Two jockeys familiar to Hong Kong racing enthusiasts will feature in one of Singapore’s biggest races on Sunday.
Blake Shinn, who won this year’s Gold Cup and Champions & Chater Cup on Russian Emperor, left Hong Kong recently for mental health reasons and has taken a short detour to ride in the Lion City for a month before his return to Australia.
The 34-year-old has managed to secure five rides on his first appearance at Kranji racecourse with his stand-out ride coming in the Singapore Derby (1,800m) aboard the Jerome Tan-trained Amazing Breeze.
Shinn may need to be at his best if he is to pick up the big-race trophy as his mount looks to be up against it on form.
A winner of just three of his 22 starts, the four-year-old finished fifth behind some other Derby runners in the Group Two Stewards’ Cup last time and has a massive amount to find on ratings.
Daniel Moor’s Hong Kong career was over almost before it started and he left Hong Kong after just two months of his riding stint to be with his family in Australia after failing to settle in the city.
Moor has one winner from a handful of rides in Singapore in the past few weeks after shuttling back and forward from Australia and he has picked up a Derby mount in the shape of Hero for in-form trainer Tim Fitzsimmons.
Another horse who looks out of his depth, Hero will have to outrun his rating massively if Moor is to find himself in the winner’s enclosure post-race.
Fitzsimmons has won three Singapore Group races in the past month and saddles three runners in the field, with his main hope Relentless appearing to hold a decent chance if he handles the step up to 1,800m for the first time.
Relentless won the big trial for the Derby, the Stewards’ Cup, and stayed on strongly in a manner that suggested the extra 200m would be well within his compass.
With huge ratings discrepancies between the 10 runners and nearly 50 pounds between the best and worst, class should come to the fore and Lim’s Kosciuszko is the only contender to have a three-figure rating.
He is rated 101 and is a 10-time winner but he has also never raced over 1,800m and was caught late by Relentless after attempting to make all the running in the Stewards’ Cup last time. The likely pace angle, he will be there to be shot at late on.
The biggest danger to Relentless is likely to be Tiger Roar. He is the only one of the market leaders with form over course and distance, with a win and a second to his name from two attempts, and he caught the eye staying on strongly into third in the Stewards’ Cup.
He is relatively lightly raced after returning from a 10-month lay-off in June and he should be primed to run a big race for Derby-winning trainer Michael Clements.