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Bax’s first winning lap of luxury

Former Kiwi supermodel joins Kranji winner’s list with her horse Luxury Brand on Saturday.

Kylie Bax was not at Kranji when Luxury Brand gave the former supermodel her first Singapore win as an owner on Saturday, but she joked that the crowd must have heard her all the way from New Zealand.

“We were at home jumping around like idiots, screaming from here. Did you hear?” she said.

“This horse has really strengthened up over the last few weeks and he looked such a treat today. 

“I named him Luxury Brand because his dam is called Miss Gucci, and also for a touch of fashion.”

Bax traded catwalks and stilettoes for the less glitzy life of breeding barns and feed buckets. But it was not such a huge culture shock as racing runs in her genes. The Bax family is steeped in horse racing and breeding in New Zealand.

Luxury Brand actually came from a draft at her parents Graham and Helen-Gaye’s Blandford Lodge stud in Matamata.

Though he was a castoff from the New Zealand Ready-To-Run sale, Bax took him over – she actually broke him in. She had the horse to appease trainer Donna Logan, who had been twisting her arm for one.

The Charm Spirit three-year-old was an astute pick from Day 1.

After a second in his Kranji debut, Luxury Brand doubled up with another second. 

He was quite plain at his next start when fourth, but bounced back to score by two lengths in Saturday’s $75,000 Restricted Maiden event (1,200m).

“Kylie’s always had good horses. She was a good client of mine in New Zealand,” said Logan, who trained Group 1 winner Danzdanzdance for the leggy blonde.

“I’m very proud to have a first winner for her in Singapore. This horse has been ultra consistent. I gave him a freshen-up and he duly paid us back with the rewards.

“Kylie’s sending a second horse up, and that’s even more exciting.

“For the stakes money this horse has made in four starts, he couldn’t get that in New Zealand.

“More owners from New Zealand should do what Kylie is doing. They have the Australian option, but it can be expensive. 

“As the New Zealand dollar sits at $1.20 to the Singapore dollar, it’s pretty good value back home.”

Kylie Bax gives her dual Group 1 winner Danzdanzdance a cuddle.PHOTO: COURTESY OF KYLIE BAX

Favourable foreign exchange aside, the win has whetted Bax’s appetite for more.

“After I watched the race, I was ready to feed the next stars. We’ve got broodmares to watch, and we’ve got to look for the next secret star for Donna,” she said.

That new zest for Singapore racing was not sparked overnight. 

In the days when Bax still jetted between New York and Milan fashion shows, she already dabbled in breeding, and one of her finest products was former Singapore great Better Than Ever.

Bax never saw the son of French Deputy in the flesh at any of his 25 Kranji starts for Jupiter Stable, but did watch his 16 wins on television.

The buzz she got did keep Singapore at the back of her mind as a new market to explore. But it was not until Logan rang her up a decade later that the dormant interest was awakened. 

Better late than never, indeed.

“Laurie Laxon begged me to come and see Better Than Ever, but I couldn’t travel as I was in Europe and US modelling,” she said.

“But I did come up once in 2015 to watch one of my father’s horses run, Goliath. But he was no Better Than Ever, who is now 16 and is in my paddock, happily retired. 

“He helps with all sorts of things at the farm, like as a baby sitter to the foals. I call him Farm Manager.”

The old Kranji favourite might well be minding future runners to carry Bax’s orange-and-black crossed silks at his old stomping ground one day.

“I chose this burnt orange so it stood out, but it’s the cross or X which is more significant. It’s the ‘X’ in the name Bax,” she said.

“I usually have around eight horses. I breed and get most of them from my father. 

“I love breeding, but syndicating gives me the chance of meeting so many people. To see them get enjoyment is wonderful. 

“And I still like to wear a hat and high heels at the races. It’s my way of staying in the fashion world.”