Gandharvi rolls out his buys, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Gandharvi rolls out his buys

New owner has yet to win a race at Kranji, but his trial winners may signal his arrival

The Michael Clements barn often stars at the barrier trials, like yesterday. But it was with a slightly different spin this time.

With runners in three of the four trials, Clements came away with the perfect score – three winners. 

But, interestingly, none of them are raced by the usual suspects in their fold, such as Falcon Racing, Tivic or Al Rashid Stables.

The resuming Muraahib and the unraced Petrograd are owned by relatively new outfit Gandharvi Stable, while Lucky Charm, another newbie, races for the just-launched Greenwood Stable.

The two fledgling owners may not have had the same level of success at Kranji (in fact, they are poles apart), but they share a common drive – high ambition.

Helmed by digital health entrepreneur Kuldeep Singh Rajput, the Gandharvi Stable – first known as Salmon Stout Racing Stable – took baby steps when they bought Muraahib over from Oscar Racing Stable last year. 

Hopes flew high, given the handy record of three wins under Oscar Racing and Lee Freedman, but the same success was not replicated in 10 starts for Rajput.

The Indian-born businessman was undeterred. He went on a well-documented shopping spree around the world – and trial winner Petrograd is one of his new buys, and among the first he will race from scratch in Singapore.

Rajput actually had a second newcomer in the same trial, Coin Toss, who ran second for a stable 1-2.

The old guard later followed suit with Muraahib leading a Clements trifecta. Prosperous Return and Tiger Roar filled the minors. 

“I bought five yearlings for Kuldeep at the Inglis sale last year. These are the first two, one has just arrived and two are getting broken in in New Zealand,” said Clements.

“Petrograd is from the first crop of the speedy Russian Revolution.

“They did their pre-training in New Zealand. Of the two, Petrograd is the more forward. He trialled very well in New Zealand, and we’ve seen that again today.

“Coin Toss is by Flying Artie and probably needs a run or two.

“They both race next week in the Restricted Maiden over 1,200m.”

Muraahib may be the “Gandharvi veteran”, but he is also going through a new beginning of sorts.

“He’s come back from injury. He had a small lesion to the front tendon,” said Clements of the Reset eight-year-old.

“His form was pretty good. He was racing consistently and did well enough in top company.

“Today, I told Vlad to give him a squeeze and he responded well.”

“We’ll look for a race in Class 2 or 3, where he is most effective.”

Clements has, on the other hand, already plotted a path for his other four runners in that trial. 

Behind Prosperous Return and Tiger Roar, Quarter Back and Ocean Crossing ran unplaced.

“Very happy with all four. They will go to a Class 2 race over 1,400m next week and probably have one more run before they go for the QEII Cup,” said Clements.

The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1,800m) on Oct 15 and Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m) on Nov 19 are the last two Kranji features left on the racing calendar.

As for Lucky Charm, Clements had to wait for yesterday’s trial before he locked a debut race away.

“He’s a heavy horse. It took a few trials for him to come on,” he said.

“His last trial was okay, but today’s was much better, so he’s likely to run in next week’s Open Maiden 1,100m on the Polytrack.”

The four-year-old is the first progeny of Japanese champion miler Maurice to race in Singapore.

“Maurice was a great horse and has done well with his first crop in Australia,” said Clements.

“The Greenwood Stable bought Lucky Charm through an agent. They also race (debut winner) Pacific Star and South Of The River who won a nice race second-up, but had to be spelled after he also had a small lesion to his tendon.”