Kranji On Saturday – Fitzsimmons Due For A Dream Win

Kranji first due off @ 06h00 on Saturday

After some luckless runs and injury setbacks, the Tim Fitzsimmons-trained Dream Alliance looked perfectly placed to show his best in the SG$85,000 Class 2 race on Saturday at Kranji.

Dream Alliance (Bruno Queiroz) seen here at his last win in a Class 2 race on 14 October (Pic – STC)

A five-time winner from 18 starts in Singapore, the US-bred son of Into Mischief had also finished runner-up on five occasions; none more significant than the heart-breaking short-head defeat by Lim’s Kosciuszko in the Gr1 Singapore Gold Cup on 11 November last year.

Jockey Bruno Queiroz protested unsuccessfully against the winner, alleging interference in the straight, which might have given connections a glimmer of hope of what would have been a memorable win.

Things did not get better anytime soon when Dream Alliance pulled up lame after finishing down the track to his stablemate, Golden Monkey, at his next start in the Gr3 Fortune Bowl on 11 February.

He then ran second to Pacific Emperor in a barrier trial on 29 February and had a crack at the Group 3 Committee’s Prize on 9 March, albeit he only managed to run fifth behind winner, Bestseller.

The result, however, did not tell the full story of a tough run and traffic issues in the straight that arguably costed Dream Alliance his overdue first Group win, given he was beaten less than a length on the line.

But Fitzsimmons was not one to looks back and instead, has his eyes firmly on the prize this Saturday with Queiroz in the saddle again.

“A lot of horses had no luck in that race (Committee’s Prize) but that’s racing,” mused the 2022 Singapore champion trainer.

“Golden Monkey (fourth) was just as unlucky as him. We always need luck in this game.

“I don’t think we were unlucky in the Gold Cup. It was very close and would have been good to win but Dream Alliance had every chance too.

“So, this race on Saturday looks to be a nice one for him.

“I would have preferred a slightly better barrier (9), but he has trained on from his last run and I’m really happy with him.”

Fitzsimmons also will field Raising Sixty-One in the same race and hoped that adding blinkers will help his cause over the mile.

“He’s a genuine 2000m stayer,” said the Australian conditioner of the five-year-old son of Belardo, who finished fourth in the Singapore Gold Cup last year.

“There’s not a lot of races for him over longer trips, so blinkers go on to sharpen him up over the mile.

“He’s drawn well, so hopefully jockey Amirul Ismadi can sit him a little closer this week.”

Elsewhere on the card, all eyes will be on Lightning Strike, another runner of Fitzsimmons’ as the four-year-son of Impending gets his Gr1 Singapore Derby campaign under way in the SG$70,000 Class 3 race.

“Very happy with him,” he said.

“Obviously, 1400m would be a bit on the short side but he had a spell after his last run (won in a Class 4 Division 1 race over 1800m on 30 December) and seemed to have come back bigger and stronger.

“This is the first step of his Singapore Derby preparation, so it’s part of the long game.

“Saint Tropez, in the same race, is in a similar boat. He needs longer and hopefully, we can get his rating up over the next few months to where he might sneak into the Gold Cup.”

The Singapore Derby will be held on 21 July while the Singapore Gold Cup will be run on the final meeting in Singapore’s racing history, 5 October.

Josh McLoughlan, principal of Jig Bloodstock and the one who purchased Dream Alliance and Lightning Strike for the Legacy Power Racing Stable and the Buffalo & Elvin Racing Stable respectively, will be watching on Saturday with more than a passing interest.

“Tim’s doing a great job with these horses,” said McLoughlan.

“Dream Alliance is due for a good win and hopefully he gets some luck this week.

“Lightning Strike was the first horse I bought for the Buffalo Stable, but to be honest, we thought he was more of a 1400m type.

“But he just kept on growing and showed that the 1800m was his trip at his last campaign. Tim tipped him out at the right time while he was in winning form.

“And Fitzsimmons hasn’t screwed him down for this. The Singapore Derby will be his grand final and it’s nice to be involved.”

Kranji first is due off at 06h00 on Saturday.

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