Nunes’ double keeps him ahead, Latest Racing News

Leading jockey Manoel Nunes might not have harvested more winners as anticipated with his strong book of rides at Kranji on Sunday, but two is good enough.

His double – with Sky Eye in Race 3 and Fireworks in Race 7 – maintained his position on top of the Singapore jockeys’ table with 13 winners.

His arch rival, Danny Beasley, also booted home two winners (Perfect in Race 1 and Malibu Beach in Race 4) to remain one winner behind.

Both riders found one to beat twice – Nunes on Intrepid (Race 1) and Shepherd’s Hymn (Race 10) and Beasley on Lim’s Unique (Race 5) and Lim’s Knight (Race 8).

Sunday was a day when many favourites ruled the roost. Seven of them won. Sky Eye ($12) and Fireworks ($8) were among them.

Nunes proved again he seldom fluffs his lines when entrusted with a top fancy.

The Brazilian ace who won the Singapore premiership three times did not give his backers any anxious moment on both winners.

In the third event, the $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over the Polytrack 1,000m, he could be seen scrubbing Sky Eye up from his wide alley to take the lead.

Once secured, it led to a one-way traffic for the Per Incanto five-year-old prepared by Jason Lim.

Happy Moment (Oscar Chavez) and Lim’s Passion (Beasley) had a shot at cutting him back.

But both were left chasing shadows. Sky Eye rocketed home by 21/2 lengths from Happy Moment. He clocked 59.43sec.

Lim’s Passion was third, 3/4 lengths away. 

Sky Eye was formerly prepared by Leticia Dragon, Jerome Tan and Kuah Cheng Tee. He was having his fifth start under Lim.

The five-year-old Kiwi-bred gelding has amassed about $190,000 in prize money from four wins and 11 placings in 23 starts.

“Last time, there was speed in the race and we sat at the back. But, today from the wide draw, we had to press forward,” said Nunes.

“Once he was in front, he controlled the pace and was too good. It’s my first win for Jason. Hopefully, there’ll be more in the future.”

Four races later, Nunes was just as effective switching to quieter tactics aboard Fireworks in the $30,000 Class 5 Division 2 race over 1,400m on the Long Course C.

The hotpot was never going to be beaten once he found galloping room between runners at the 400m mark.

Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons’ six-year-old by Ekraar drew clear to beat Eunos Ave Three (Shafrizal Saleh) by 23/4 lengths in 1min 22.92sec. 

Hidden Promise (apprentice jockey Jerlyn Seow) was third, 3/4 lengths away.

Fireworks has taken his record to five wins and five placings from 35 starts. He has won about $100,000 for Buffalo Stable.


HK legend Brian Kan dies at 84

HONG KONG • Brian Kan Ping-chee, local racing’s legendary trainer, has died. He was 84.

The iconic figure passed away surrounded by family at his home in Sheung Shui on Saturday night.

Born in Hong Kong, he became involved with horse racing while working in a restaurant in Epsom in England in the 1960s. He trained 844 winners – then a record. 

He captured five trainers’ championships. The last, in 2001, was particularly impressive as he faced keen competition from international trainers in Hong Kong.

Paying his tribute, The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s chief executive officer, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, said: “Brian was not only a remarkable trainer with outstanding training records, but also a good teacher with strong commitment to nurture home-grown racing talents, particularly trainers and jockeys, for the next generation. 

“They include Dennis Yip, also a champion trainer, Me Tsui and Jimmy Ting. All of them are seasoned trainers in Hong Kong. 

“It is unquestionable that Kan had played an important role in the development of Hong Kong racing. On behalf of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family.”

Throughout his time as a trainer, Kan was best known for successfully nurturing five Hong Kong Derby winners – Superior Gold (1985), Yuno When (1986), William’s Coach (1989), Sound Print (1992) and Industrial Pioneer (2001).

He won the first Hong Kong Invitation Cup – then a six-a-side race between local horses and the six best from Singapore and Malaysia – with Flying Dancer in 1988. The race later became the prestigious Group 1 Hong Kong Cup. – HKJC


Jockey succumbs to injuries

SYDNEY • French jockey Marina Morel died in a Sydney hospital on Saturday, four days after a fall, New South Wales Jockeys announced on Twitter. 
Morel, 30, suffered her life-ending injuries during a ride in Gulgong, 300km north-west of Sydney. 

Morel, who had lived in Australia for several years, had wished her dog a happy birthday on Facebook on the morning of her fall. 

“Marina will be very fondly remembered as a beautiful soul both inside and out and will be so very missed by the Thompson Racing Family,” Thompson Racing, where Morel was an apprentice, said on Facebook on Sunday. 

“Her love of horses was so natural and incredible, we are all truly better people just for knowing Marina and forever thankful that she was part of our team.” – REUTERS

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