In All His Glory can keep yard going
Fitzsimmons’ stable lost lead last weekend but last-start winner can keep them in hunt
Tim Fitzsimmons passed the yellow jersey on to Donna Logan on Sunday, but do not expect the Australian trainer to take it lying down.
Neither is he the sort to go out of his way to wrest it back, though.
Of course, all trainers dream of a champion title on their resume, and Cliff Brown’s former assistant trainer is no different.
But Fitzsimmons, who is in his fourth Kranji season, would rather measure his performance by the standards he sets himself to.
“Donna has a lot more in numbers than me, and her horses are all in form,” he said.
“The championship is not what drives me, anyway.
“Last year, I got 33 winners. This year, I set my target at 40 winners, and we’ve already hit 40. The rest is a bonus.”
This year’s numerous feats have been more like a bonanza, especially considering how his first two seasons and the last two have been like night and day.
He had no winner in his first season and he scraped in with only nine winners in 2020, albeit it was the year Covid-19 struck.
This year, with a plethora of good horses like Golden Monkey, Relentless, Gold Ten Sixty-One, he had the premiership lead for the best part of the season.
But Fitzsimmons will probably remember 2022 as the year he snagged his first three Group silverware in a three-week blitz.
Missing out on a first Group 1 win with Golden Monkey’s third in the Lion City Cup (1,200m) on Sunday still stings. It would have also come as a nice early birthday present – he turns 41 today.
But he was still immensely proud of the horse who has already given him two of his Group wins – the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint and Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic.
“He never got on the track, but he still ran enormous,” said Fitzsimmons, whose second Cup runner Gold Star bled.
“He was a little slow away, and was further back than we would have liked. There was nothing that Mark (Zahra) could have done, they were four wide.
“His sectional times were still incredible. He had the fastest last 400m; from the 800m to 400m, he broke 22 seconds.
“I’m not saying he would have won, but if he had swopped barriers with King Arthur, he could have finished a lot closer.
“He’s going for a break, he won’t run for the rest of the season.”
Such is the depth in his yard that he can still aim towards the two remaining majors of the year – the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1,800m) on Oct 15 and Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m) on Nov 19.
“It’ll be a hard ask to win the last two feature races, but we’ll have a crack. Relentless will be one of the runners,” said Fitzsimmons of his Group 2 Stewards’ Cup (1,600m) winner.
For now, the momentum may be swinging Logan’s way, but Fitzsimmons will just keep looking for the next winner, and not worry too much about what others do.
Saddling eight runners this Sunday, the Victorian has some decent chances of keeping the engine room purring along. Impressive last-start winner In All His Glory looks the standout in the $70,000 Class 3 race over the Polytrack mile, but Fitzsimmons is exercising caution nonetheless.
“I would have preferred turf, but there was no Class 3 race on turf until the end of September,” he said.
“He has never run on Polytrack here, but he trials okay on it.”
All of the All Too Hard six-year-old’s 19 starts have been on turf, with his four wins registered between 1,200m and 1,600m, three of them coming under Brown’s care.
“He had a wind op before this prep, but he’s going well now. He pulled up well from his last race, he’s in the best form since I’ve had him,” said Fitzsimmons.
“Apart from one or two runs, we can make a case for all his runs. This horse just has had no luck, he was always stuck behind runners.
“He’s up in class this week, but I think he will measure up.”
With last-start winning partner Vlad Duric unable to make the 54.5kg handicap, the ride has been handed to Jake Bayliss.