Three Golden Nuggets on the up
Kranji’s future looks exciting with Saturday winners Street Of Dreams, Ejaz and January
Saturday’s Singapore Gold Cup crowned an excellent stayer in Hongkong Great, but the day also minted other golden nuggets who may shine even more brightly on the Kranji stage in 2023.
Class 1 winner Lim’s Kosciuszko has already taken all before him in the last two seasons, and is all but Hong Kong-bound very soon.
But three up-and-comers who may be part of the next generation are four-year-old Street Of Dreams, and three-year-olds Ejaz and January.
The trio had already given a sneak peek of their ability, but their Saturday victories smacked of above-average standards – the sort that can potentially see them scale loftier heights.
Arguably, the one who may sit a few rungs higher is the Steven Burridge-trained and Joe Singh-owned Street Of Dreams.
The son of Dundeel was impeded by breathing issues at his first outings but has literally exploded onto the scene at his last three starts, with aggregate winning margins close to 12 lengths.
Wet blankets may say he has only won up to Class 4 level as at his 3½-length win in the Elite Invincible 2018 Stakes (1,600m) on Saturday.
But, if his two tie-back operations hold up, Singh’s purple silks may well be present in the 2023 Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m).
“He’s a horse who’s got a lot of potential. On his breeding, he stays all day,” said Burridge.
“(Vets) Dr Dan Shaw and Dr Peter Briggs have done a marvellous job with him. My staff look after him so well, they cuddle him up.
“At this stage, things are all right. If he stays in that form, we could run him in the Gold Cup next year.”
Remembered equally for his top guns Gingerbread Man and Countofmontecristo and kookily-named sorts like Yabadabadoo or Zip A Dee Doo Dah, Singh may have found his dream horse.
More so when the powerfully proportioned gelding with the eye-catching star on the head is one of only a few he races this side of the Causeway these days.
“My agent in New Zealand, Regan Donnison, bought him. As he was a colt, I was keen to have him for breeding,” he said.
“He has his throat problems but I could see something special in him. I know the vets in Singapore are world class and can fix that, so I bought him.
“He can run over a distance. So fingers crossed, he’s my Gold Cup horse next year.”
Singh was not the only owner punching the air in delight at Kranji on Saturday.
Just like Singh, Mansoor Gandhi has scaled back on his Kranji interests but it looks like Ejaz may well be his “miracle” horse.
“Michael (Clements) told me I may have found something special after he won his trial in New Zealand. I told him I will call him Ejaz, which means miracle in Arabic,” said the Al-Arabiya Stable owner.
The son of Street Boss needed one when walled in upon cornering in the Class 4 race (1,400m). But once Manoel Nunes, who also rode Street Of Dreams, elbowed Zygarde out of the way, he let down with a booming finish.
“He was in a tricky position but it all opened up,” said Clements.
“I’ll definitely aim him at the 3YO series next year. He ran time, to do this at this time of the year, it’s pleasing to see for a young horse.
“We’ll discuss with Mansoor, but we are keen to run him in the Dubai Carnival.”
January may bear the name of the month when things hot up in the Middle East but trainer Donna Logan is looking for more maturing on his home soil first.
The son of Swiss Ace was, however, never in doubt once jockey Simon Kok drove him to the front in the Novice race (1,400m).
“We’ll keep him to that type of distance for now. He’s mentally still not quite there yet,” she said.
“My daughter Sam pre-trained him in New Zealand. He was cheap, I got him for only NZ$75,000 (S$63,400) at the New Zealand Ready To Run sale.
“A full brother of his sold for NZ$255,000 this week at this year’s sale, but I think January is a better buy.”