Singapore Sling grabs Dating on the line, with Cool Storm third. Kenton Wright www.raceimages.co.nz
A tooth and nail finish to the $45,000, Listed, Soliloquy Lodge Stakes for three-year-old fillies over 1400-metres at Ellerslie on Saturday saw 12-1 Singapore Sling (3 Gr. F. Starcraft – Gin Sling, by Western Symphony) pip the odds on favourite Dating (O’Reilly) by a nose.
The other grey filly in the race, Cool Storm (One Cool Cat), finished three-quarters-of-a-length away in third.
Having his first day back riding since sustaining an injury in a race fall at Ellerslie in April, Vinny Colgan edged Singapore Sling ever closer to Dating inside the final furlong, to finally arrest a short-head advantage with a last ditch effort.
“It’s my track, this track”, said Colgan, who has ridden three Derby winners on the course. “I was puffing a bit halfway up the straight”, after recuperating from a neck injury, “and we were quite lucky in the running. Dating went around us with a half mile to run, so I tagged on to her and she gave me a good run into the race. My horse found the line but I was glad the post was where it was.”
The win provided Starcraft (Soviet Star) with his first stakes winner in New Zealand, from a filly that cost a mere $15,000 at the 2009 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, trained at Te Aroha by Lisa Anderson for Sildi Bloodstock.
The race was the second in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, with the first, the group three Gold Trail Stakes, won by Rememba Howe (Handsome Ransom) at Hastings a week earlier, a race in which Dating finished third.
A trial winner on heavy going before debuting with a smart win at Te Rapa on slow footing, Singapore Sling had somewhat mysteriously been retired from the race at her previous start, at Te Rapa, after commencing to hang at the 900m and veering off the course. She had since barrier trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards.
“We don’t know what happened the other day”, said Anderson referring to the incident. “We can’t make any excuses, but that was her today.”
On a track rated Heavy11, Singapore Sling ran the 1400-metres in 1:32.88.
Anderson said, “We would have preferred the track to be better, but she won a trial on a heavy track. She’s always shown ability and I’m just rapt she did everything right.”
Anderson had told Colgan, “She is really light in the mouth, so just be kind to her”, and was praiseworthy after the win, saying, “He rode her brilliantly, very happy. She’s is actually the quietest one in the stables, so when she did that last start I couldn’t believe it.”
Not unlike the racing parentage of Hoofit, who two races earlier had won the Bonecrusher Stakes, Singapore Sling is from a mare that won twice on good footing in Australia and also placed in two of her three starts on heavy ground. Gin Sling was trained by Robert Smeardon.
On the agenda for Singapore Sling is a tilt at the $300,000, Group I, New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in Christchurch on November 13.