The great Zac Spirit winner of the Lion City Cup (and Champion Sprinter) in 2014 and 2016 was joined by stablemate Inferno as a winner of Singapore’s premier sprint race. Running 1min 8.28 the new star of Singapore racing ran the quickest ever Lion City Cup and made it back to back Group 1 wins after his victory last month in the Singapore Guineas.
The latest addition to Glenn Whittenbury’s Barree Stable highlight reel, can perhaps best be summed up by quotes from trainer and jockey shortly Inferno’s astonishing win in the $400,000 Group 1 event on Sunday October 25th.
“I haven’t ridden a horse like Inferno in Singapore.” Vlad Duric
“He’s quite something else, isn’t he?” Cliff Brown.
To put these quotes in context, both Cliff and Vlad have been the dominant forces in Singapore feature races over the past five years, and each have been involved with many great horses, both in Singapore and in Australia. Inferno’s victory not only made headlines in Singapore, but other racegoers world wide showed their enthusiasm on twitter and other racing jurisdictions had also taken note.
Pre- race some comment were made with the drop back in distance from 1600m to 1200m, tackling Singapore’s best and more seasoned sprinters and the fact that Inferno had to overcome the outside barrier 16, as reasons why the big son of Holy Roman Emperor faced a huge challenge. However, close connections to Inferno were supremely, but quietly confident that he would overcome these challenges, and in the end there was never any case for concern.
Duric settled Inferno in a rearward spot from barrier rise, keeping him out of trouble as the leaders ensured a good pace up front. From the 600m Inferno had been positioned well although wide on the track he had clear air to launch from the 600m. Stable mate Zac Kasa was running a great race and momentarily hit the lead, before Inferno rounded up nearly the entire field and surged clear with a bit over a furlong to run.
Eased down towards the line, the $9 favourite had two and a quarter lengths to spare from Mr Malek with stable mate Zac Kasa just nabbed on the line to finish fourth.The 11 year old track record held by Sacred Kingdom in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in 2009, may well have come under threat had Duric punhced Inferno out to the line. Now a winner of 8 of his 9 starts, with that win in the Lion City Cup, Inferno has now amassed around $900,000 in stakes money for the Barree Stable.
Barree Stable managing owner Glenn Whittenbury has had some wonderful racing moments in Singapore, but this may have been the best. Unable to be track side, Glenn watched the race alone in his home office, terrifying the life out his therapy dog and best friend Vito with a war cry that could be heard all over Kew as Inferno set sail in the straight. The rest of his family watched in another room as they are more intelligent than Vito. Vito’s behavioral improvements with the help of canine Valium over the past two years, have now seen a sad regression since 7.30pm Sunday, 25th. He may not recover.
Earlier in the day saw a great win in the class 4 1200m by the promising 4 year old Bluestone. Popular owners Dennis Cornwell and Tony Davies were track side to watch the win, and appeared delighted . Covid restrictions have impacted people differently and both could be seen licking the huge glass windows on level three after Bluestone romped to victory. We hope they were just overcome by emotion and this is not a common occurrence. Simply, it was an exciting win, and well enjoyed!
Bluestone took his record to a handy 4 wins from 10 starts and over $166,000 in stake money. He looks well above class 4, and both Tony, Dennis and Australian based owner Richard Pegum have plenty to look forward to with the son of Hallowed Crown.