18 May 2013
Hello again – another day and another adventure. We thoroughly enjoyed the races at Kranji on Friday night. The corporate box that we were designated is part of the beautiful new stand at Kranji – the facilities are certainly world class and an absolute credit to the Singapore Turf Club.
Our travellers enjoyed spending some time with Te Akau Singapore trainer Mark Walker when he was able to join us (due to his very busy schedule on race night). It was great also having Julia Walker join us for the evening.
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the first Group 2 win in Singapore (he’s had plenty in New Zealand and Australia) for Mark. War Affair is a 2YO O’Reilly gelding out of Kristique who David bought from Karaka for $70,000. He was broken in and trialled in New Zealand by Te Akau before joining our Singapore stable which was always the plan as he ia raced by very loyal local owners, Mr and Mrs Ong.
After a lovely fourth on debut, War Affair won his second start in great style. Sent out the favourite for Friday night’s S$325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe 2YO Final, and with champion rider Joao Moreira opting to stay aboard our exciting youngster, the stage was set for something special.
As we know, 2YO racing is fraught with uncertainties, anything can happen when “babies” race with their on-occasion limited ring craft. This horse who has the stable name “Indy” however proved an exception – he has a hugely exciting future and it was so thrilling for us all to cheer War Affair home and toast Mark’s continued Singapore success.
The team was delighted to be invited into the winners’ room for champagne and the presentation – making the whole evening very special.
The irony of this win hasn’t eluded us either – the race was actually sponsored by Aushorse – the Australian equivalent of New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing. Of course it was not an Australian bred or purchased horse who won – it was our War Affair, the Kiwi bred, Kiwi sold and Kiwi trained 2YO – by Waikato Stud’s super sire O’Reilly, bought by David Ellis, from Karaka! Needless to say, it probably wasn’t the dream result the Aushorse team would have been looking for.
The other special part of the evening was seeing our New Zealand stable jockey Matt Cameron ride so well at Kranji. While he did not get to salute the judge, Matt rode very well indeed and we know this opportunity will provide him with rare international experience.
We returned back to the hotel at about 11.30pm and no night caps tonight (although rumour – ha ha – has it a handful of our team found some great nightspots)! This morning it was time for trackwork – yes up at 5.30am, assembled at 6.15am and off to Kranji. Were we only there eight hours before?
We attended the media breakfast and had a prime position out on the viewing platform to watch trackwork. Mark joined us again and pointed out his various trackworkers and explained the process of how everything works on a normal day.
After breakfast we went across to the stable block and everyone enjoyed the tour of Stable 108A – and in many cases being re-acquainted with their horses. Graeme caught up with Providence, Alison and Merv loved seeing Affirmation – as did Glenn and Cathie – and Bespoke and Fiscal Wings as well. Irish Rebel also arrived back from the track and it was wonderful to see how well he has settled in too. Jason was delighted to catch Select Gathering. Then there was Soul Commander who was a gallant fourth last night for Billy, Michael, David and Norman, also Charging Bull, the pride of joy of Pat and Marilyn. Glenn and Cathie as well as Trevor were over the moon to see Flying Fulton, our Singapore superstar and I gave Alpha Centauri, Clutha Lad and Hillbilly Bear (and many others) a big cuddle – just a few of the highlights. New owners Brian and Sue got up close and personal with the equine team as we said hello to Ready Fortune, Eaton’s Gold, Lord Roberto, Bolshoi Ruler, Manny Pacuaio, Coup da Vinci, Om, Te Akau King and others!
Back to the hotel and as I write, I suspect there are a few “nana naps” or afternoon siestas taking place. No real rest for us though as we’ll be donning the glad rags at about 6pm and heading to the Singapore Turf Club’s gala dinner which is being staged at our hotel.
I’ll be back tomorrow as we return to Kranji for the big international raceday.