Southern Legend and Horse Of Fortune appear to be in good order ahead of Saturday’s (26 May) Kranji Mile, a race that will mark Singapore racing’s relaunch as an international concern.
The contest, designated a local Group 1 and open to overseas runners for the first time, has also attracted the New Zealand galloper Ocean Emperor, a G2 winner with Hong Kong part-ownership interest. That contender was the first to emerge from the Kranji Racecourse quarantine stables this morning, well before first light (Thursday, 24 May). The Hong Kong-trained duo followed shortly afterwards.
Southern Legend, ears pricked and with a buoyancy to his gait, trotted off down the back-side Polytrack gallop and returned at a similar tempo before cantering two laps of the Polytrack circuit proper. Horse Of Fortune, calm and loose, followed the Caspar Fownes-trained bay onto the inner oval.
Kranji last hosted overseas competition three years ago when the final editions of the G1 Singapore Airlines International Cup and G1 KrisFlyer International Sprint went to Hong Kong’s Dan Excel and Aerovelocity, respectively. In the two years prior, Fownes enjoyed two of his greatest career victories when Lucky Nine landed back-to-back wins in the sprint feature.
The handler, on-site earlier this week, was not around to oversee his latest stable star this morning, having attended last night’s (Wednesday) Happy Valley races in Hong Kong where he was tapped for comment. He was scheduled to be back in Singapore on Thursday afternoon.
“Southern Legend looked well when I saw him, his coat is healthy and shiny, he’s a happy horse,” he said. His observation still held true pre-dawn on Thursday.