Le Grange pulls Ace in Guineas, Latest Racing News - The New Paper
Racing

Le Grange pulls Ace in Guineas

Ace Of Diamonds was hailed as Kranji’s undisputed champion three-year-old following his sparkling win in the $150,000 Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1,600m) on May 18.

The son of Swiss Ace first won the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1,200m) on April 6, but was beaten in third in the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1,400m) on April 27.

It was sweet redemption for connections after he bounced back in the one that mattered. The Singapore Guineas is still regarded as the pinnacle of 3YO races even if the three legs are not part of a series like before.

Trainer Ricardo Le Grange, who had only won the Singapore Guineas as an assistant trainer when Mr Line saluted for his former mentor Patrick Shaw in 2002, put the success down to one main factor – a brilliant horse.

The South African also owes that first win in his own right to not just his training acumen, but also his magnanimity.

“What happenened last start was most disappointing, but I still had a lot of faith in this horse,” said Le Grange.

“(Jockey) Bruno (Queiroz) and I spoke at length about the last run. He admitted he got it wrong.

“When he was wide early, he should have either gone forward or come back, but not get caught three deep.

“He apologised for his mistake, and I respect him for that. That was why I decided to still put him on in the Guineas.

“Today he had a chance to switch him off, and he was very impressive through the line.”

Getting his name into the last slot of the Guineas honour roll was not lost on Le Grange.

“Obviously, it’s sad it’s the last Guineas. I feel it,” he said.

“But anyway, we’ll enjoy the moment and celebrate a really good horse, and we go from here.”

For Queiroz, it was many celebrations all rolled in one.

“I’m so happy to have my father and mother with me, and my 23rd birthday was last week (May 15),” said the Brazilian, who won his first Singapore Group race with Ace Of Diamonds in the Sprint.

“He’s a wonderful horse. When he settles behind, he has a good sprint, even if it’s a short sprint.

“I recently called my godfather (champion jockey) Joao Moreira. He told me this horse needs to come from behind, and let him come slowly into the race.

“Today, everything went perfect for me. Ricardo and his staff have done a good job with him.”

manyan@sph.com.sg

HORSE RACING