The Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge was just not meant to be for Falcon Racing Stable’s new French import Sincerely.
After the son of Evasive, then a three-year-old known as Quindio, won the Listed Millkom Stakes (1600m) at Toulouse last September, the Thai owners bought him for Kranji with the 4YO series and ultimately the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) in mind.
Unfortunately, a set of circumstances derailed those lofty plans, such that all three Legs of the series are now done and dusted, and Sincerely had not even made his Kranji debut. The goal sticks have now been shifted with Saturday’s $70,000 Class 3 Division 1 race over 1200m as his kickoff point.
Sincerely has missed the 4YO boat, but trainer Michael Clements is still keeping his fingers crossed he will turn into a handy commodity for the owners and himself.
“The owners purchased him at an in-training sale in France. The intention was to bring him over for the 4YO series,” said Clements.
“He actually came out of Europe at the same time as Minister and some other Falcon horses. He had pretty good form in France, two wins including a Listed race and many seconds (three).
“When he arrived here at the end of last year, we got him into training, and once he started to get going, there was a recurrence of an injury he had in France, it was a spraining to the ligament of his front suspensory.
“We had to back him off and nurse him along. That’s why he missed the first two Legs of the series, and then COVID-19 struck.
“By then he had recovered nicely and he’s been pretty exciting on the tracks. He’s been trialling quite well, too.
“When the Derby was pushed back to September, he was still eligible as he is a Northern Hemisphere-bred four-year-old, but he was still not ready for such a race first-up.
“He’ll run over 1200m first-up. He showed a fair amount of speed, but I think he’ll be better suited by 1600m later on.”
Sincerely will break from a handy draw in four and will be partnered by French jockey Louis-Philippe Beuzelin.
Usually in charge of big teams on raceday, Clements won’t be as busy this weekend with only six runners spread over five races. He also saddles another newcomer in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on Polytrack, Tigarous, the second Princeton Stable UK import after Balor to make his Kranji debut.
An Irish-bred three-year-old by Holy Roman Emperor, Balor did not set the world on fire with his 10th place to Boomba in a similar Restricted Maiden race on September 5, but Clements said those European-breds take longer to settle in.
“Both are European-breds and didn’t acclimatise well to the local conditions,” he said.
“They had one prep and we then had to put them away. They have since improved and strengthened up.
“From what we can see, they would both want their best distances over further, 1400m to 1600m.
“In saying this, I think Tigarous was a bit more forward, and I hope he runs well this Saturday.”
Tigarous, a three-year-old by Dragon Pulse, has drawn wide in eight and will also be ridden by Beuzelin.