Trainer Cliff Brown can’t split his two Friday Class 3 runners Golden Sword and Draco, but he sure is glad the handicappers have done so.
The Australian handler had both entered in the Class 3 race over 1200m on the new 2018 racing programme for the January 12 meeting, but with the 25-odd noms received, they had to be divvied up into two events.
Golden Sword is first to go in the Division 1 race slated as Race 6 with Draco following up two races later in the Division 2 race. Both events carry a purse of $80,000.
Golden Sword (Michael Rodd) comes with a late rush to win first-up on November 26, picture Singapore Turf Club
“I’m glad they are not running against each other,” said Brown who is currently attending the first day of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale in Australia.
“Both are real genuine lovely horses and I couldn’t be happier with the way they have come on from last year.”
A son of Swiss Ace who won his first three races and once mixed it with the best three-year-olds in the 2016 season, Golden Sword was then sidelined for a year due to a bleeding attack and knee surgery. After he recovered, he bounced straight back to the winner’s circle first-up in a BM67 race over 1000m on November 26, coming from last to score in a thriller.
Draco has somehow charted a fairly identical path as his stablemate. The Falkirk four-year-old also gained his ticket to last year’s Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge after two breathtaking wins swooping down late, but could not quite match motors with the likes of Countofmontecristo and Jupiter Gold in the first two Legs.
Unlike Golden Sword, Draco had fortunately not been beset by any health issues. After a short let-up, he returned the winner of one race in four outings and ran two flying seconds at his last two starts.
“I hope Golden Sword has put his health issues behind. I have nothing long-term planned for him as he remains a day-to-day proposition,” said Brown.
“He had a nice trial last week and had his last gallop on Monday and went really well. Michael (Rodd) was very happy with his gallop, all’s good, but Shane’s (Baertschiger) three-year-old Be Bee remains the horse to beat.
“Draco has been running on in his races but it’s always hard when he is so far back. He is also giving weight to Ricardo’s (Le Grange) very good horse (Nowyousee).
“But he also trialled well last week and with some luck, he should be running on late.”
Brown said he had yet to release the purse strings at the sale ring, but going with his past shopping sprees like the one at the Magic Millions 2YOs in Training Sale last October where he parted with A$700,000 for five horses, including the sale topper, a son of Smart Missile for A$320,000, it might not take too long.
“Today is the first day. I’ve had a look around and hopefully, we can get a few nice ones,” he said.
The six-day sale concludes on Tuesday, January 16.