SOUTH African-born horsemen across the board enjoyed a scintillating day at the conclusion of Singapore’s Festival of Racing, Sunday.
Herman Brown won the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup ($3 million) with Gitano Hernando from Mike de Kock-trained, South African-bred River Jetez, ridden by Glynn Schofield and Bernard Fayd’Herbe respectively.
Gitano Hernando (Glynn Schofield), wins the SAI Cup from River Jetez (Bernard Fayd’Herbe).
Johannesburg-based owner Fred Crabbia’s spinting sensation Rocket Man captured the Group 1 Krisflyer Sprint ($1 million) with Rocket Man, trained by Patrick Shaw, a runaway winner under Felix Coetzee.
Shaw, Crabbia and jockey Barend Vorster won the Sao Paolo Stakes with Maurice Utrillo.
In addition Flax, a son of Silvano bred by Maine Chance Farms, won the first race on the programme for Singapore trainer David Hill’s Newbury Racing.
Fred Crabbia and the coveted Kirsflyer Cup, flanked by Dave Mollett and Debbie Hawkins. (Liesl King).
Marsh Shirtliff, Cedric and Barbara Amm’s seven-year-old mare River Jetez turned in another game performance when going down half a length to Gitano Hernando.
River Jetez was squeezed for a run around the bend, which interrupted her rhythm, but she fought on gamely and challenged the winner – gallant in defeat.
“We’re very happy,” commented owner Marsh Shirtliff. “She’s done us proud and if she retains her zest for racing we could still win another big race with her. She’s one of the top mares in training in the world today.”
Assistant trainer Trevor Brown, who’d prepared River Jetez at Kranji, said: “She was unlucky to get squeezed on the home turn, but she ran her heart out and she pulled up well. I’d say she has more success to come.”
Fayd’Herbe praised River Jetez for trying so hard and commented: “We might have got closer if not for the interference on the bend, but Gitano Hernando found more every time I thought we’d get to him. He’s a horse of top international quality and we were not disgraced in second.”
Post race celebrations: Thelma and Herman Brown (sr), Bernard Fayd’Herbe, Cedric Amm and Glynn Schofield. (Headline photo by Liesl King).
Report to follow.