Winning Singapore Treble

Date: 9 Nov 2013

Winning Singapore Treble

Above: Hofburg Palace delivers his maiden win, and Manny Nunes' 100th, in Singapore

In another stellar training feat - Te Akau Singapore trainer Mark Walker celebrated not one, not two but three Kranji winners on Friday night.  We were also proud that all three horses were selected and purchased by David from the Karaka Sale.

To pick off proceedings Affirmation, who has been a wonderful warhorse for the team in Singapore, lined up for his 60th start.  Appropriately the grey 7YO son of Fastnet Rock delivered an easy win in the hands of top rider Manny Nunes - cruising home by a length over his Class 5 opposition over 1400m.  The horse we know as "Rocky" has now won seven times in Singapore for his Te Akau Breeding Syndicate owners and been placed on 11 occasions, for prizemoney of alnmost $280,000.

Next up it was the turn of Hofburg Palace to salute the judge for the first time in the $65,000 Initiation 1200m.  Despite being a narrow winner by a neck, we always knew this Snitzel gelding would win very quickly in Singapore.  Friday was only his fifth start and his prior four outings had seen him twice runner up and twice third placed. Racing in the familiar colours of Champion NZ 2YO Warhorse, he has now taken his earnings to close to $70,000 for the Jupiter Stable.

Again a smart ride by Nunes (as he celebrated his 100th Singapore victory) saw Hofburg Palace prevail over a more than respectable opposition which included Te Akau's Clermont Club who was on debut and ran home stylish for fourth in this same race.  By Casino Prince, Clermont Club was purchased from the Karaka Ready to Run Sale and is a recent arrival in Singapore -  he too will win at short notice.

To cap off the evening and make it a winning treble, Select Gathering rocketed back into the winners' circle and a gutsy effort in the $55,000 Class 4 1200m when ridden by Te Akau apprentice Shafiq Rusof who knows this horse who we call "Oscar" very well.

It was start number 24 for the Choisir gelding who was a steal of a purchase by David at just $40,000 at Karaka.  It was his fourth win in Singapore last night and he has handsomely rewarded his connections with close to $150,000 in stakes' earnings now from those four wins and ten minor placings.

In another good performance, Providence ran an eye catching second again for Nunes in his Kranji Stakes D 1200m event.

So a great night at for our Singapore "office" - well done to Mark and Gus and the whole stable team.

The Singapore Turf Club reported after the second of the three wins:

Brazilian jockey Manoel Nunes notched his 100th winner in Singapore when he guided Hofburg Palace to victory in the $65,000 Initiation Stakes over 1200m on Friday night.  Riding the speed throughout, Hofburg Palace ($13 favourite) scored by a neck from Stiletto (Corey Brown) with Aladdin (Shafiq Rizuan) two lengths away third.

The 38 year-old Nunes was a five-time champion jockey in Macau before making Singapore his base this year and has quickly shown those champion qualities. He will finish in second position on the Jockey's Premiership Table behind Joao Moreira who last month left for Hong Kong with 179 winners under his belt.

Along with Brazil and Macau, Nunes, an 18 year veteran of the saddle, has also ridden with success in Mauritius, Dubai and South Korea, but has always had a burning ambition to ride in Singapore.

“It's very good to have landed my 100th winner here in Singapore,” said Nunes. “I have to thank all the people for their support and the Turf Club here has been great with their support as well.

“I've ridden in a lot of different places around the world, but I have always wanted to come to Singapore.  Everyone has been so welcoming, so to get my 100th winner here is such a great feeling.”

The victory aboard Hofburg Palace was Nunes' second for the evening, having taken the opening race aboard Affirmation - in the $35,000 Class 5 Stakes over 1400m - for Hofburg Palace's trainer Mark Walker.

“I galloped him on Tuesday morning and he galloped very well,” said Nunes of Hofburg Palace.   “But he's still a baby. He wanted to hang in, but he still won and that is the main thing.”

Walker said Hofburg Palace, who was having his fifth career start, would now go off for a break with the trainer hoping the gelding will come back a more mature galloper.

“He's a big rangy type that is still six months away from being at his best,” said Walker.

“He's had a really good first preparation and he can go off for a spell now. He's still green and does a lot wrong.   I think he will only continue to improve with a bit more time.”

While delighted with the success of Hofburg Palace, Walker was equally as pleased for Nunes to have landed his 100th victory in Singapore.

“He is a great rider that has a great work ethic,” said Walker. “He deserves all the success that he gets and I'm happy to be able to share in his 100th winner in Singapore.”


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