Guineas in June’s sights after maiden win

Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons now has the Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1600m) in mind for promising youngster June after he scored his first win in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race (1400m) at Kranji on Saturday.

Previously trained by ex-Kranji trainer Michael Clements, the Trapeze Artist three-year-old ran twice, including an unplaced start in the Group 3 Singapore Golden Horseshoe (1200m) in July last year, but has since placed twice from three starts for his new handler Fitzsimmons.

Held up in traffic in the straight at his last start four weeks ago, June left it late but was beaten into third by another Falcon Racing No 7 Stable-owned gelding, October, trained by Stephen Gray.

June (Manoel Nunes) races past Supreme Liner (Jaden Lloyd) to open his account in Race 2, picture Singapore Turf Club

This time, jumping from the same barrier three in another small field of 10, June (Manoel Nunes) took up a similarly handy position on the rails behind leader Supreme Liner (Jaden Lloyd) and Pride of Love (Mohd Zaki).

Unlike the last time when he was held up behind Supreme Liner and other runners to his outside, June had the luxury of room upon cornering and slid to the outside of Supreme Liner this time.

The James Peters-trained Supreme Liner chipped away at the margins, but he was no match for June after the latter put on the afterburners at the 300m and sprinted past him with half a furlong to go.

June eventually got up by a neck from the brave Supreme Liner, while the third-placed Ocean Jupiter (Benny Woodworth) was a further five-and-three-quarters length away. The winning time was 1 min 22.23secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.

Fitzsimmons, who was on a treble after Greatham Boy ($16) and Dancing Light ($137) also won the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race (1200m) and $50,000 Class 4 race (1100m) respectively, was relieved with the win but he looks forward to an even more suitable trip for June in the Singapore Guineas on 18 May.

“It was frustrating to watch him at his last start (hemmed in on the straight). He couldn’t win then,” said the Australian handler.

“Nunes rode him closer today because there wasn’t much in the race and he was the best horse there, but I still think he will get better over the mile and ridden a bit quieter.

“The main target for him would be the Guineas. I reckon that’s his race.

“He would get better as he gets up. They (June and Supreme Liner) beat the rest by five-and-three-quarters length this time.

“Nice to get my first winner for the owners. He’s the only horse I train for them.”

Nunes concurred with Fitzsimmons that a colder ride would suit June better, but circumstances had him in a handier position.

“A bigger field and more ground would help him, then it would be better to ride him a bit quieter,” said the leading Brazilian jockey, who pulled off a four-timer after Sheesh ($24), Greatham Boy and Makin ($10, see later report) also saluted.

“Today, we rode him closer because there’s not much in the field, so we can’t let him be too far (away from the leader).

“James' horse (Supreme Liner) was one of the dangers and I got a good barrier (three) just next to his (four).

“I was hoping someone would take him (Supreme Liner) on and it happened. (Jockey) (Mohd) Zaki (Pride Of Love) went to his outside and I stayed on a lovely spot behind him (Supreme Liner).

“I followed him all the way and my horse was too good in the end. He has a nice future but still got a lot to learn.”

Bought for A$250,000 at the 2022 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, June has taken his earnings to more than $60,000 with that first win from six starts.