BOLD SHOW FROM CALYPSO CHOIR

KIRK HOPING FOR A BOLD SHOW FROM CALYPSO CHOIR IN EBF BREEDERS' SERIES FILLIES HANDICAP

 
Thursday July 14th 2016 – The new EBF Breeders’ Fillies’ Series continues on Saturday (July 16th) with races at both Newbury and Newmarket.

Eight runners have been declared for the Bathwick Tyres EBF Breeders' Series Fillies' Handicap over a mile worth £30,000 with trainer Ralph Beckett who recorded five winners last Saturday looking for more success. He saddles Golden Stunner who is bidding to land her hat-trick after wins at Nottingham and most recently at Newmarket.  

Calypso Choir is one of 15 declared runners for the EBF Breeders' Series Fillies' Handicap at Newmarket worth £20,000 over six furlongs. Her rivals include Silver Rainbow who will be looking to follow up on her recent success at Newbury for trainer Charlie Hills.

Calypso Choir finished a close up second on her latest start at Goodwood back in June and her trainer Sylvester Kirk is hoping she can double her winning tally on her seventh start on Saturday.

Sylvester Kirk, trainer of Calypso Choir, said:

"She is in great form, but we have just been waiting for the ground to dry up for her. It is an extremely competitive race but she should give a good account of herself. The faster the ground the better, so I am hoping the rain stays away. The prize-money is great in these EBF Fillies’ Series races so that always helps.”

David Bowe, manager of Littleton Stud, owned by Calypso Choir’s owner, Jeff Smith said:

"The EBF have been instrumental with prize-money and sponsorship over the years and I believe the new EBF Breeders’ Fillies’ Series launched this year is a fantastic idea.  Something like this has been badly needed for a long time, as in the past there have been limited opportunities for three year old and upwards fillies. The prize-money is exceptional and I cannot emphasise enough how much of a success the series has been so far.”

The EBF Breeders’ Fillies’ Series boasts overall prizemoney of £625,000 and has been specifically designed to give valuable opportunities to those fillies that fall just below black type level, encouraging their owners and owner-breeders to keep them in training rather than sell them or retire them.

For further information please contact:
Kerry Murphy, CEO of the European Breeders’ Fund
Phone:  01638 667960 or 07788 497644

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Lucky Nine wins back-to-back KrisFlyer titles

One by one, the records fell as Singapore crowned a familiar champion in the $1 million KrisFlyer International Sprint even as unchartered territory was discovered.

 

Lucky Nine, that intrepid traveller from Hong Kong and last year’s defending champion, became the first horse to make it back-to-back wins in the International Group 1 sprint over 1200m.

Trainer Caspar Fownes also etched his name into the record books, winning the event for a historic third time to make him the most successful trainer in the biggest and richest sprint race in Singapore.


Proving that age is no barrier to success, Lucky Nine ($16), who at seven was the second oldest runner in the field after Captain Obvious (Oscar Chavez) was the only eight-year-old left following Medicean Man’s late withdrawal at the starting gates, ran home a comfortable victor ahead of a trio of local challengers.

 

Ridden by his regular partner Brett Prebble, the Irish-bred gelding finished two-and-a-half lengths ahead of runner-up Emperor Max (Zac Purton), with Zac Spirit (Alan Munro) a further two-and-a-quarter lengths away in third.

 

The old timer Captain Obvious was fourth, another length-and-a-quarter back. The winning time was a brisk 1min 8.15secs, just outside the Short Course record of another Hong Kong star Sacred Kingdom’s winning time of 1min 7.80secs set in 2009.

 

For Fownes, whose first triumph here was with Green Birdie in the 2010 edition, it was sweet vindication for his superstar speedster, who posted a three-length victory here last year but in the past 12 months since then has at times been written off as being over-the-hill.

 

"Don’t tell him he’s a seven-year-old!” laughed the Hong Kong-based British handler.

 

"I’m immensely proud of him and it’s been a real pleasure to have this horse. We’ve had a lot of fun having him in our stable and it’s thrilling to get my third win in this event.”

 

This was also Lucky Nine’s seventh Group 1 victory, more than the combined total of the other eight runners, in a glittering career that began as a two-year-old racing in Ireland and has taken him all across the globe, competing in Japan, Dubai and Australia as well as in Hong Kong.

 

Before this victory, the son of Dubawi had picked up 12 wins from 37 starts and amassed stakes earnings of around HK$47 million (S$7.6 million). This latest victory was worth around $550,000 for his connections.

 

"He adjusts to new environments very well,” said Fownes. "He’s like us, he loves to travel and get out of Hong Kong. He’s got a lot of heart, that’s what you need in a good horse.”

 

Much of the credit however, deservedly belongs to the two-time Hong Kong champion trainer (2006-07and 2008-09), said triumphant rider Prebble.

 

"It was a super training performance by Caspar and I’m sure he had a lot of sleepless nights about his decision to take off the blinkers for this race,” said Prebble, who himself was collecting his third KrisFlyer title following his 2009 win with Sacred Kingdom and last year’s win aboard Lucky Nine.

 

"But it was a winning decision and credit to Caspar. Taking them off did the job tonight.”

With 10 wins from 29 rides astride of Lucky Nine, the Australian hoop is as familiar as anyone with the talented speedball but had his doubts about the decision to remove the headgear, as it seemed to have done the trick to rectify his mount’s poor starts in recent months and Prebble himself had been pleased with the result after Lucky Nine’s one-length second to Charles The Great in last month’s Group 2 Sprint Cup (1200m) back home in Hong Kong.

 

"He was sluggish and difficult to get him out so that’s why we put them on,” he said. "If you jump and you’re one length behind, it’s a length you have to make up. It was lovely to be able to jump on par with the other horses.

 

"He seems to have gotten out of that habit and he seems a happy horse.”

 

As any trainer worth his salt will tell you, a happy horse usually translates into a winning one. And there was only one winner in this race once Lucky Nine, who travelled handily close to the rails behind leader Captain Obvious, was given the signal to let loose by Prebble down the straight with the winning post looming.

 

"After the rain stopped, it meant that there was enough cushion in the ground which he likes,” he said. "He’s the best horse in the field. I couldn’t wait to push the button because I knew what I have underneath me.”

 

The expected challenge from his main rivals, the reigning Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m) champion and $12 favourite Sterling City (Joao Moreira, finishing fifth) and Lion City Cup winner and local sprint star Zac Spirit ($18), never materialised and it was left instead to the Stephen Gray-trained Emperor Max ($34), on the back of two losses, to take up the challenge, albeit in vain.

 

"This feels like winning the race. It’s mixed emotions, but yet so exciting,” said trainer Stephen Gray. "Zac rode him perfectly, but Lucky Nine was just too good.

 

"He’s done everything we have asked of him. Just three weeks ago, everybody was pretty down after he pulled up so tired from his race (Lion City Cup when second to Zac Spirit).

 

"But we hand-walked him for weeks just to change things up. We walked and walked him and then we put the saddle back on him and he started to pick up again.”