A hunch and a punt taken by Te Akau Racing’s Singapore trainer Mark Walker and Fortuna Syndication’s John Galvin in September 2018 paid off in brilliant fashion in Singapore last Friday when the five-year-old gelding Red Rover (O’Reilly – Pin Up) strolled to victory in the Class 4 sprint over 1000 metre at Kranji racecourse.
“Mark and I are always on the lookout for promising types who have good form in Sydney/New South Wales,” said Galvin.
“We became aware that Red Rover who had won well at Rosehill in April 2018 was being offered at an online auction by his owners, Waikato Stud. We had him vetted and he scoped a Grade 3 which, generally, we would walk away from.
“But clearly he was a super fast racehorse, and so we decided to take a punt on securing a bargain. We set a budget and bid for him and we managed to secure him for around NZ$15,000.
“We then applied to the Singapore Turf Club to have the horse admitted to Singapore for racing and they approved his entry. I then went about syndicating the horse, giving potential clients full disclosure about his condition and the fact that he may require wind surgery at some point.
“On arrival in Singapore he went into work and got up to trial fitness level at which time he started to make wind noise, and so our very good vet in Singapore performed tie-back surgery at that point.
“The surgery went well and after a short recovery he was back in work and ready to trial – he won his final trial in good fashion and made his raceday debut at the end of June, running a third placing off a wide draw over the 1000 metre trip.
“He backed up on July 12 over the 1000m, again drawing out and ran a bold second, beaten half a length.
“His raceday form was very good and he repaid us in spades with his victory tonight (last Friday) – this time he drew a good barrier and it always seemed during the running that he was going to come up trumps.
“A huge thank you and congratulations to all of those people who also took a punt on Red Rover, taking a share in the horse, despite the risks that his poor scope presented.
“And a big thank you to the Singapore Turf Club Head Vet for approving Red Rover’s entry to Singapore, trainer Mark Walker and his team for a great training effort, Dr Dan Shaw, our vet and Azhar Ismail, our jockey, who has ridden Red Rover on all three occasions.”
Drawing barrier No 5 and leaving the barriers well, Azhar soon had Red Rover in the lead and on the rail. Travelling at a good tempo, Red Rover seemed to be going well as they turned for home and went to the line under a hands-and-heels ride winning by a length at the line, handsomely rewarding punters who had sent him out an odds-on favourite.
Red Rover, whose stable name is “Bullet”, now boasts a Singapore raceday record of three starts for one win, a second and a third for S$45,000 of prize money to-date and is owned by the Fortuna Red Rover Syndicate, an ownership group of 60 individuals, a group that is truly international with members from New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines, with 27 of those individuals being brand new clients for the Fortuna Syndications Team.