NOMINATIONS for Singapore’s two International Group 1 races on 20 May have brought together an impressive array of talent.
The S$3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup over 2000m, which will be run for the 12th time, and the S$1 million KrisFlyer International Sprint over 1200m, the 4th Leg of the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC), have attracted a galaxy of stars from around the globe.
Leading racing nations Australia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Hong Kong, Great Britain, France, Ireland and South Africa are again strongly represented in both races. In total, international nominations hail from 14 countries along with a strong local contingent.
A combined total of over 160 horses have been nominated, down slightly on figures from 2011. Of that total, 103 have been entered in the SIA Cup of which there are 30 individual International Group 1 winners, with 61 nominations for the KrisFlyer. As always the SIA Cup has again drawn extremely strong nominations headlined by Cirrus Des Aigles, the highest rated horse ever to be nominated for the race on 128 along with eight time Group 1 winner So You Think from the Aidan O’Brien yard.
The only dual winning trainer – Herman Brown – has three nominations including last year’s winner Gitano Hernando while fellow South African Mike De Kock, who won the race in 2010 with Lizard’s Desire has nominated eight gallopers including Master Of Hounds, Bold Silvano and last year’s runner-up River Jetez.
Presvis, a contestant in the past three SIA Cups, is slated for a return while California Memory, the winner of the Hong Kong Cup last December, and a runner last year in the SIA Cup, heads a strong list from Hong Kong and of course there is the “Blue Army” of Godolphin which has nominated 13 horses headlined by Monterosso and Mendip.
Interestingly three of the most prestigious Derby winners from around the globe – Animal Kingdom (Kentucky), Treasure Beach (Irish) and Eishin Flash (Japan) – are also among the first round of nominations. The KrisFlyer, which comes under the GSC banner for the second time, has attracted the cream of the world’s best sprinters.
Besides Singapore’s own Rocket Man, Australia’s Hay List headlines a crack line-up of sprinting nominations that also includes GSC leg winners Lucky Nine (Hong Kong Sprint) and Curren Chan (Japan’s Sprinters Stakes). Rocket Man Regally Ready, winner of the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint last year, and Smiling Tiger, a three time Group 1 winner in the USA also create plenty of interest. “It is a strong list of nominations we have for both races,” commented Mike Wanklin, Vice President of Racing and Head of Handicapping at the Singapore Turf Club. “While the numbers may be down slightly on last year, the quality is certainly up.
“The nomination list for the SIA Cup is particularly strong with 30 individual International Group 1 winners and the KrisFlyer Sprint has held up very well also. We have got a nomination from most of the ones we thought we would and it is extremely pleasing to see some old familiar faces again among the nominations.”