Interest is mounting for Sunday’s $3 million Gr1 Singapore Airlines International Cup and the $1 million Gr1 Krisflyer International Sprint at Kranji Racecourse, with the barrier draws having been announced.
The summarised reactions from the various yards are listed below:
SINGAPORE AIRLINES INTERNATIONAL CUP
FLAX (SIN) – Barrier No 1
“That is exactly what we wanted. If he had drawn a barrier in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup he would have won,” said trainer David Hill’s daughter Samantha.
“He will be able to sit and follow into the race. He is not that big and he needs to find the shortest way home.”
Jockey Jose Verenzuela echoed Hill’s optimism at the Post Position Draw Ceremony.
“Everyone loves the number one draw,” said jockey Jose Verenzuela. “I don’t care really if it is one or ten so long as I finish number one.
“The draw gives me the opportunity to sit behind the leaders and get the ideal run and hopefully get a run at the right time.
“Then it is up to the horse to see if he is good enough.”
ZAZOU (RUS) – Barrier No 2
“Very nice. It’s a race and anything can happen,” said track rider Hennig Radion.
ZAIDAN (HK) – Barrier No 3
“Couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said George Moore, son of trainer John, after pulling the number three post position.
“Around three, four or five is where we wanted to be and from that draw we won’t have to go down near the fence.
“He had a similar draw when he won the Hong Kong Classic Cup so hopefully it works out well for him again.”
EL DORADO (SIN) – Barrier No 4
“It’s very good. It will allow him to go closer to the pace,” said trainer Hideyuki Takaoka.
“But he’s been missing his jump in 99 out of his 100 races. So that may not come to anything.”
Jockey Alan Munro was also delighted with Barrier No 4, but said it may not help if he is slow out of the gates.
“I’m happy with four. We tried to race him closer to the speed before, but he always jumps slow,” said the English Derby-winning jockey.
SPEED BABY (SIN) – Barrier No 5
“Naturally I’m happy with that draw,” said trainer Steven Burridge after Speed Baby came up with post position number 5.
“It gives (jockey) Azhar (Ismail) the chance to ride a good race, give him his opportunity and hopefully he’s good enough at the finish.”
CALIFORNIA MEMORY (HK) – Barrier No 6
“I’m very happy with the draw,” said trainer Tony Cruz. “I didn’t have to go up there and choose as it was the last one left.
“That draw gives my horse the chance to be handy or midfield.
“Felix (Coetzee) won two premierships for me as my stable rider in Hong Kong and I think he is the jockey for this horse.
“Top jockeys don’t need to have a ride of the horse before a race to get a feel of them.”
CHINCHON (FRA) – Barrier No 7
“Somewhere in the middle is absolutely fine. It’s a nice barrier draw,” said track rider Jean-Luc Hanot.
“It doesn’t matter if he is a bit wide as he’s a horse who finishes strongly.”
WAIKATO (SIN) – Barrier No 8
Trainer and owner Laurie Laxon wasn’t concerned about drawing post position eight in the 13 horse line-up.
“Opie (Bosson) is a big race jockey and you don’t have to tie him down with too many instructions,” said Laxon.
“Hopefully he can begin well and he can slot him in, get some cover and give him as easy a run as possible.
“The horse is in good order so it is now all up to the jockey.”
DREAM PEACE (FRA) – Barrier No 9
“No 9? It could have been worse as it could have been 10, 11, 12 or 13,” said trainer Robert Collet. “It won’t change a thing as she comes from behind.
“It will all depend on the pace. If it is a steady and regular rhythm, she will have a greater chance to win.”
CITY STYLE (UAE) – Barrier No 10
“It is better for us to be drawn out in 10 than to be with the inside ones,” said Mahmood Al Zarooni’s travelling head-lad Andrea Mascolo.
“He tends to want to get back but being a short straight we might try and ride him more towards the middle.
“Mahmood will give the final instructions after he has a study of the draw and then it will all be up to the jockey (Mickael Barzalona).
THUMBS UP (HK) – Barrier No 11
“We will probably have to snag back from that draw,” said a dejected travelling foreman Dale Bussey for trainer Caspar Fownes after drawing post position 11.
“Naturally we’ll sit down and have a good look at where the pace is, but he’s a versatile horse so going back won’t be too much of a task for him but it will certainly make (jockey) Brett’s (Prebble) job a bit harder.”
NEW ROSE WOOD (SIN) – Barrier No 12
“It doesn’t matter as she gets back anyway,” said trainer Cliff Brown. “It’s perfect.”
ALWAYS CERTAIN (SIN) – Barrier No 13
“He’s a get back sort of horse anyway so barrier 13 is not going to be too much of a concern,” said trainer Michael Freedman.
“He can’t be ridden forward as he’s failed that way previously, so we’ll go back as we always do and just hope for some luck.”
KRISFLYER INTERNATIONAL SPRINT
SECRET ASSET (GB) – Barrier No 1
“It’s a very good draw. We’re very happy with that,” said trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam.
“He’s normally quick out of the gates. That should allow us to box seat and save as much ground as possible on the bend.
“Like I said before, we can’t be too far off the pace. We now just have to make sure we arrive on time.”
MR BIG (SIN) – Barrier No 2
“It’s the first time Mr Big has drawn the inside. That’s probably because they didn’t use a computer,” joked trainer Michael Freedman.
“It’s a nice draw and will give Steve (Baster) every option where he wants to ride him.”
ATO (SIN) – Barrier No 3
“That is the perfect draw,” said jockey Barend Vorster after Ato’s number three draw was the first made.
“That allows me to play it by ear from there. It allows me to see where the speed is and judge how the race is playing out and just be comfortable where we want to be.
“He’s in great shape. He was bouncing around this morning on the track and I couldn’t be happier with him or the draw.”
CAPTAIN OBVIOUS (SIN) – Barrier No 4
“This is a nice draw. It gives (jockey) Oscar Chavez plenty of options,” said Wade Burridge, son of trainer Steven.
“There is not a lot of speed in the race, and this draw will enable us to find a position where we want to be.”
Burridge Snr was equally bullish after the draw.
“As long as he’s not four wide, we’re happy,” said the trainer. “I know we tried to make him settle from off the pace at his last barrier trial, but he is a go-forward type of horse and that’s what he will do on Sunday.
“It gives us a few more options to know he can take a sit, but it really will all depend on the early pace.”
PERFECT PINS (SIN) – Barrier No 5
“That draw works out good for this horse,” said jockey Jose Verenzuela after Perfect Pins drew post position number five.
“There is some speed drawn inside of him. We can take the sit and let them make the race for us.”
INVINCIBLE ASH (IRE) – Barrier No 6
“I’m happy enough with that. I didn’t want it too inside either for the fact she comes from off the pace,” said trainer Michael Halford.
“It’s all in the hands of (jockey) Gary (Carroll) now. He knows the mare very well anyway.”
YIN XIN (SIN) – Barrier No 7
“It could have been worse. But it is a small field and it might be all right,” said trainer Theo Kieser.
“We’ll just leave it all up to the jockey (Danny Beasley).”
KRYPTON FACTOR (BAH) – Barrier No 8
“He’s a bit out. Such is life,” said trainer Fawzi Nass. “I’ll have to work out a strategy and find out who are the fast horses on my inside.
“It shouldn’t be a problem as he’s shown he could win from behind like in Dubai.”
BETTER BE THE ONE (SIN) – Barrier No 9
“Well, we have the favourite (Krypton Factor) horse inside him,” said trainer Michael Freedman. “That will let us keep in touch with him.
“It really depends on how the race pans out early. It’s not a big field and the draw is not all that critical.”