Aussies Sweep The Group Ones in Singapore

Mark Smith - Sunday May 26

Not A Single Doubt, Zoustar and Magic Albert made it a Group 1 clean sweep for Australian stallions at Kranji on Saturday night.

Defending champion Southern Legend had been winless since capturing the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) in 2018 but the son of Not A Single Doubt made a one-act affair of the $1.5 million feature. (all images Grant Courtney)

Ridden by Zac Purton, the Casper Fownes-trained gelding defeated the Lee Freedman-trained Blizzard (Starcraft) by two and a half lengths with the Tony Millard-trained Singapore Sling (Philanthropist) a half length back in third.

Since winning the race last year, Southern Legend has placed in the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile, Group 1 Hong Kong Cup and Group 1 The Stewards Cup but was coming off a well-beaten sixth behind the Japanese sensation Almond Eye in the Group 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan.

"It's always good to bounce back, especially after a disappointing run in Dubai," said Fownes.

"He just loves Singapore. He travelled beautifully, and he's been looking a treat in the last couple of days.

"We've tried to do what's best for him and tonight Zac just jumped him out into a perfect trail. He was just phenomenal in the straight."

A $280,000 purchase by Carmel Size & Neville Begg from the Corumbene Stud draft at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Southern Legend advances his record to 10 wins 3 seconds and 5 thirds from 30 starts with earnings of $4,984,384.

He began his career in Australia under the care of Les Bridge, winning races at Warwick Farm, Rosehill (x2), including the Listed Darby Munro Stakes, and Randwick and placing twice at Group II level.

He is one of three winners from four to race out of the 3-time Sydney winner Donna's Appeal (Carnegie) who is a daughter of George Altomonte's Listed Gimcrack Stakes winner Donna Natalia (Anabaa).

Donna's Appeal has an unraced 2yo filly named Loveland and was covered by Epaulette last season after missing in 2017.

The $800,000 Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) was won with little fuss by the top-class Zoustar colt Top Knight.

Coming off a hard-fought win in the Group II Singapore three-year-old Classic, Top Knight had an easier time here. Under little more than a hand ride in the closing stages by Vlad Duric, Top Knight defeated Elite Incredible (Valid Stripes) by one and three-quarter lengths with Lim's Lightning (Lope de Vega) another nose away in third.

A $130,000 purchase by Krit Chittaseni from the Nolen Racing draft at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs In Training Sale, Top Knight advances his record to 6 wins, 1 second and 1 third from 9 starts with earnings of $839,803.

Trainer Michael Clements admitted he was a relieved man after the race.

"It's been a long way to get Top Knight there as he raced some time ago. He had a beautiful prep and he's such an easy horse to train," said Clements.

"He took a bit of time to wind up and was looking to make hard work of it, but he quickened up good and was very strong to the line.

"He's definitely looking for longer distances now. It was fantastic to win a Group 1 on such a big night."

The Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) is the third Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series and will be run on November 10.

Having won two Legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, Top Knight also picks up a bonus of $50,000 on top of the $470,000 first prize cheque.

Bred by Elswick Stud, Top Knight is the seventh and final foal of the pensioned Nero Cavallo.

The 2-time winning daughter of Charnwood Forest mare Nero Cavallo who is a half-sister to Gr II Stan Fox Stakes winner Dynamic Love (Brace Warrior) and the Listed winner Key Bar Nights (Anabaa).

The third Group 1 on the night at Kranji was the $800,000 Lion City Cup (1200m), which fell to the Shane Baertschiger-trained Aramco who had the honour of being the most expensive yearling ever sold by Magic Albert.

The half-brother to Group 1 Golden Slipper heroine Mossfun was knocked down to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum for $750,000 at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

He began his career in Australia when known as Mawahibb and was a consistent performer for Team Hakes but could number a lone win at Moonee Valley before his transfer to Singapore.

He has proven to be an excellent acquisition as his first win at the highest level advances his overall record to 10 wins, 4 seconds and 8 thirds from 32 starts with earnings of $1,152,769.

"The stable has done a great job while I was away for my aunt's funeral," Baertschiger said after Aramco had given Vlad Duric his second Group 1 of the night..

"This horse has really come on this season. I made the right decision to not run him in the Rocket Man Sprint and it's all worked out well.

"He's done an amazing job to beat the best sprinter (Lim's Cruiser) at level weights."

Aramco and Mossfun are out of the unraced Snitzel mare Eye For Fun who has had a patchy record at stud of late.

She has a 3yo All Too Hard colt named Iresign who finished second at Gosford at his career debut on April 4.

She has an unraced 2yo I Am Invincible colt named Invincible Vision who was purchased by A Bott / G Waterhouse / Blue Sky Bloodstock for $1,050,000 out of the Fairview Park Stud draft at the 2018 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Her Shooting To Win colt, that was purchased by Raffles Racing for $300,000 at the 2019 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, died.

She has a weanling colt by Pierro but missed to I Am Invincible last spring.

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