Chase Me (NZ) stuns in Singapore Derby
16 Jul 2012 | New Zealand bred Karaka graduate Chase Me (NZ) produced the performance of his career at Kranji on Sunday to destroy a brilliant field by eight lengths in Singapore's prestigious S$1.15 million Sgp-1 Singapore Derby (2000m).
The kiwi bred son of Storm Creek (ex Cartier Gold) made it three consecutive Singapore Derby titles for New Zealand bred horses with Clint (NZ) winning last year and Race Ahead (NZ) in 2010. Chase Me has also continued New Zealand's unparalleled reputation as a Derby producing country, with New Zealand bred horses claiming no less than 18 Derby titles since 2010.
The Derby victory was a brilliant training performance from Desmond Koh and saw another master class ride from Singapore's leading jockey Joao Moreira.
Settling mid-field for the running off a hectic pace set by race leaders Joyful Heart Man (Hawkeye) and Nandowra (Savabeel), Moreira was patient and remained poised on Chase Me, keeping him in cover and in touch with the leading pack coming into the home corner.
At the 600 metre mark Moreira made his move, taking Chase Me into the clear wide on the turn as he set out after the race leaders and the performance the son of Storm Creek displayed in the straight was simply exceptional.
Kicking clear immediately on straightening, the four-year-old found another gear which left the field standing. By the 300 metre mark he was already two lengths clear and that was as close as his rivals got as he extended over the concluding stages to destroy the field by eight lengths.
The Cliff Brown trained Deep Pockets (NZ) (Lucky Owners x Molly Singer) ran into second place claiming the quinella for Karaka graduates and New Zealand bred horses.
An emotionally charged Desmond Koh said after the race that the Derby was a race he has always wanted to win.
"I finished second with New Rose Wood in 2010. Finally, I've broken my duck in this race," said Koh. "This horse was a slow developer and it was only in the last year or so that I decided that he could be my Derby horse.
"I stepped him up in his work gradually and I was really happy with his performances in the first two legs of the 4YO Challenge. This is by far the biggest win of my career. This is what makes training horses all worth it."
Moreira, who has now won eight Group races in Singapore this season including the Sgp-3 Paititi Gold Trophy on Karaka graduate Super Easy (NZ) earlier on the card, was also very impressed with the horse's performance.
"I knew this horse could stay after he ran sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup back in April," said Moreira.
"None of the horses in that race were in the Derby today and I was very confident he would run a good race.
"When he took the lead at the top of the straight, the feeling was just unbelievable. I didn't bother looking back, all I wanted was to send him straight to the line."
Chase Me came into the Derby after two good performances in the first two legs of Singapore's 4YO Challenge, the Sgp-2 Stewards' Cup and Sgp-1 Patron's Bowl, where he finished within two-lengths of the winner on each occasion.
Chase Me's only other attempt at 2000 metres came four starts ago when he ran sixth in a very competitive race finishing two lengths behind Karaka graduate Waikato (NZ) (Pins) in the Sgp-2 Queen Elizabeth Cup.
Bred by Peter Jenkins & Neoline Redfern, Chase Me was purchased by Brett Mcdonald from Twin Pines at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2008 Winter Mixed Bloodstock Sale for just $4,000.
Raced by Super Trio Stable, Chase Me's record now reads six wins and eight placings from his 23 career starts for over $900,000 in stakes.
The result saw another major race claimed by the progeny from a daughter of Gold Brose who stood at Westbury Stud. In a successful few weeks for Gold Brose, he is also the damsire of Karaka graduates Little Bridge who won the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and Super Easy who was also successful at stakes level in Singapore last night.
Karaka graduates celebrated a clean sweep of the stakes races at Kranji on Sunday with the outstanding three-year-old Super Easy (NZ) making a successful return to the track in the Sgp-3 Paititi Gold Trophy (1200m).
Super Easy (Darci Brahma x Parfore) is now unbeaten in 11 Singapore starts and last night's Sgp-3 race saw the Michael Freedman trained colt make a successful return to the track after having his last start in mid-May.
Ridden by champion jockey Joao Moreira, who also rode Karaka graduate Chase Me (NZ) (Storm Creek) to victory in the Singapore Derby later in the meeting, Super Easy jumped well from the inside barrier and settled in third place for the running.
In the straight Super Easy met a tough challenge from race leaders Yin Xin and Captain Obvious who stuck on well but Super Easy asserted his dominance 150 metres from home, kicking clear to take his 11th win from as many starts in Singapore by four-lengths.
"The more wins you have on the trot the more you worry about things not working out," commented trainer Michael Freedman.
"It is always a concern coming back to the 1200 metres after running at 1600 metres last time and that did have me worried as there were some very good sprinters in the field but this horse has a great turn of foot. I would say that that was probably one of his more dominant wins.
"He's just a great horse to train. He can camp on them in a six furlong race or you can ride him back over a mile and he can still get over them.
"I've been involved with a lot of great horses over the years including back home in Australia, but this horse would be right up there with them."
Super Easy came into the race after winning all three legs of Singapore's Triple Crown, culminating in the Sgp-1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) in mid-May. His winning sequence of 11 wins now puts him within one victory of Karaka graduate Better Than Ever (French Deputy) who won 12 consecutive races in Singapore in 2009 and 2010.
Freedman indicated that Super Easy would not be heading overseas and would likely progress to the Sgp-3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) on 2 September and then the Sgp-1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on 7 October. The Sgp-1 Raffles Cup (1800m) on 21 October is also being considered.
Bred by Michael Ryan, Super Easy was offered by Esker Lodge at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2010 Karaka Premier Sale where he was purchased by Blue Sky Thoroughbreds for $140,000.
His 11 career wins in Singapore have seen him accumulate over $1.2 million in stakes earnings for his owner the Joy N Happiness Stable.
Super Easy has been a leading performer for his sire Darci Brahma who has had a very good season at stud. With his oldest progeny three-year-olds, the current season has also seen him sire Group 1 New Zealand Oaks winner Artistic, Group 3 Manawatu Classic winner Malandrino, Group 3 Spring Stakes winner Darci Be Good, Group 1 placed Our Miss Jones, Group placed Westsouthwest, Nashville and Micken and stakes placed Waterford, Vincent Street and About The Journey.