Minister Gets the Nod

Date: 7 Nov 2022


The winning continued on Saturday 5 November with Te Akau recording wins at Te Rapa with Viva Vienna, at Riccarton as Campionessa claimed the Listed Metropolitan Trophy crown - and then Minister made it a stable treble, seizing the feature event at Kranji - as the Singapore Turf Club reported: 


Jockey Matthew Kellady got the late call from trainer Donna Logan and duly made it a winning one on board Minister in the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1600m on Saturday.

The New Zealander had initially booked her leading apprentice jockey Yusoff Fadzli on the son of Street Sense, with the hope that the two-kilos claim would help with Minister's chances, but he was indisposed before the meeting.

Kellady rode Minister for the first time and ran third in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup on October 15 at his last start. While Kellady was already booked for the $1 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) ride, he was happy to watch on with Yusoff's claim a factor in Class 2 company.

More so when Minister was handicapped at 56.5kgs for Saturday's race with most attention on some of the more fancied Gold Cup runners in Cyclone, In All His Glory and stablemate and $8 race favourite, Super Impact, all on the minimum weight (50kgs).

But Kellady - with the Gold Cup firmly in Logan's sights - was the obvious choice to take the pick-up ride and it was game on as they headed to the start in the small but very competitive field in the mile race, with much more than a Class 2 win on offer to the victor.

On jumping, the pre-race narrative was going to script as In All His Glory (Wong Chin Chuen) led comfortably with Cyclone (Iskandar Rosman) on his flank and Super Impact (Ronnie Stewart) was handy in third.

Minister - who jumped very well from gate one - was close enough in running on settling and when Super Impact capitulated early in the straight and Cyclone threw in the towel not long after, it was only In All His Glory that Kellady had to gun down.

Kellady put Minister's mind to the job and looked to have In All His Glory covered at the 250m but when Ocean Crossing (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) swooped strongly to lead at the 200m, it was the Michael Clements-trained seven-year-old who looked to have the race in his keeping.

Minister ($44) was more than up for the challenge and fought back gamely like he did three weeks back in the QEII Cup. He kicked again late to win comfortably by half-a-length with Sun Marshal (Krisna Thangamani) another four-and-a-quarter lengths in third.

The winning time was 1 min 33.85 secs for the 1600m on the Long Course and the US-bred six-year-old took his prizemoney to a shade over $1.1 million for the King Power Stable.

While Logan might have looked forward more to the run of Super Impact, who ran a disappointing sixth, she was still very happy with both Minister and the jockey combination going forward.

“He's (Minister) really stepped up of late,” said Logan.

“He's really well in himself. I put him in today because I think he needed the run going into the (Singapore Gold) Cup and he's a very difficult horse to work.

“It's not like I can go out and geld him (Minister is already a gelding) as I freely choose too, so he makes up his mind himself.

“So we put him in here today to give him another run to bring him forward and Matthew rode him a treat. He seems to run really well for Matthew. What more can I say?”

When asked by racing presenter Raymond Yong on the chances in the Gold Cup, Logan was cautious in her response.

“You can never be that confident,” said the canny lass.

“It's a big race, a Group 1 and it's a lot different to today's, but the horse is in form and once we get him peaking, he usually continues on well.

“It was a testing track today and obviously it suited him. A lot of horses have been tripped up on the track today.”

The winning jockey was grateful for a pick-up ride with one eye on the Gold Cup.

“I was supposed to ride him in the Gold Cup but bad luck to Fadzli and good luck to me and I got the lucky pick-up ride today,” said the well-respected hoop.

“He's a funny old horse. He has a mind of his own and he races where he wants to.

“I rode him at his last start and he ran very well for me and that's why Donna decided to put me back on him.

“The horse ran for me and I'm glad for Donna and the owners who support me.”


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