Singapore Feature Saturday for Te Akau Trio

Date: 4 May 2023

Singapore Feature Saturday for Te Akau Trio


The Singapore Turf Club reports:


When the heavens opened at Kranji last Saturday, the final three races - including the $150,000 Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) - were reluctantly, but rightly, abandoned.

This meant that the second Leg of the coveted Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge series was to be run a week later instead. All 14 horses originally declared to race last Saturday were still in the running for the rescheduled feature race and barriers will remain the same.

For trainer Donna Logan - who had Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) winner January, Knippenberg and Luxury Brand in the race - plan ‘B' was put into action well before the lights were turned off on that stormy evening.

January is part of Te Akau trainer Donna Logan's three-pronged attack in the
Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic on Saturday.

“It bucketed down,” said Logan on Tuesday.

“The thunder was deafening but the lightning was obviously the biggest issue. We had a lengthy delay - about an hour and a half - while the lightning was still ongoing.

“The issue then was that we hadn't raced under full lights for many years, so a decision was made quickly in the circumstances to call off the remaining three races and run the (3YO) Classic the following Saturday.

“It was treadmill work in the morning - trackwork is closed on Sundays - for all that missed a run.”

Not ideal, but the show goes on. Logan was more than happy given everyone gets a fair crack at Group glory for their three-year-olds, albeit a week later than expected.

“Everybody is in the same boat,” continued the Kiwi conditioner.

“The key fact was that barriers would remain the same and at this stage, the same horses will head to the start - just seven days later.

“The treadmill work was just to keep them ticking over after missing work on Saturday as well. They didn't need another day off.

“And they were all fit and ready to runs, so we gave them a maintenance gallop to clear their wind this morning and we will just keep them ticking over this week.”

Of her three runners in the feature, Logan suggested that it was hard to split the trio but reiterates that January - with jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong to steer - has the runs on the board over the seven furlongs of the 3YO Classic.

“January had five runs over 1400m and won twice and placed another three times,” she explained.

“So while we think the other two (Luxury Brand and Knippenberg) will get the trip on what they showed late in the (3YO) Sprint (on April 8), we know that January will (get the trip).  And he (January) won the (3YO) Sprint, so he also has the Group win under his belt. Any rain about won't hurt his chances to add another.

“In saying that, while I was surprised Knippenberg was getting the support he did last Saturday, I thought he was the danger to January on what he showed in the 3YO Sprint from gate 10.

“(Jockey) Ronnie (Stewart) was very happy with how he hit the line after getting so far back early. So from gate four, he (Stewart) can have him exactly where he wants him and we expect a big run. This trip will suit him.

“Luxury Brand hit the line as good as anyone in the 3YO Sprint. He dipped on jumping and settled last. And (Jockey) Yusoff (Fadzli) got his whip knocked out of his hand by (jockey) (Mohd) Zaki at the 150m, so his run was very good.

“I don't want to sit on the fence, but we think they will all go well.”

Going forward, Logan reckoned a lot will depend on what happens this Saturday in the wide-open 3YO Classic.

“It's a good race,” she said.

“(Trainer) Michael's (Clements) horse - Takanini - won at his last start over 1400m (in a Class 4 race on April 16) and is undefeated in two starts.  He (Clements) also has Coin Toss who was second in that same race and Pacific Warrior won over the mile (1615m) in Australia.

“Bestseller (trained by Ricardo Le Grange) ran second in the 3YO Sprint and placed behind January over 1400m in a Restricted Maiden race (on October 22 last year), so the list goes on.

“So this race and the (Group 2) (Singapore) Guineas (1600m) look to have plenty of depth.

“My three will be aiming at a run in the Guineas, but obviously we will play by ear after Saturday.

“None of them has run over the mile. And at this stage, it is only a two-week break (from the Guineas), which we also have to take into consideration.

“They don't cancel or postpone races often in Singapore - I think the last time was in 2013 due to haze - so it has a domino effect on horses' preparations. Still, it is what it is.”

Held as the third and final Leg of the 3YO Challenge series, the Singapore Guineas will be run on May 20, a Saturday meeting which also sees the running of the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m).


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