ZAC IS BACK.

Highly promising four-year-old Zac Kasa began his 2019 campaign in the $100,000 Class 1 race over 1200m on Sunday 17th. Sent out as favorite ($12), Zac faced a good field of gallopers with Be Bee a last start winner (and 2017 champion two year old), expected to be the testing material.

Purchased by Cliff as a yearling at the Sydney Easter Yearling sale for long time owners Dr Andy Wong and Genni Wong (Zac Stable), the handsome grey son of Reset, came with a glowing endorsement by long time stable horse breaker and pre-trainer Brett Cavanough.

Best known for his 2018 Lion City Cup runner-up (to two-time Singapore champion sprinter Lim’s Cruiser), Zac was also second in the time honoured Group 2 $500,000 EW Barker Trophy in November 2018. So there was a great deal of expectation surrounding the son of Reset’s return to racing.

Carrying only 51kg, Jockey Daniel Moor was given the ride. With some obvious tactics by rival stables to make Zac work hard early, Moor didn’t panic taking a split between runners before entering the straight, and quickly put a margin of a couple of lengths on his rivals.

With those sent out to take Zac on beginning to feel the pinch, (and who ended up languishing in 6th and 9th place and beaten a long way), it was left to Super Fortune and Be Bee from back in the field to try and cut Zac down in the last 200m. But Moor had ridden a brilliant race, and in the end Zac Kasa prevailed by 1/2 length from the very talented Be Bee.

Zac Kasa and Daniel Moor, simply to good in the Class 1 over 1200m.

With physical and mental maturity now on his side, Zac Kasa has already more than repaid Zac Stable on their investment, and can look forward to a very exciting 2019. Results can’t be achieved without the patience of good owners, and the stable thanks the Wong’s who allow us to train and prepare Zac Kasa.With 4 wins, 4 seconds and a third from just 12 starts, Zac Spirit has already earned at tick over $535,000 for Zac stable.

 

 

Girls bring up a double

Cliff’s affinity with the fairer sex was once again on display on Friday 1st with Ararat Lady and What’s New notching excellent victories. Both were well fancied in the market after returning from a short let up with Ararat Lady starting a very short priced favorite.

Ararat Lady, a winner at just her second start justified her short quote with a commanding all the way victory in the class 4 over 1100m on the poly track. Jumping from barrier 5, Michael Rodd took no chances of any traffic jams and soon had the daughter of Battle Paint in cruise mode at the front of the field. On straightening he gave Ararat Lady her head and she slipped the field, with only debutante Grand Koota making and dash at the end, but to no avail.

On hand to enjoy the victory were members of the Jas stable, headed by the well known AJ who was delighted with the victory. Ararat Lady know has two wins from just 3 starts and looks to have a very bright future.

Happy connections enjoy Ararat Lady’s victory.

Talented mare What’s New made it a double for the girls in race 7 with a tough win in the class 3 over 1400m. A model of consistency the diminutive What’s New came from midfield to unleash her customary strong finish. Bred and owned by long time stable client Greg Perry, What’s New has never run a bad race, with her worst result when copping bad interference in the Singapore Guineas. In a post race interview, regular partner Michael Rodd was full of praise for the mare, and a dream to ride.

The 1/2 brother to What’s New by El Roca was purchased by the stable during the week and shares in this yearling colt will be snapped up very quickly. What’s new took her record to 4 wins, 4 seconds and a third from just 11 starts with prize money of over $215,000.

 

Hopefully the good run can continue on Wednesday with the talented sprinter Miss Dusty and middle distance mare Cracking Tottie engaged.

A Golden Double!!

Friday the 18th was a good evening for Gold Stable winning two races, and being very unlucky in a third. Lohnro Gold and Gold Strike were the winners, with the improving Gold Company going down by only a half length after being held up badly in the straight in race 2.

The most consistent Lonhro Gold caused a boil over in race 6 the Class 3 over 1000m. Carrying only 52.5kg and with light weight jockey Barend Vorster on board, Lonhro Gold had stiff opposition with the likes of Elite Power and King Of War contesting the race. On jumping Vorster surged Lohnro Gold to his customary racing position, leading the pack and was able to give him a breather before entering the straight. At the the top of the straight Vorster kicked the son of Denman away and soon found himself 3 lengths ahead, and under hard riding he held out the fast finishing Elite Power by half a length.

Lohnro Gold proves to strong in the Class 3 over 1000m.

The win was also special for jockey Barend Vorster who is soon to depart Singapore, to ride for the powerful McEvoy stable in South Australia. Barend has been good friends with Gold Stable and has combined with Cliff on many occasions over the past decade to win races for Gold Stable. A $40,000 purchase at the Inglis Ready to race sale, Lohnro Gold had been a terrific money spinner for connections now pocketing over $187,000 in prize money.

The second leg of the Gold Stable double came courtesy of their highly promising UK import Gold Strike. Resuming after a 3 month let up, Gold Strike had to overcome a awkward wide draw in the Class 4 over 1200m. After traveling 3 and 4 wide, he came with a powerful run to overhaul the leaders and win by nearly a length and a half. With three wins from just 8 starts, the son of Ifraaj looks to have a very exciting future in Singapore.

Gold Strike makes it 3 wins from 8 starts when steaming away with the class 4 over 1200m.

 

 

 

Gold Star and Baffert get new season rolling

The second weekend of racing saw the stable saddle two winners, and get the new season off to a good start. On Friday the 11th, Gold Star trained on from an excellent debut 3rd on December 2nd, to capture the $75,000 restricted maiden over 1200m.

Jumping from an awkward barrier of 10, Michael Rodd had Gold Star settled mid field, but still trapped wide without cover. The three-year-old by Redente (x Redoute’s Choice) looked to have his work cut out being three deep for most of the way, but loomed up around the turn.

Gold Star proves to good in the Restricted Maiden over 1200m.

Gold Star, raced as Shadonte in Australia, before being purchased privately by Cliff for long time stable clients Gold Stable. With his first win Gold Star has taken his earnings to a tick under $50,0000, and looks to have a very bright future in Singapore.

The second leg of the weekend double came courtesy of stable favorite Baffert. He lined up in a Krabji Stakes C over 1200m. After three horror barriers at his past three starts, Baffert jumped from barrier 6, again with Michael Rodd in the saddle. Baffert came from a handy spot in 4th at the top of the straight, and won very easily in the end by 2 lengths after being eased down by Rodd.

Baffert proves way to strong in the Class 4 over 1200.

Baffert is raced by Forever Lucky stable, and Premier racing and all have been quite unlucky with Baffert not adding to his only win which was almost a year ago to the day. Taking his earnings past the $120,000, Baffert certainly looks to have more wins in store.

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.