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Rocket Man aims to be third time lucky

SINGAPORE,  April 27, 2010

List of invitees in alphabetical order

After two stellar performances in international Group 1 races, Singapore’s champion sprinter ROCKET MAN is hoping to be third time lucky when he lines up for the S$1m KrisFlyer International Sprint (KrisFlyer), which has been accorded Group 1 status this year, at Kranji on May 16.

As a three-year-old last year, ROCKET MAN (Viscount - Macrosa by McGinty) went within a neck of SACRED KINGDOM in the KrisFlyer which was run in course record time, after which he endured several months on the sidelines with an injury.

Last month, the Patrick Shaw-trained ROCKET MAN was distinctly unlucky when he went down to the American entry KINSALE KING in the US$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen over 1200m at Meydan, after which jockey Robbie Fradd admitted it wasn’t one of his best rides.

But ROCKET MAN showed that he is back at his best form when he easily captured the Lion City Cup for the second consecutive year last Saturday.

A much anticipated re-match with SACRED KINGDOM will not be on the card this time, which is a big disappointment for fans around the region.

But Hong Kong will be represented by a capable HAPPY ZERO, along with JOY AND FUN and GREEN BIRDIE.

The John Moore-trained HAPPY ZERO (Danzero - Have Love by Canny Lad) had won eight of his 11 starts in Hong Kong. He caught the attention of the international racing world when second to GOOD BA BA in the Group 1Hong Kong Mile last December.

The five-year-old then finished third to SACRED KINGDOM in the HK Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) in February before winning the HK Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) last month.

The Derek Cruz-trained JOY AND FUN (Cullen - Gin Player by Defensive Play) will come to Singapore fresh from winning the US$1m Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan on March 27, after having won nine times in three seasons in Hong Kong. He was also third to SACRED KINGDOM IN THE Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint last December.

GREEN BIRDIE (Catbird - Mrs Squillionaire by Last Tycoon), prepared by Caspar Fownes, is one of Hong Kong’s evergreen sprinters. A three-time winner in Hong Kong but has been out of the winner’s circle since October 2008 but was a close-up sixth behind SACRED KINGDOM in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize and is highly regarded, especially when coming off a break.

Australia will be represented by EAGLE FALLS and GOLD TRAIL with European representation coming from TOTAL GALLERY and MARIOL.

The David Hayes-trained EAGLE FALLS (Hussonet - Desina by Desert King), a six-time winner from 14 starts, followed his second placing in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington with luckless fifth behind KINSALE KING in the Dubai Golden Shaheen last month.

The Gary Portelli-trained GOLD TRAIL (Hussonet - Trail Of Gold by Danewin), won the Group 1 Railway Stakes over 1200m in New Zealand last January and the seven-time winner has since been unplaced in two starts.

English trainer Stan Moore will be represented by TOTAL GALLERY (Namid - Diary by Green Desert), who has won five of his 15 starts, including the Group 1 Prix de L’Abbaye at Longcjamp last October. He has yet make his seasonal debut.

MARIOL (Munir - La Bastoche by Kaldoun), prepared by Robert Collet, meanwhile, had his first run for the season when seven lengths adrift of JOY AND FUN in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan. He had seven wins in 48 starts, with his last success coming in the Group 3 Prix de Meautry Lucien Barriere (1200m) at Deauville. At the same track a start earlier, the gelding finished second to KING’S APOSTLE in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheet over 1300m.

Completing the cast in the KrisFlyer this year are local entries MEXICAN ROSE and CHEYENNE DANCER.

MEXICAN ROSE (Volksraad - Down View by Gone West), winner of two of her three starts as a juvenile in New Zealand, has won seven of her nine starts in Sinagapore for trainer Laurie Laxon, including three at Singapore Group 3 level.

Last Saturday, she finished fourth to ROCKET MAN in the Lion City Cup after drawing a wide barrier.

CHEYENNE DANCER (Indian Danehill - Daylight Hour by Brief Truce) has performed with distinction on both sides of the causeway. Staring out in Singapore, he won twice at Kranji before picking up seven wins while based in Kuala Lumpur for trainer Frank Maynard, including a cross-border race a Kranji and the Astro Wah Lai Toi Sprnt Trophy.

Transferred back to Singapore under the care of Michael Freedman, he has picked up one win (awarded the Raffles Cup after the winner BIG MAVERICK was disqualified) and showed that he may be back to his best form when third in the Lion City Cup last week. He also crossed the border and finished third to TRIPLE LUCK in the Astro Wah Lai Toi Sprint Trophy last August.


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