Singapore will be represented by 11 local runners in the inaugural $1.5 million Invitational Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) which will be held at a twilight meeting starting at 3.45pm on Saturday, May 26th.
1. Circuit Land Lee Freedman
2. Elite Excalibur Cliff Brown
3. Infantry Alwin Tan
4. Clarton Super Tan Kah Soon
5. Volkstok’n’barrell Donna Logan
6. Well Done Shane Baertschiger
7. Preditor Shane Baertschiger
8. Nova Strike Alwin Tan
9. Majestic Moments Ricardo Le Grange
10. Maximus Alwin Tan
11. Iron Man Ricardo Le Grange
They will compete against an overseas team made up of SOUTHERN LEGEND and HORSE OF FORTUNE from Hong Kong, and OCEAN EMPEROR from New Zealand.
English contender HERE COMES WHEN will not be running with trainer Andrew Balding informing the Singapore Turf Club that last year’s Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes (1600m) winner struck into himself on Saturday morning.
With vets recommending that the DANEHILL DANCER eight-year-old needed at least 10 days’ rest, he would therefore be unable to travel, hence the decision to pull him out of the Kranji Mile.
The Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) on April 27 was a good trial to the Kranji Mile as seven of the local runners ran against each other in that race. CIRCUIT LAND, the former Hong Kong-based galloper who was at only his second Kranji start for Lee Freedman, was the one who came out tops after a close fight with reigning Singapore Horse of the Year, INFANTRY.
CIRCUIT LAND picked up 12 points for that win to sit on 114 points, making him the highest-rated Singapore-based horse in the field.
Circuit Land, picture Singapore Turf Club
The Alwin Tan-trained INFANTRY won the last Kranji Mile, but when it was then run in October as the Panasonic-sponsored first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series. The five-year-old son of Tavistock boasts three more ‘black type’ wins among his total haul of nine wins, including the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) last year.
Another Derby winner in the mix is WELL DONE, recently transferred to trainer Shane Baertschiger, who will also present the up-and-coming PREDITOR, a five-year-old entire by Savabeel who has captured four wins between 1400m and 1800m in Singapore. Besides the 2016 Derby, WELL DONE, a six-year-old by Falkirk, also won the Group 1 Patron’s Bowl (1600m) among the seven races he captured for trainer David Kok, paving the way to the Singapore Champion Four-Year-Old title that year.
After showing promise in his first season, even performing creditably in Dubai last year, the former Sydney-based ELITE EXCALIBUR finally took a well-deserved feature at his third Kranji win in the Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1600m) on March 18. Trained by Cliff Brown, the Fastnet Rock five-year-old flew home for third in the Chairman’s Trophy.
A winner of five races at Kranji, CLARTON SUPER has spearheaded young trainer Tan Kah Soon’s fledgling career from Day 1. The Swift Alliance five-year-old has already given the first full-season handler two big-race wins in the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) and the Group 3 Fortune Bowl (1400m).
The sixth local raider to boast ‘black type’ credentials is new Kranji trainer Donna Logan’s VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL, but earned in New Zealand. Still yet to race in Singapore, the Tavistock six-year-old was a multiple-Group winner for Logan, including four at Group 1 level, with the 2015 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), the 2016 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) and 2017 Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) among the highlights.
The remaining four local contenders hail from a duo trained by Ricardo Le Grange, MAJESTIC MOMENTS, three times runner-up in Group 1 events and IRON MAN, and two other from Tan, NOVA STRIKE, fifth at his last start in the Chairman’s Trophy, and MAXIMUS.