dynamic Duo Claim More Group Success

The dominant force in Singapore feature races were at it again when Cliff and Michael Rodd combined to win the Group 2 $500,000 Singapore Three Year Old Classic on Sunday with Mister Yeoh. This victory was the second Group Race success of the season after Elite Excalibur’s Group 3 victory in the Committee’s Prize.

After a sensational 7 length victory on debut, Mister Yeoh ran an outstanding race in the first leg of the 3 year old series when beaten less than 2 lengths after jumping from a horror gate of 14. With the right run the stable were very confident that he’d be right in the finish in the second leg.

Jumping from barrier 10, Rodd had the handsome son of Wanted settling mid field after initially over racing in the early stages. Like a true professional Mister Yeoh got into a nice rhythm and was traveling sweetly as a cracking pace was set by the front runners. In the straight, Rodd had a lap full of horse, and with a superbly timed run the big bay exploded at the 250m and put the issue beyond doubt, with race favorite Be Bee flying late from out of the pack to grab second.

Mister Yeoh and Michael Rodd explode clear in the Singapore 3 year old Classic.

Bred and Owned by Mr Nick Turnball in Australia, the colours worn by Mister Yeoh had been prominent in Singapore previously through the deeds of the highly talented Swiss Ace gelding Fitzroy, who ran an unlucky 4th in the Singapore Classic two years ago. Nick who races Mister Yeoh with Peter Hobin and Gary Davey and friends look to have one of the most exciting horses in Singapore.

With his 2nd win from only three Singapore starts, Mister Yeoh has now taking his earnings to tick over $305,000, again showcasing the fabulous prize money on offer in Singapore. The dust will settle as Cliff and connections decide on a possible start in the Lion City Cup in May.

Bobby lands deserved Group Success

Elite Excalibur scored his first Group win in Singapore when taking out the Group 3 Committee’s Prize over 1600m on Sunday 18th March. First up since his gallant effort in the 2017 Singapore Gold Cup when beaten a half head into third, “Bobby” as he is affectionately known built on his tremendous first up record in Singapore when downing the Mark Walker trained Elite Invincible.

With a difficult barrier to contend with, Michael Rodd produced a gem of a ride. Rodd had Bobby traveling nicely in mid field and was stalking Infantry the whole way. As the field turned for home Elite Excalibur was brought to the outside and produced a great sprint. Elite Invincible tried hard to defy Elite Excalibur, but in the end Bobby was to strong and finally had the luck go his way to land his first feature event.

With three Group 1 placings in 2017: 2nd in the Patron’s Bowl, 2nd in the Raffles Cup and 3rd in the Singapore Gold Cup, no one could begrudge Elite Stable and Bobby their victory in the Committee’s Prize which attracted the best horses in Singapore including 3 Derby winners, and the mighty Infantry Horse Of The Year in 2017. This win again underlines Elite Excalibur’s class, and he’ll prove hard to beat in many of the feature races this year.

 

With his third win in Singapore, and a host of big race placing’s, Elite Excalibur has now taken his earnings to a tick over $625,000 for Elite Stable.

Earlier in the day, the stable produced a very promising addition to the stable when Mr Yeoh demolished the field in the Class 4 over 1200m. Having done everything right in the build up to his Singapore debut, the stable were confident of victory, but the 7 and 1/4 length margin of victory has now seen a change of plans and Mr Yeoh will now contest the first leg of the 3 year old series on Friday March 30th.

Bred by Australian owner Nick Turnball, Mr Yeoh carried the same colours as the very promising Swiss Ace gelding Fitzroy, who unfortunately died last year after an accident at the spelling station.

Mr Yeoh scores an effortless 7 length victory at his Singapore debut.

 

WHAT’S NEW IMPRESSIVE AT SECOND START

Greg Perry’s mare Pussycat Dream had a stint in Singapore after winning her only start in the UK. With a lovely pedigree it was decided by both Greg and Cliff that she would not race in Singapore and she returned to Australia to become part of Greg’s wonderful broodmare band. Pussycat Dream’s first mating was with Casino Prince and the resultant offspring was named What’s New and sent to Singapore in  2017 for her racing career.

On Friday 19th, at her only her second start, What’s New proved way to classy to score an emphatic 2.5 length win in the restricted maiden over 1200m. Placing 2nd at her first start in late October, Cliff again showed his renowned patience before producing the filly for her second start.

Jumping from barrier 9, jockey Michael Rodd allowed What’s New to find her feet and she settled in a nice rhythm a little worse than mid field. Coming to the turn, Rodd angled What’s New to the outside and she still had about 5 lengths to make up on the leading division.

What’s New easily wins her second career start in restricted maiden over 1200m

 

Given her head, What’s New cruised up to the leaders and quickly found the lead at he 200m mark. After a rally from Kiss Your Song, What’s New’s class kicked in a she steamed away for a very soft win. The ease of her victory suggests that she has a very promising future, as Michel Rodd concluded after her second trial in Singapore “she’s above average this girl”.