Coin Toss off to Australia end Sept, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Coin Toss off to Australia end Sept

Stud buys Singapore Guineas winner in a bid to enhance his sire’s commercial value

Guineas winner Coin Toss had been nearing a much-awaited racing comeback, but in a surprising turn of events, will unfortunately not be seen at Kranji again.

Michael Clements’ smart galloper is set to instead continue his racing career overseas, with leading trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in Australia.

The four-year-old son of Flying Artie has already left for quarantine and is booked on a flight departing Singapore on Sept 30.

While some may see a long shadow cast by the impending demise of Singapore racing in October 2024, Clements ended all speculations.

He said it was not Coin Toss’s owner Kuldeep Singh Rajput who was behind the move – but breeders.

“He was purchased by the owners (Blue Gum Farm) of his stallion Flying Artie. I believe they paid around A$250,000 (S$218,000) for him,” said Clements.

“Kuldeep let me know about the interested buyers a month ago. He has agreed and is keeping a small share in the horse.

“The idea is to race Coin Toss as a four-year-old in Australia in the hope he wins a Group race to boost the commercial value of his stallion.

“He leaves at the end of the month, and I believe they aim to race him in October. That’s why he’s being kept in work in quarantine here.”

Clements said that if not for the unexpected takeover, the four-time winner and dual-Group winner was all set to continue campaigning on local soil until the end.

His prep had already swung into the final phase of gallops with two trials tucked under the belt in August.

“After we brought him back from his break, he was getting ready for a Class 3 race over 1,400m around two weeks ago (on Lion City Cup day),” he said.

“It would have been his first-up run towards the Raffles Cup (on Sept 23). When it was confirmed he was sold, we scratched him.

“He could have still run as he was ready, but the new owners didn’t want him to race.”

The 2020 Singapore champion trainer was obviously sad to lose his rising star.

After skipping the first leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, the Gandharvi Stable-owned galloper went on to sweep the remaining two legs – the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1,400m), and the Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1,600m) at his last start on May 27.

But, by the same token, Clements felt relieved one of his 2023 banner horses had secured a good future in those uncertain times.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose a good horse like Coin Toss, especially as he had an exciting four-year-old campaign ahead of him,” said the Zimbabwe-born handler.

“I’m not sure if he is a Derby horse as he has won up to a mile. Beyond that is a question mark as he has a lot of speed over 1,200m.

“But, at the same time, I’m also happy to see what opportunities he will have in Australia. I even went to his pre-purchase vetting on behalf of the client.

“I will definitely keep an eye on his career there.”

While Coin Toss’s relocation will leave a huge gap in Clements’ yard, the same cannot quite be said of Gandharvi’s other horses.

In fact, two-time winner Petrograd – next best after Coin Toss – and Mewar, a maiden, have already shifted north to Kuala Lumpur trainer Lim Shung You while Leg Day, also winless, has transferred to Kranji trainer Richard Lim under a new owner, the Everest Racing Stable.

From Rajput’s original fleet of five horses – all bought as yearlings by Clements – only promising debut winner Roman Chief is staying put.

Closure or not, Clements said the Indian digital health entrepreneur – who just started building a racing empire in US, Australia and New Zealand following major shopping sprees at thoroughbred sales around the world – was not bailing out or jumping ship.

Like any canny businessman, he was just re-evaluating his assets, and shifting gears accordingly.

“Kuldeep intends to continue to race Roman Chief at Kranji till the end of racing,” he said.

“He has assessed where his low-end horses were at, and took the necessary action, while also trading his higher-end horse (Coin Toss).”