The China Horse Club (CHC) will unleash three runners at a feature Singapore meeting for the first time since last year’s Longines Singapore Gold Cup day with Iznate, Tropaios and Arrowhead primed for Sunday’s Emirates Derby Day.
Trainer Michael Freedman is upbeat about each of the performers under his care and will be hoping they can collectively mirror the results of last year’s Gold Cup trio who saluted twice including in the feature Longines Singapore Gold Cup itself.
On Sunday Iznate will fly the colours of the CHC in the S$1.15 million Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) in what is widely considered a very open affair. The former French based performer was sourced in October last year with the Derby in mind having won a strong handicap at Paris’ famous Longchamp racecourse over the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend. While he settled in well at Freedman’s Singapore stable at the start of the year the lightly framed performer ran into trouble in each of his first three starts. However, jockey Danny Beasley has struck up a meaningful relationship with Iznate and it may well bear fruit on Derby Day.
“Iznate has done done well over the last couple of weeks and is coming into this race in good order. Unfortunately I continue to draw poor barriers (13 of 16) for these feature races but Danny is happy with him and is confident in the horse’s abilities,” Freedman said.
“If we can get a bit of luck from his wide gate I think he will be very competitive and do the China Horse Club and its members proud.”
Tropaios, the club’s talismanic chestnut, will make his first appearance since the S$3 million Singapore Airlines International in the S$125,000 Kranji Stakes A (1600m). The reigning Gold Cup winner has shown he can sprint well fresh and 1600m is a distance well within his scope if the race does not develop into a sit and sprint.
Star apprentice Muhammid Noh Bin Senari will partner Tropaios for the first time and will also be legged aboard Arrowhead later in the program. Noh is having a breakout season with 21 individual winners for the year to date including a previous success aboard Arrowhead.
“Tropaios is in great order and I’ve decided to run him this weekend after thinking about it long and hard. Apprentice Noh will partner him for the first time. With the claim Tropaios will carry only 53.5kg and he hasn’t been around that weight for a long time. There has been a bit of rain around this week and if it continues on Sunday that will help him as well,” the trainer said.
“Arrowhead is in good form and he has come through his most recent run well. He is looking to get to 1400m now and I have elected to put Noh on and to use his 3kg claim. Noh has won on Arrowhead before and I think, around the smaller turf track, the claim will really see him in the contest once again. I’m looking forward to seeing Arrowhead run on Sunday.”