Freedman's Brazilian duo ready to get going again

Tough-as-nails Brazilian-bred Magic City resumes from a three-month let-up this Sunday with his new handler Lee Freedman hoping the winning run can carry on.

The Holy Roman Emperor four-year-old has been a model of consistency since his debut fifth in April, finishing no worse than second at his next five runs, including winning thrice, with two coming at his last runs.

The last victory in a BM67 race over 1400m on August 6 was particularly impressive, once again showcasing that strong will to win that had been the common streak in all his runs.

Magic City (Manoel Nunes) at the second of his three wins on July 17, picture Singapore Turf Club

Assistant-trainer Shane Ellis, who worked for Laxon for eight years before joining Freedman’s when his former boss returned to New Zealand in September, envisions a bright future for the ridgling.

“I’m really happy with the way he has come on during his break,” said Ellis.

“I have always had a high opinion of him and I think he will go through his grades. There is a good race for him one day.

“There are some good horses in that race he will run in on Sunday, like Gran Torino, Draco and Chalaza, but Magic City is a fighter as he has shown in most of his races.

“He is a horse with a lot of upside and he should be able to measure up. There is a BM83 race for him over 1400m in December next, after which he will have a break before we bring him back next year.”

While Ellis is loath to change anything about Magic City racing-wise given the upward trend he is on, the same cannot be said about some of the people involved. Brazilian three-time Singapore champion jockey Manoel Nunes was the partner at all of Magic City’s previous six starts, but will now give way to another rider.

“The Brazilian owner has sold his shares and the new rider will be Craig Grylls,” said Ellis.

“The owner (VC Stable) also has Boy Wonder who will also run first-up in the Novice race over 1200m on Sunday. He ran two seconds and then had a let-up.

“He is also in good form and ran a nice second to Jupiter Gold in a barrier trial last week (October 31). He should run well.”

Unlike Magic City, Boy Wonder, a four-year-old by Mastro Lorenzo, has yet to score in three outings, but has already given a sneak peek of his ability with two runner-up spots at Restricted Maiden company.

Exciting times await for Freedman’s Brazilian duo as they face the starter this coming weekend that will feature the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) on Friday and the Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) on Sunday, but the mood in the Freedman camp was dampened at the Gold Cup nominations day.

Long seen as their leading Singapore Gold Cup hopeful, Chairman is only an Emergency Acceptor 2. They had even approached last year’s Gold Cup-winning jockey Craig Williams for the ride, but now that the Irish-bred four-year-old by Galileo is a doubtful starter (unless two horses above him in the pecking order are scratched), the top Australian jockey’s booking is in limbo.

“Craig will only come over if Chairman gets a run. He is very keen to ride the horse,” said Ellis.

“The horse is an out-and-out stayer as he showed at his two wins here, but unfortunately, his rating of 74 was not good enough for him to make the cut.

“The horse is primed to run well if he gets a run.”