Le Grange Saddles Singapore Guineas Winner

Kranji action on Saturday

Jockey Bruno Queiroz redeemed himself with a patient ride on Ace Of Diamonds and the pair struck gold in the SG$150,000 Gr2 Singapore Guineas at Kranji on Saturday.

Trained by Ricardo Le Grange, the smart three-year-old gave the Brazilian jockey his first Singapore Group victory in the Gr3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint on 06 April.

Ace Of Diamonds under Bruno Queiroz wins the Group 2 Singapore Guineas

Ace Of Diamonds (Bruno Queiroz) shoots clear to win the Group 2 Singapore Guineas (Pic – STC)

Things, however, did not go smoothly at this next start in the Gr2 Singapore 3YO Classic three weeks ago.

Queiroz had Ace Of Diamonds out wide and closer to the speed and while in the straight, they were slightly hindered when Bakeel sprinted past at the 250m, albeit the son of Swiss Ace still hung on for third to eventual winner Lim’s Bighorn.

After the run, Queiroz made a call to his godfather and world-famous jockey, Joao Moreira, and heeded his advice on Ace Of Diamonds.

“Ricardo was not happy after his last run, so I called my godfather (Moreira),” said Queiroz, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Wednesday.

“He watched the race and told me ‘this horse, you have to come from behind’. He told me to be patient.”

The words from someone dear and one of the best jockeys in the world must have been deeply etched in his mind. The young rider, who once described his riding style as “more explosive”, dropped Ace Of Diamonds to fourth last in the field of 12 and bided his time after jumping well from barrier eight for the third time.

Singapore 3YO Classic winner Lim’s Bighorn (Marc Lerner) led at a good clip in front with Boardroom (Carlos Henrique) sitting on his girth and favourite Bakeel (Manoel Nunes) behind in third.

Queiroz had not lifted a finger on Ace Of Diamonds at the bend, even if Lim’s Bighorn and Boardroom were striding away from the rest. Turning for home, Ace Of Diamonds slotted in beautifully behind Bakeel and peeled out at the 250m for his final assault.

The SG$27 shot exploded past Bakeel and the tiring Lim’s Bighorn to a four-length win. Bakeel lost no marks in second while Lim’s Smythe (Chad Schofield), who came from further back, flew home to finish third another neck away.

The winning time was 1 min 33.99secs for the 1600m on the Short Course.

Ace Of Diamonds's winning connections

Winning connections jubilant on stage – (from left) Owners Karen and Leonardo Javier, jockey Bruno Queiroz and trainer Ricardo Le Grange (Pic – STC)

The birthday boy, who snared a double on Saturday as favourite Lim’s Saltoro also saluted in the SG$100,000 Aramaayo 2020 Stakes, a Kranji Stakes A race one race earlier, was glad all things went well at his second Group win at Kranji.

“This horse is wonderful and he’s learning. He has a good sprint when he comes from behind,” said Queiroz, who had his jockey father Antonio and mother Sandra at the winner’s circle with him.

“The race went perfect for me today. This horse is very well. It’s a very good job by Ricardo and all the people who worked on him.

“I am very happy because my father and mother is here, and it was my birthday last week Wednesday.

“Ace Of Diamonds can go over longer no problem.”

Le Grange, who was at his first Singapore Guineas win, was equally satisfied with the win.

“Last start, Queiroz got him on the outside. I was disappointed but I’ve got a lot of faith in this horse,” said the South African handler, who also bagged a double later courtesy of Hole In One winning the SG$75,000 Debt Collector 2016 Stakes, a Novice race.

“Today, he gave him a bit of chance, switched off and it was very impressive. The rain helped him, most definitely.

“Massive thanks to (owners) Karen (Leonardo Javier) and Sandy who are on course to see their horse win.

“I’ll speak to the guys and decide where he goes next.

“It’s sad that this is the last Singapore Guineas and I feel it, but let’s just enjoy this moment.”

With five wins and four placings in 11 starts, Ace Of Diamonds has amassed over SG$300,000 in prizemoney for his owner Leonardo Javier.

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