By Hans Ebert

Well, what did we learn from the simulcast of Kranji Mile Day from Singapore earlier today other than just how much the potential, sponsorship appeal and magnet the Singapore Turf Club once held for new overseas owners has not been realised?

Though there seems to be reasonably promising apprentices in Nick Riduan who rode a double by winning on the Dan Meagher trained Biraz and then Beau Geste plus CC Wong who saluted aboard Centurion, it was a pretty drab affair and about as muggy as the weather.

There’s nothing one can do about the weather, but there was very quickly the feeling that as one was betting blind, it would be better to just casually watch what unfolded while getting ready to go out.

The Singapore team did a good job of offering their opinions before each race about the horses and riders with plenty of mention about Aussie rider and Singapore’s leading jockey Vlad Duric, but their knowledge of form etc was never ever passed on to those who don’t follow racing in the Lion City.

One seemed to understand it all after the race was run and the horses had bolted. What’s the point of that?

The SCMP’s racing pages had odds for some races, but not for others. Were these odds correct? Who knew? Who really knew anything?

The local broadcast team- a lonely Edward Sadler- did as well as he could with what he had to work with, which was nothing much, but there’s something missing in the mix with some of these simulcasts. Like having someone knowledgeable like Graham Cunningham in the Hong Kong studios guiding local punters.

There was a distant lack of information including basics like hearing that Lim’s Cruiser ridden by Zac Purton was an “$8″favourite in Singapore for the Group 1 Lion City Cup and was paying HK$1.40 in Hong Kong. In Australia, the fixed odds were $1.80. Confusing? Very. $8 for what outlay? All these numbers not relevant to Hong Kong punters are hard to understand unless someone who bets regularly on Singapore racing. I don’t.

Unfortunately, the timing of the simulcast meant Hong Kong viewers missing out on seeing the wins in earlier races by familiar names to some here like Michael Rodd and Daniel Moor, but we did see Aramco, ridden by Vlad Duric and trained by Shane Baertschiger overhaul Lim’s Cruiser.

Duric made it a Group 1 double by taking out the Singapore Guineas with great ease to some pretty raucous screams on the very hot favourite Top Knight. Trained by Mark Clements, this looks like a galloper worth following. Race caller Luke Markow cheered on his best bet for the night with the line, “I dub ye, Sir Top Knight!”

As expected by many, Caspar Fownes and Zac Purton combined with Southern Legend to toy with the others in the race to take out the Group 1 Kranji Mile for the second consecutive year.

It was actually a kinda Hong Kong top three with the Tony Millard trained Singapore Sling coming third and behind second placed former local galloper Blizzard who was ridden by Hong Kong based Aldo Domeyer.

Owner of Southern Legend- Boniface Ho- thanked the Singapore Turf Club for some “spare change”- we should all be so lucky- while the Zac Attack couldn’t help mentioning how he was a little surprised to see Karis Teetan take Singapore Sling to the front and try and steal the race.

Singapore Sling has never been ridden this way. The galloper probably needed a stiff drink after that tough run. Perhaps Zac’s post-race quip was him having the last word on a quote in the SCMP yesterday attributed to Tony Millard: “Sometimes that jockey (Zac Purton) doesn’t take to people tempting him on the pace.”

Well, “that jockey”, who has yet to ride for the trainer this season and probably never will, made him choke on his cornflakes.

With the surprise decision by Bernard Vorster to leave Singapore and form a hugely successful new partnership in Australia with trainer Tony McEvoy, veteran champion rider Glen Boss, below, will soon return to Australia where he’s still loved and possibly make cameo appearances in Singapore.

Bossy ended his tenure in Singapore by winning on Elite Power with consummate ease, his last ride in the Lion City. It was almost choreographed.

With there being zero information about the races in the leading English language newspaper The Straits Times and even the concierges at five star hotels and taxi drivers very reluctant to talk about horse racing in their city and the lack of sponsorship support for the Singapore Turf Club, one can’t help but wonder what the future holds for the Club.

Unlike the Macau Jockey Club which has managed to carry on despite being a losing proposition for over a decade and with now extra funding by the Macau government and promises by the Club about creating some kinda horse racing playground and entertainment complex, one really can’t see a knight in shining armour coming to the rescue of the Singapore Turf Club- not anytime soon anyway.

#KranjiMile #SingaporeTurfClub #horseracing #ZacPurton #TonyMillard #HKracing